People interested in working off the extra helpings during festive parties and Christmas dinners are invited to stay active over the holidays and explore Staffordshire on foot and by bike.
With acres of country parks, extensive canal towpaths and miles upon miles of cycle paths, Staffordshire continues to be a great county for walking and cycling, and promises to be especially beautiful on dry, crisp winter days.
Now, Staffordshire County Council has revealed some of its top locations to keep active over the holidays. Highlights include:
- Cannock Chase – Staffordshire’s own piece of the National Forest hides miles and miles of mountain bike and walking trails that are free to use and accommodate every level of skill. Even away from these routes, much of Cannock Chase is also perfect for a scenic cycle ride or walk.
- Apedale Country Park – a short three mile trip from Newcastle-Under-Lyme town centre will plant visitors on top of Apedale Country Park. Stunning views, green space and a visitor’s centre makes this the perfect spot for a well-earned picnic.
- The Pedal PEAK project links Staffordshire with the Peak District. It takes riders from the Caldon Canal in Stoke on Trent through to Cheddleton with a split to Waterhouses and Derbyshire or Tittesworth Reservoir in beautiful countryside on newly improved tow paths and signed road routes.
- South Staffs Railway Walk – Linking the south of the county with Wolverhampton and Dudley, the South Staffordshire Railway Walk provides a beautiful walking path and cycle ride under a canopy of trees away from any vehicles, all running along the disused railway line.
- Chasewater Country Park’s 90 hectare reservoir provides a five mile circular route with a great view of the lake with no traffic and plenty of stops for turkey leftover picnics and tea breaks. Great for walking and cycling.
- Tamworth Castle grounds and a network of canals and car-free routes nearby make trips on a bike or on two feet around this historic site safe and memorable.
- The National Cycle Network – Route 5 and Route 55 run straight through Staffordshire, taking in dozens of Staffordshire towns and villages, miles of canal towpaths and acres of beautiful countryside.
- The Roaches – a hike in the challenging Staffordshire moorlands will work off any Christmas dinner calories and reward those who beat it with the best views of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Peak District National Park.
Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Transport and highways at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Staffordshire really is the perfect county for cycling and walking and ideal to walk off the extra pounds gained over the festive holidays.
“Whether its gentle scenic walks, or more challenging hikes or cyclerides you’re after, we’ll have something for you. Walking and cycling are great activities that help the whole family stay fit and healthy and with improvements to cycleways right across the county, we are committed to making it easier and safer for people to get out and about.”
Criss-crossing Staffordshire are 240km of rural cycle lanes, 772km of Public Rights of Way, more than 2000km of country lanes and over 80km of the National Cycle Network. Individual cycling maps for each district, which show both traffic free and quieter routes suitable for cycling on the road are available from local libraries. People can find out more by visiting www.staffordshire.gov.uk/transport and clicking ‘cycling and walking’