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|Cannock’s Boulder and Memorials|
|Author: Claire, Published: 05 Aug 2016||Walk Rating:|
|A 4 mile circular walk through the magnificent open heath of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. Cannock Chase was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 because of its beautiful landscapes which include natural deciduous woodland, coniferous plantations, open heathland and the remains of early industry. This walking route explores a large section of the open heathland with gorse, heather and bracken stretching as far as the eye can see. From mid-August every year the heath explodes into a sea of purple as the heather comes into flower. Along the way there is also chance to visit the Commonwealth and German memorial cemeteries. |
The walk has several steady climbs and descents throughout but there are no steep sections. Most of the paths are wide stone tracks, but there are a couple of very narrow parts and also some unmade paths through woodland that can get very muddy at times. Navigation can be tricky as there are many paths on the heath and very little signage, so the live map on the iFootpath App will be the best way of keeping on track. There are no stiles or gates on route, but you will need to negotiate four stepping stones over a shallow stream (or alternatively paddle through the water!). Belted Galloway cattle are used for conservation grazing on the heath, but this route does not cross any of these grazing areas. Dogs are very welcome in Cannock Chase and the walk is ideal for dogs, but they are not permitted within the cemeteries. Allow 2 hours.
There are many, many car parking areas across Cannock Chase, so care is needed in finding the right one. This walk starts from the free Glacial Boulder car park and although this is not labelled with a name, there is a mounted boulder nearby so you will be sure of your location once you are there. The nearest village is Brocton. The car park is located on Chase Road Brocton, although the nearest post code is for Springslade Lodge on Camp Road, WS12 4PT. From Springslade Lodge, travel north along Camp Road and take the tarmac side road on the right (this is called Chase Road Brocton and, although it is not signed, it is easily recognisable by the grass triangle at the junction and then by the many speed humps). Follow Chase Road around two left-hand bends and then continue a little further until you reach a large stone parking lay-by on your left and a fingerpost marking a crossroads with a bridleway. This is the Glacial Boulder car park and if you look to your right (down the path marked by the fingerpost) you will see the boulder in question. Well done – first navigation challenge achieved!
|Start to Woodland Belt|
Start point: 52.7609 lat, -2.0317 long
From the parking lay-by, cross over the access road and follow the narrow stone path (signed as a bridleway) which leads you to a small clearing which contains the mounted Glacial Boulder that gives the car park its name. The Glacial Boulder on Cannock Chase is a well-known local landmark, but very out of place here as there is no granite in the surrounding land. It originated from Scotland and travelled slowly south on a glacier during the last Ice Age. It was discovered locally and mounted here in the 1950s. The concrete pedestal, which is now decorated with pebbles, dates from the First World War when this area was a large military camp. More about that later…
|Woodland Belt to Stone Car Park|
Start point: 52.7487 lat, -2.0319 long
Take the stone path straight ahead leading you into this woodland belt. A few paces in you will come to a junction of multiple paths. Ignore the first two paths on your right, instead take the main track which bears slightly left to continue through the woodland. Further along, this path runs fairly close to the road on your right so take particular care with children and dogs.
|Stone Car Park to German Military Cemetery|
Start point: 52.7405 lat, -2.0263 long
Continue straight ahead, passing a low wooden vehicle barrier to join another stretch of stone track. You will emerge to a T-junction with a tarmac access lane. Should you wish to visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery, turn right along this lane and then come back to this point when you have finished. Otherwise turn left along the lane and follow it as it leads you past the German Military Cemetery on your left. Both cemeteries are open to the public (although no dogs are allowed) should you wish to visit.
|German Military Cemetery to Stepping Stones|
Start point: 52.7391 lat, -2.0222 long
Continue ahead along the access road. Beyond the cemetery boundary, keep ahead on the stone path. In the fenced enclosure to your right, you may get a glimpse of the Belted Galloway cattle that are used for conservation grazing to help manage the heathland. Belted Galloways are particularly distinctive, having generally black shaggy coats with a wide white ring all the way around their middle (like a belt).
|Stepping Stones to End|
Start point: 52.7579 lat, -2.0178 long
Cross the stepping stones over Sher Brook, walk up the stone path for a few paces and you will come to a junction of four paths. Ignore the two side paths and take the left-hand of the two paths ahead (ignoring the right-hand of the two which climbs more steeply up the hill). Follow this stone track which climbs gently and swings steadily right for some distance (ignoring any side paths).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Great walk today with excellent description and photos to follow. A bit muddy through the woods, but nice and varied with lots of birdsong!
|By dickyboy56 on 22 Jan 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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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 05 Aug 2016
The outward journey.
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 05 Aug 2016
The route past the German military cemetery.
|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 05 Aug 2016
The concrete bridge.
I do a lot of solo walking...so always worry about safety and getting lost.....not anymore I don't...!!!!! The guides are always spot on....and that's what I do.just follow the blue spot...!!! Thank you.... It's my favourite app...!!!!
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!