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|The Red Lion, Longdon and Cannock Chase|
|Author: Pub Walker, Published: 12 Aug 2014||Walk Rating:|
|Staffordshire, Longdon Green|
|A 6.5 mile (can be shortened to 4.5 miles) circular pub walk from the Red Lion in Longdon Green, Staffordshire. The Red Lion is a classic village pub, a great place to satisfy your hunger after a morning’s ramble in the surrounding hills. The walking route is fairly challenging due to the nature of the surfaces and the number and design of the stiles but, if you’re up to it, you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the rolling hills throughout. The optional loop within the full walk takes in a pretty section of the Cannock Chase woodland which is awash with wild flowers every spring. |
The route has several climbs and descents throughout. The walking surfaces appear to be seldom used and so can be fairly uneven, muddy, narrow and overgrown in places. The optional loop into the Cannock Chase woodland valley can have standing water after periods of rain. The paths cross several pastures grazed by a mixture of horses, sheep and cattle. There are a couple of short sections of road walking along quiet country lanes so take care of any traffic. You will need to negotiate a number of gates, a couple of footbridges plus around 30 stiles. Some of the stiles are fairly tall and of a vertical ladder design, meaning you will need to climb several rungs (which may be difficult for less able people). Some of the stiles are also fully enclosed with wire and there is one double stile with no gaps alongside, so taking a dog along will be very challenging. With all this in mind you will need to be prepared with good boots, long trousers and a spring in your step! Approximate time 3 to 3.5 hours (or 2 to 2.5 hours for the shorter version).
Longdon Green is located about 3 miles south of Rugeley, just off the A51 in Staffordshire. The walk starts and finishes from the Red Lion on Hay Lane, alongside the village green. Approximate post code WS15 4QF.
|Start to Borough Lane|
Start point: 52.7197 lat, -1.8759 long
Leave the pub car park via the vehicle entrance and turn right along Hay Lane, passing the property Brooklands on the left. At the crossroads turn left into Church Hill. Just a short distance along, immediately before Park Cottage on the left, turn left up the narrow public footpath between tall hedgerows. Cross two stiles along this path and you’ll emerge out into a pasture (which may be holding livestock).
|Borough Lane to Horse Gallop|
Start point: 52.7236 lat, -1.8889 long
Turn left for just a few paces and then turn right over a stile to join the footpath into the corner of a crop field. The official footpath actually goes diagonally across the field to the opposite corner but, if the crop prevents this (as it did for us), simply follow the right-hand field edge, along the side and then along the bottom of the field.
|Horse Gallop to Forest Driveway|
Start point: 52.7243 lat, -1.8988 long
Cross straight over this horse gallop (of course ensuring there are no horses in action before you cross!) to reach the fence corner which juts into the field. Keep ahead with this fence on the left and in the corner you’ll find a partially concealed stile within the hedge. Cross this into the next paddock, also part of Longdon Stud. Turn right and walk along the paddock following the fence on the right. Cross a stile ahead and continue in the same direction through the next paddock. In the field corner, turn left along the bottom boundary and after just a few yards you’ll see a gate on the right.
|Forest Driveway to Dump's Covert|
Start point: 52.7273 lat, -1.9193 long
Pass to the left of the vehicle gate and keep ahead on the forest track which is straight and leads you steadily downhill. A little way along the track begins to bend left, a short way into this bend turn right to leave the main track and join a minor grass track heading back uphill.
|Dump's Covert to Lower Way Stile|
Start point: 52.7297 lat, -1.9279 long
Turn right onto the minor grass track which heads steadily downhill, towards the area of woodland known as Dump’s Covert. At the fork keep right on the path heading downhill. The path can be fairly marshy but you’re rewarded with the secluded beauty. The woodland slopes in the spring, before the bracken takes hold, are awash with wildflowers including a carpet of bluebells.
|Lower Way Stile to Brady Lane|
Start point: 52.7273 lat, -1.9128 long
Follow this footpath steadily downhill, taking care to avoid the holly each side! At the end, pass through the gate into a hillside meadow. Keep ahead for a few yards and then follow the path as it forks left across the centre of the meadow (taking a moment to enjoy the stunning views).
|Brady Lane to Pylon|
Start point: 52.7248 lat, -1.9089 long
Turn left and follow the road as it swings right. As the road swings left, turn right up the stone slope to reach the corner of a field. Turn left under the power lines, following the fence on the left. At the end of the field, cross the stile ahead and join the wide fenced footpath between horse paddocks. Pass through the gap in the hedge ahead and go through the gate into the paddock (once again you’re in Longdon Stud territory so you’re likely to be sharing the fields with horses).
|Pylon to Broomy Fields|
Start point: 52.7196 lat, -1.8947 long
Continue across the rest of the field and pass through the gate. Cross the next field in the same direction and another gate leads you into a crop field. Turn left along the field edge and, in the corner, turn right to follow the left-hand boundary.
|Broomy Fields to End|
Start point: 52.7185 lat, -1.8832 long
Cross over the lane and go ahead into the large meadow, passing to the right of the two oak trees. Over to the left you’ll have good views of Longdon Hall, once part of the Bishops of Lichfield Estate. The 18th century Grade II listed manor house has a beautiful Queen Anne facade with red brick and multiple chimneys. During World War II the hall was commandeered as an RAF hospital. The food grown in the Victorian walled kitchen garden along with the quiet surrounding served the recovering airmen well.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.
A lovely walk, with interesting stiles. Waterproof boots required in damp conditions. Red Lion is expensive but gorgeous!
|By BentleyC7 on 28 Dec 2015|
I wouldn't recommend it, a lot of the path has overgrown, very very muddy, inaccessible stiles. Shame because some of the path was lovely, some not enjoyable at all. (I should say I'm a proficient walker who loves an adventure but this got a bit much - even in the middle of summer!)
|By littlepengui on 27 Jul 2017|
Agree with littlepengui's review. It is a nice walk but parts were a bit tricky. Tried to do the forest loop but directions at part 4 were a bit vague, so we missed it out. Also the part after the pylon (part 5 ?) was tricky, maybe due to farmers making changes to fences etc. We got to the pub at the end though for a well deserved drink.
|By merricks on 26 Aug 2017|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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