1st April – Penkridge to Abbots Bromley

20190401 Staffordshire and Worcester Canal
The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal

I was able to get an early breakfast and left Penkridge at 8.00.  I had a pleasant easy start strolling along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal before turning east and climbing up to Cannock Chase Forest.

20190401 Marina

Navigation through the forest was a little problematic due to the plethora of paths and lack of signage.  In the end I just took any trail heading east and soon found the Sherbrook Valley.

20190401 Cannock Chase approaching the Sherbrook Valley
Cannock Chase approaching the Sherbrook Valley

The route crossed the stepping stones before climbing over the ridge and dropping down to join the Trent and Mersey Canal.

20190401 Trent and Mersey Canal near Bishton
Trent & Mersey Canal near Bishton

The canal runs parallel to the River Trent down to Rugeley where the Power Station is a landmark.

20190401 Rugeley Power Station
Rugeley Power Station

Having spent about an hour walking south-east when I really wanted to go north-east, the Staffordshire Way finally turned in the required direction. The pubs at Colton were all closed and there are no shops, so I carried on to Stockwell Heath, where I stopped for lunch by a delightful duck pond.

20190401 Lunch stop at Stockwell Heath
Lunch stop at Stockwell Heath

From there the way crossed another ridge and descended to Blithfield Reservoir.  The Staffordshire Way takes a circuitous route avoiding crossing the dam.

20190401 Crossing Blithfield Reservoir
Crossing Blithfield Reservoir

I think I must be becoming a serial law-breaker, but as I could see lots of cars and people on the dam, I nipped across as well, and reached Abbots Bromley at 2.45.

20190401 Butter Cross Abbots Bromley
Butter Cross at Abbots Bromley
20190401 Anyone need fuel
Petrol, anyone?

As I was too early to go to my B&B at Marsh Farm, I took the opportunity to shop for tomorrow’s lunch and check out the route I wanted to take from the farm.

Unfortunately, as the route was not a right of way, my landlady told me that I would probably be stopped and turned back.  She then offered to return me to Abbots Bromley in the morning.  As I have well over 20 miles to walk to get to Dovedale and the weather is breaking up, plus I do not enjoy walking along busy roads with no pavement, I was happy to accept.


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