Cycle 2: Trent & Mersey Canal, Cannock Chase & Shugborough Estate

5 miles - 60 minutes

This is a longer version of Route 1 incorporating part of Cannock Chase.

Start of Cycle Route 2: From our Farm gate [1], turn right, cross over the road and then the bridge. Turn down left to join the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath. Go right on the towpath and then over the beautiful Junction Bridge [2] that crosses the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Continue straight following the gentle contours of the Trent & Mersey Canal, past a lock and immediately under a bridge. 200m later you will go under an old bridge that used to be a main entry into the Shugborough  Estate. A further 400m on, duck under a low road bridge then up the steps immediately on the right [3]. Turn left on the road (Meadow Lane) and ride on 200m to meet the A513. Cross over the road and go up a short access road leading to a parking area of Cannock Chase called Severn Springs [4]. Leave this area in a 1 o’clock direction to pick up a main riding/walking track towards Stepping Stones (800m) in the beautiful Sherbrook Valley.

Cross over Sherbrook at the iconic stepping stones and turn right. After 200m you will come to a major right turn (to Punch Bowl) which you should ignore. Stay on this track veering left to rise up a bank, go straight over and bear right to follow a cutting (known as the “German Cutting” as it used to contain a railway that led up to the First World War camps that once covered Cannock Chase). 100m down this cutting is an opportunity to go right [5]. Take this and drop steadily down bearing right to reach Milford Common (a popular picnic and play area). Head to the right of the Common to the main entrance of the Shugborough Estate [6]. Go through the entry gate (a pedestrian gate is normally unlocked when the main gates are closed to cars),  cycle up the beautiful wooded drive and after 800m you will emerge into the open fields of the Shugborough Estate.

Follow the drive to the main car park, go through the car park and left, down past Shugborough Farm [7] (open to the public). Continue straight past the left drive option to Shugborough Hall, heading towards the wooded area 200m in front. Here cross the historic Essex Bridge [8] (it looks like 3 rivers meet here, but it’s actually only two – the Trent and the Sow. The third is a manmade detour of the Sow brought close to Shugborough Hall for aesthetic value!). Cycle 20m and turn right through the wall to join the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath. Turn left under the footbridge, past a lock and on to Junction Bridge before rejoining the road back to our Farm gate [1].