Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England
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Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England

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If you’re longing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, look no further than the magnificent Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire, England.

This enchanting forest, nestled in the heart of the Midlands, offers a delightful retreat filled with an abundance of trails to wander, fascinating wildlife to observe, and awe-inspiring vistas to behold.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking new horizons or simply yearning for a change of scenery, Cannock Chase Forest caters to all. It’s even a dog-friendly destination, so you can bring along your furry friends for a tail-waggingly good time. For those seeking an extra dose of adventure, why not embark on the thrilling Go Ape Treetop Adventure or explore the forest on a Segway tour?

Cannock Chase Forest isn’t solely about action and excitement though. It also offers tranquil spots where you can pause and savor the serenity of nature. Cozy picnic areas and campsites provide ideal settings for a romantic getaway or a memorable family outing.

So, grab your trusty walking boots, pack a bag of delectable snacks, and set off for Cannock Chase Forest – your next extraordinary escapade awaits!

Scroll on to read: Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England.

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Cannock Chase Map

Cannock Chase Forest Essentials Checklist:

Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England

Best walking trails in Cannock Chase Forest

Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England

When it comes to outdoor adventure in Staffordshire, the walking trails in Cannock Chase Forest are top-notch. There’s something for everyone, from a leisurely stroll on the Ladyhill Trail to more challenging hikes through the contrasting landscapes of this AONB.

If you want to find the cream of the crop when it comes to trails, then check out AllTrails. They’ve got the top 10 walking trails in Cannock Chase AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), so you don’t have to waste time sifting through mediocre routes.

But beware, if you’re not careful you might just fall head over heels for the stunning views and natural beauty of this forest! So put on your walking shoes and hit the trails, because the best things in life are often the most adventurous.

Walking trails in Cannock Chase Forest:

  • Chase Heritage Trail (easy, 10 miles full route, 3.2 miles short loop)
  • Fairoak Trail (easy, 2.5 miles)
  • Ladyhill Trail (easy, 1 mile)

Cycling routes for beginners in Cannock Chase Forest

cannock chase forest cycling trail

Looking to hit the pedals but not quite ready to tackle the Tour de France? Fear not, dear adventurer, as Cannock Chase Forest has plenty of cycling routes for beginners!

You can take your pick from relaxing family rides through the forest or head to the Cannock Chase Cycle Centre and grab a trail map for just £1.50.

And don’t worry if you don’t have all the gear and no idea, as the routes cater to all levels. But if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can test your skills on the dedicated single-track Follow the Dog and Monkey Trail routes. Just be sure to bring your sense of adventure and a good sense of balance!


Off-road biking trails in Cannock Chase Forest

Well, it’s time to take your off-road biking skills to the next level! If you’re looking for a challenge, Cannock Chase Forest has some great options for you. These trails are no walk in the park, so get ready to put your skills to the test.

From tight turns to steep climbs, these trails are sure to get your heart racing. But don’t worry, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you finish will be worth it.

If you need to take a break and blow off some steam, you can always stop and admire the picturesque forest views.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your helmet on, your bike ready, and hit those off-road biking trails in Cannock Chase Forest!

Biking trails in Cannock Chase Forest:

  • Breeze into the Forest Trail (women only, age 16+)
  • Fairoak Trail (beginners, 2.5m)
  • Follow the Dog Trail (expert, 6.7m)
  • Perry’s Trail (moderate, 2.7m)
  • Pedal and Play Trail (beginners, 1.2m)
  • The Monkey Trail (expert, 14.2m)
  • Stile Cop Bike Park (elite level)

🚗 Day trip from Birmingham:

Birmingham to Cannock Chase is just 35 mins by car (or 1 hour 12 mins by train). Here are all the best things to see and do in Birmingham.

Family-friendly activities in Cannock Chase Forest

go ape

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s something for everyone at this adventure-packed forest.

From mountain biking and orienteering to horse riding and walking, you’re sure to find an activity that gets your heart pumping.

And if you’re feeling particularly brave, why not try your hand at the longest combined crossing of any Go Ape location, with nearly 1,500 meters of tree-to-tree crossings?

But don’t worry, there’s plenty of family-friendly activities too! The kiddos will have a blast at the adventure play area or exploring the activity trails. And for our furry friends, there’s even a dog-friendly section of the forest.

Looking for quiet spots for picnics in Cannock Chase Forest? Pingle Slade is the perfect spot for picnics and ball games. It’s a large open area within the Pine Forest, and it’s just a short walk from the car park/main visitor area. So, if you’re looking for a spot to relax and have some fun, this could be a great choice.

Go Ape Cannock (Birches Valley Forest Centre)
Admission: £0 First 15 minutes free (dropping bike off/ quick walk of the dog or cup of tea), £3 up to 1 hour, £5 up to 2 hours, £8 whole day (until gates are closed), £8.00 for minibus, £10.00 for coaches
Opening times: 10am-2pm daily (closed on Mondays)
Book your Go Ape tickets here:

Educational activities for kids in Cannock Chase Forest

Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England 1

Cannock Chase Forest has got a lot to offer in terms of educational activities for kids! This Midlands gem is not only a wonderful place to explore nature but also a fantastic spot to learn a thing or two.

First off, forget about classrooms with four walls – Cannock Chase Forest is a classroom with no walls. “This living, breathing forest is a versatile learning space where kids can think and explore to their heart’s content.” They can uncover the secrets of the forest with their classmates, and who knows, they may even stumble upon some Gruffalo sculptures along the way.

And let’s not forget about the forest rooms for hire, the café, and the variety of trails that Cannock Chase has to offer. These make the forest an ideal setting for groups to engage in hands-on education while keeping their active minds engaged.

So whether you’re from Birmingham, Walsall, or Stoke on Trent, Cannock Chase Forest is a place to visit if you’re looking to educate your kids in a fun and interactive way. From fairytale trails to forest rooms, the forest has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the fun, folks!

🍁 Top Tip: head to Cannock Chase Forest in autumn: for some of the best views and activities when the leaves are golden hues of yellow, orange and brown!

Birdwatching spots in Cannock Chase Forest

upper cliff, Cannock Chase Forest
Upper Cliff, Cannock Chase Forest

Bird lovers rejoice! Cannock Chase Forest is a great spot to catch a glimpse of some feathered friends.

With over 6,700 hectares of woodland and upland heath, there are plenty of habitats for our avian acquaintances to thrive in.

And now, paying for parking has become a breeze with the RingGo app. So grab your binoculars and head on over to Cannock Chase Forest for a tweet-tastic time!

🐦‍⬛ Birdwatching locations in Cannock Chase Forest:

  • Sherbrook Valley
  • Brockton Coppice
  • Seven Springs

Best spots for Stargazing in Cannock Chase Forest

cannock chase forest star gazing

According to Go Stargazing, the forest is estimated to have light pollution levels similar to a semi-rural location, which means you’re in luck for some quality stargazing.

For specific spots, check out Go Stargazing, which lists several car parks in the area that are great for stargazing. These include Brocton, Penkridge Bank, Seven Springs, and Stile Cop.

If you’re looking for a guided stargazing experience, Forestry England offers star-gazing events in Cannock Chase Forest. You can book a spot by calling 0300 067 5359. Ticket prices are £16 for adults and £8 for children aged 8-16. Payment is taken upon booking, so don’t wait too long to reserve your spot!

So whether you’re an amateur astronomer or just someone who loves to gaze up at the stars, Cannock Chase Forest has plenty of options for you to get your stargazing fix. Happy stargazing!

🌌 Stargazing locations in Cannock Chase Forest:

  • Brindley Bottom Car Park
  • Camp Field Car Park
  • Coppice Hill Car Park
  • Penkridge Bank Car Park
  • Seven Springs Car Park
  • Stile Cop Car Park
  • White House Car Park

Brief History of Cannock Chase Forest

Let’s take a look at Cannock Chase Forest’s history, it’s a real cracker! This forest in Staffordshire has been around for a while and has seen its fair share of activity, becoming one of the best things to do in the West Midlands.

Despite its popularity as a leisure destination, Cannock Chase Forest has a haunting history that dates back to prehistoric times.

From the Iron Age to present day, Cannock Chase Forest has seen it all. There are plenty of Cannock Chase Forest history and heritage tours to take, including checking out the ancient parkland at Shugborough Hall.

The forest has since been home to military camps and air bases during both World Wars. But it’s not all ancient history – the forest is still used for active mining, quarrying, and forestry operations today. So, if you’re planning a trip to Cannock Chase Forest, be sure to keep your wits about you and watch out for those active mining areas!

Cannock Chase Forest: Outdoor Adventures in the Heart of England 2

The Cannock Chase Forest Murders

This is a bit of a dark and twisty topic here. The Cannock Chase murders, also known as the A34 murders, the Babes in the Ditch murders, and the Half-Day murders, were a gruesome series of murders that took place in Staffordshire, England between 1965 and 1967. Three young girls between the ages of 5 and 7 were abducted, raped, and strangled before being dumped in the forest. An absolutely horrific crime that stunned Britain.

The bodies of all three children were found in Cannock Chase Forest. And if you thought this story couldn’t get any darker, well, think again. The murderer, Raymond Morris, was finally brought to justice after almost 50 years of being on the loose. And let’s just say that justice was long overdue.

Read More: 23 Wonderful Things to Do in Stoke, England

Cannock Chase Forest Map:

Looking for directions? Use this map of Cannock Chase Forest as a guide – it features some of the highlights mentioned earlier in this post.

📍dark blue pin = museums/landmarks

📍light blue = car parks

📍orange pin = activities

📍green pin = camp sites/lodges

📍red pin = cafe

📍purple pin = visitors centre

General Information about Cannock Chase Forest

Cannock Chase Forest address:

Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UZ

Cannock Chase Forest car park:

There are 3 car parks at Cannock Chase Forest and they are: Birches Valley Forest Centre car park (open 7:30am-9pm), Camp Field car park, and Nine Gates car park.

Cannock Chase Forest opening times:

Cannock Chase Forest is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day.

  • Winter (October-March): 10am-4pm daily
  • Summer (April-September): 10am-5pm daily
  • Weekends: 10am-5pm

Cannock Chase Forest Cafe

Grounds Cafe is located at Birches Valley and provides a high-street cafe experience to walkers, cyclists, families, and all who enjoy the countryside. There are also cafes available at each visitor center within the forest, providing food and drink options for visitors.

Accessibility features in Cannock Chase Forest

If you’re looking for a fun day out in Cannock Chase Forest but need some accessibility features, don’t worry, the forest has got you covered!

According to Accessibility Guides, the forest offers a variety of activities and amenities suitable for all ages and abilities, including level access to the main entrance of the forest, a children’s play area, and woodland walks.

If you’re interested in biking, the Cannock Chase Cycle Centre is also accessible, with a 2000mm wide route and 750mm wide door.

cannock chase forest autumn leaves

Where to Stay in Cannock Chase Forest and Nearby:

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Cannock Chase Forest FAQs:

Where is Cannock Chase Forest located?

Cannock Chase Forest is situated in Staffordshire, England, north of Birmingham. It can be found between the towns of Cannock, Hednesford, and Rugeley. The forest is easily accessible via the A51 or A34, and the Sat Nav postcode for the Forest Centre is WS15 2UQ.

What is Cannock Chase famous for?

Cannock Chase is famous for being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Staffordshire, England. It is a mixed area of countryside managed by Forestry England, offering scenic landscapes, wildlife, and recreational activities such as walking, cycling, and orienteering.

What type of forest is Cannock Chase?

Cannock Chase is a mixed area of countryside in Staffordshire, England, comprising coniferous and broadleaf woodlands as well as open land [3]. It is designated as the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is managed by Forestry England

How long is Cannock Chase walk?

The length of walks in Cannock Chase can vary depending on the specific trail chosen. There are various trails available, including short woodland walks and longer circular routes. Examples include a lovely woodland walk through Cannock Chase and a 6.9-mile circular walk, among others

Do you have to pay to get into Cannock Chase?

No, you do not have to pay to enter Cannock Chase. It is a freely accessible area in southern Staffordshire, England, and there are no entrance fees mentioned in the search results.

Is Cannock Chase worth visiting?

Cannock Chase is definitely worth visiting. It has received positive reviews from travelers, with many considering it well worth a visit. It is an accessible area of outstanding natural beauty, offering opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. Additionally, the Cannock Chase German War Cemetery is also worth a visit for its historical significance.

Are there wild boar on Cannock Chase?

Yes, there have been sightings of wild boar on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, England. The presence of wild boar in the area has been reported, and residents have been advised to keep their distance and not approach the animals.

Is Cannock the Black Country?

Cannock is not considered part of the Black Country. Cannock is a town located in the Cannock Chase district of Staffordshire, England, which is distinct from the Black Country region. The Black Country refers to a different area in the West Midlands region of England.

What animals are in Cannock Chase?

Cannock Chase is home to a diverse range of wildlife species. The area supports various animals, including deer, badgers, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, birds such as woodpeckers and buzzards, reptiles such as adders, and insects like butterflies and dragonflies. The rich habitats of Cannock Chase contribute to its significance as a habitat for these amazing creatures.

How large is Cannock Chase Forest?

Cannock Chase Forest covers an area of mixed countryside in Staffordshire, England. It is designated as the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is managed by Forestry England. While the exact size of the forest is not specified in the search results, it comprises a significant portion of the Cannock Chase area.


All in all, Cannock Chase Forest is definitely worth the visit if you’re looking for a natural escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re into birdwatching, hiking, cycling, camping, or just lazing about in the great outdoors, this forest has got you covered.

With its stunning views, diverse wildlife, and endless activities to keep you busy, you’re sure to have a tree-mendous time in Cannock Chase Forest. So, what are you waiting for? Get your hiking boots on, grab your binoculars, and get ready to explore this Midlands gem.

Further Reading: more West Midlands posts

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