Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal,
Walking is one of the nicest ways to explore the beautiful canals and rivers. Whether you fancy a 10 minute stroll or a vigorous all-day hike, by walking along the towpaths you’re guaranteed relaxing views of the water.
Canals and rivers offer accessible walking routes at all times of year. Aside from lock flights, your path is level and there’s little chance of getting lost! The unfolding scenery of a canal-side stroll also takes some beating. Where else could you find such a mix of wildlife, architecture, countryside and of course, the thing that brings it all to life, narrowboats.
But, perhaps the best part of a walk by the canal is the near-obligatory rest at a waterside pub. Sit back with a refreshing drink and watch the world float by. It’s all part of the canal experience. Or why not pack a picnic and enjoy an al fresco lunch anywhere you like? Remember, any extra calories consumed can always be walked off on the return leg.
Joining one of the guided walks that regularly take place along the canals and rivers is a great way to explore new places and meet new friends.
The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal runs through softly undulating West Midlands countryside. It skirts around the edges of Birmingham without ever becoming truly urban.
The canal was one of the major routes of the canal age, and would have been constantly busy with coal boats. It now forms part of two cruising rings, and is one of the prettiest ways to explore the region.
At one end, it connects to the River Severn at the historic Stourport Basins in the Georgian town of Stourport. The southern reaches of the canal run close to the River Stour, which is an important wetland habitat. The canal near Kidderminster and Kinver has unusual sandstone 'cliffs'.
At its northern end, in Staffordshire, it runs through the wild pine woods and heathland of Cannock Chase. It then passes the grounds of the grand Shugborough Estate, before joining the Trent & Mersey Canal.