Hikers, mountain bikers, and campers will find peace and quiet at The Chase.
It might be the smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in mainland England, but what Cannock Chase lacks in size it makes up for in idyllic English countryside. Think rolling meadows, wildlife-filled woodlands, and sweeping heathlands that bloom with purple heather through the summer months and blaze with fall foliage through autumn. Miles of public access trails afford plenty of options for hiking, and bikes, horses, and dogs are welcome, too. Camping is available throughout the AONB, whether you prefer a family-friendly caravan park, a tranquil country campground, or a glamping pod with views across the heath.
The wooded valleys of the Punch Bowl, Seven Springs, and Abraham’s Valley are ideal for exploring on foot, by bike, or on horseback, and there are more than 80 miles of bridleways to discover. Hike along the Cannock Chase Circular Walk to see Fairoak Pool and the Stepping Stones; visit the 17th-century stately home and gardens of Shugborough Hall, a National Trust property; then park your motorhome at a quiet family campground.
Rugeley sits on the eastern edge of the AONB, affording easy access to the hiking and horseback riding trails of Cannock Chase Forest. Nearby, Birches Valley Forest Centre is a hit with mountain bikers, as well as offering Segway rides and a Go Ape Treetop Adventure course, or you can escape the crowds to wander the heathlands of Sherbrook and Oldacre Valleys.
Cannock and Hednesford are the gateways to the southernmost stretch of Cannock Chase AONB, which is dotted with historic sites. Dive into the region’s fascinating WWI history at the Museum of Cannock Chase, marvel at the Iron Age hill fort of Castle Ring, or head to Chasewater Country park to ride the Chasewater heritage railway and go kayaking or paddleboarding on the lake.