Best walks in Staffordshire

From the atmospheric ridges of The Roaches to the gorgeous lowlands of Dimmings Dale, here are our favourite walks in Staffordshire

Derelict barn at Roach Head, Peak district, Staffordshire, UK
Published: February 8th, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Marmite, Alton Towers, potteries – the West Midlands' county of Staffordshire is famous for many things. Not to be overlooked is its countryside.

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Comprising vast moorlands and gritstone ridges, great reservoirs and rivers – not least the mighty Trent – and numerous historic towns and cities, Staffordshire has something for everyone.

So strap on your boots, grab your map and hit the trail with our round up the best walks in Staffordshire.


Best walks in Staffordshire

Three Shires Head

6.2 miles/10km | 4 hours | moderate

Waterfalls, bridge and river
The Packhorse Bridge at the River Dane at Three Shires Head where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet/Credit: Alamy

In England there are an astonishing 68 county tripoints, but perhaps none as lovely as Three Shires Head where Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire converge in an isolated Peak District valley. 

Here, two bridges span the meeting of waters, a duo of waterfalls cascading over rocks to gather in mountain-cold plunge pools. Hikers, photographers and wild swimmers are all drawn to this beauty spot, so it’s best to come early in the day. Enjoy an invigorating swim, a hot drink and the first rays of the summer sun before continuing on your figure-of-eight hike. 

In the nesting season, the plaintive cries of curlew are a constant soundtrack above the upland streams, while the surrounding moorlands are splashed with purple heather towards summer’s end

Three Shires Head walking route and map


The Roaches

5.8 miles/9.3km | 4 hours | moderate

Atmospheric hills
Walk the great Roaches ridgeline/Credit: wamp, Getty

Late summer is a wonderful time of year to walk The Roaches ridgeline as it flushes purple with flowering heather.

But with such striking scenery and the opportunity for numerous wildlife encounters, this Peak District gem is well worth the visit no matter what the season. Experience the hills in all their glory on a six-mile circular walk.

The Roaches walking route and map


Dimmings Dale

6.2km/3.8 miles | 2 hours | easy/moderate

Dimmingsdale, Staffordshire
Dimmings Dale on an early autumn’s day in Staffordshire/Credit: Getty

Magnificent woods clothe the banks of the River Churnet and its canyon-like valley in North Staffordshire.

Between Leek and the picturesque little town of Alton, the watercourse wriggles its way through this secluded, arboreal landscape. It surges through the occasional village amid a beguiling countryside brimming with heritage, far from that madding crowd. 

At Dimmingsdale (Dimmings Dale) near Alton, set between woodland-fringed ponds and nearby Lord’s Bridge across the Churnet, stands the Ramblers’ Retreat tearoom, a long-established favourite with walkers and cyclists. It’s an architectural flight-of-fancy that was formerly a towered lodge house on the vast Alton Abbey Estate owned by the Earls of Shrewsbury. A trace of the old Abbey, later renamed Alton Towers, is now at the heart of the famous theme park.

Dimmings Dale walking route and map


Ilam and Dove Dale

5 miles/8.2km | 3 hours | moderate

Heavily wooded slopes in Dove Dale, Peak District National Park
Explore the beautiful landscape of deep green woodland on steep hillsides on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. /Credit: Getty

Explore Dove Dale and its surrounding countryside with a three-hour walk, starting at the pretty village of Ilam. One of the highlights is The Church of the Holy Cross, with its curious crown-shaped annex. Inside, find Bertram’™s shrine: King of Mercia turned hermit, who dedicated his life to God after his Irish princess and baby were mauled to death by wolves.

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Ilam and Dove Dale walking route and map

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