Walking the Alrewas to Wychnor loop, Staffordshire.

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Autumnal walks are my favourite, I love the vibrant colours, the open fire smells and the excuse to cosy up in a pub afterwards. The Alrewas to Wychnor loop is a wonderful one to try to spot the seasonal changes. It takes in the vast Staffordshire canal network with some lovely spots for a break along the way. This walk is just over four miles so won’t take too long. Just be sure to take sturdy boots or wellies, you will have to tackle some wet, muddy fields along the way.

Begin the hike in the delightful village of Alrewas. You can park anywhere on the main road, we chose to stop just outside the George and Dragon pub which is next to one of my favourite local produce shops in the area. F W Coates butchers sells amazing local meats and freshly grown produce, make sure you pop in to stock up before you head home.

Alrewas (pronounced Awl-ree-wus)is a small village located twenty minutes from Lichfield down the A38. It’s a sweet place to explore with some beautiful old buildings, plenty of pubs and the winding River Trent.

Alrewas to Wychnor Route

Cross the road (very carefully as it can be a bit busy) and head down Post Office road. You’ll pass the Crown Pub on your right. Keep going until you hit the canal bridge and walk down to the Canal path to the left. You don’t have to go under the bridge. It will be sign posted Mythaholme and the National Memorial Arboretum and the National Forest Way. Keep going and you’ll see this little sign to Shardlow at your feet – just to check you’re headed in the right direction.

From here it’s a lovely meander along the Canal where you’re bound to see some lovely long boats and pass over several gorgeous bridges.

We managed to spot some beautiful wildlife along the way and some sweet locks, ideal for gymnastics as you can see!

Just before another bridge you’ll see a stile to your left which will take you away from the canal. Up a grass covered hill where you’ll see Wychnor Church. This field is the original site of Wychnor village, a now deserted medieval site where timber homesteads and communal buildings once stood. The Domesday Survey of 1086 records this settlement as Wicenore, a village of six households. It later became known as Wichnor.

Cross over the field towards the church and head through the gate. Turn left and continue down the road. You’ll pass a few houses and some run down buildings to your left. Turn left at the bottom to another long stretch of very quiet road and some beautiful homes. You’ll pass a private fishery on your left. This is mainly hidden by the hedges but you might be able to peek through the leaves for some gorgeous views of the water.

Once you’ve passed the lake you’ll see some traffic lights indicating a one way road system. Continue through these and you’ll end up on a road past a golf course. This is a good pace for spotting any stray golf balls, we made it home with a few! Keep going until you get to Wychnor Country Club. Here you’ll be taking a left and following the National Forest Way footpath sign back down to the fields. You’ll need to keep the Country Club on your right. If you fancy a break, you can stop here for a quick drink at one of their outdoor tables.

From here the walk gets pretty muddy but the footpaths are easy to follow and there are several bridges across the worst of it. You’ll be heading down towards the river. then following its pat, keeping it on your right. This is a sweet wooded area and you’ll likely spot some cows grazing in the fields. Be sure to keep dogs on the lead to avoid scaring the cattle.

As you exit into open fields, try to continue to follow the National Forest Way signs but you’ll see the village of Alrewas in the distance. Just head towards that and you’ll be going in the right direction. Careful of your footing here, when we did the Alrewas to Wychnor walk it was riddled with cowpats.

At the end of the field you’ll find a small stile, cross over and follow the barbed wired fenced path to this beautiful bridge at the bottom. It’s a great place to stop for a quick game of Pooh Sticks. Cross over and you’ll come back out next to the original canal bridge, where you started.

We stopped at the Crown Inn for a quick drink in their lovely beer garden before returning to our car. It was a chilly but lovely way to end our Autumnal walk in Alrewas.

Parking: We parked at opposite the George and Dragon Pub, Post Code DE13 7AE. But you could park anywhere in Alrewas. Road parking is free.

Duration of Walk: The full loop took around two hours at just over four miles, you can see we took it slow.

Facilities: There are no public toilets on this walk but plenty of pubs in Alrewas to pop into.

The walk with dogs: I kept Holly on the lead for the duration of this walk as I didn’t want her chasing cattle or jumping in the canal. Make sure you clean up after your dog at all times.

If you’re looking for colourful Autumnal walks in Staffordshire then you’ll also love this rainy day walk to the stepping stones on Cannock Chase. Or if for one with fabulous views then check out this Dunstall Estate circular walk near Barton under Needwood. I also love this walk up Battlestead Hill near Tatenhill which has a great pub at the end of it.

Whilst you’re in the area, it’s well worth visiting the Alrewas National Arboretum, a beautiful place to explore. It’s totally free, you just have to pay for parking.

Staffordshire has so much glorious countryside and heaps of quiet walks to try. Have a look at my favourite walks near Lichfield here.

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