Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Staffordshire, England.
At the end of July 2020, me and my dog, Winston, set out on our first camping trip together.
Since this was a trial run, we picked a campsite that was close to home (about a 1-hour drive away) just in case anything went wrong.
Here’s how we got on and what we thought of the site.
We stayed at the Caravanning and Camping Club site which is located on the edge of the forest.
It is open to both members and non-members (with members receiving a discount).
We booked a “grass pitch with electric” for 4 nights and stayed in our Quechua 4-man tent. (affiliate link)
We were given a spot in between two ready-camp tents that were not in use. It was on a slight slope, but not so steep that it caused any issues, and the ready-camp tents on either side gave us some privacy and also helped shield our tent from any wind.
Another big plus point was that we had direct access to the forest via the dog walk gate. This was super-convenient as it meant that we didn’t have to keep driving off-site.
Overall, the campsite was lovely. It was well-maintained, the staff were friendly and helpful and always on hand, and the facilities that were open were clean (some were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions).
The only negative is that the campsite is the equivalent to a black hole when it comes to getting a mobile phone signal. The site is located in a slight dip therefore you get zero reception, which also means no internet.
The campsite does advertise Club Wi-Fi on the website, however, it does also state that coverage cannot be guaranteed. During my stay, there was no coverage due to their wi-fi being down also.
As a digital marketer, I still had a bit of work to do while I was away camping, therefore I had to lug my full-sized laptop up to the top of what felt like Mount Everest, where I could use my personal wi-fi hotspot from my mobile phone.
Although this did create a bit of an issue for me, it did make our days a bit more adventurous!
I would load my extra-large backpack up with my laptop, water bottles for both me and my dog, a flask full of hot soup, a few slices of bread, and a couple of snacks. We would leave in the morning, hike to the top of the hill, do a bit of work, and then explore for the rest of the day, stopping for lunch at some point along the way.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking trails!
In the 4-days that I was there, I clocked up almost 30-miles and there were still areas that I did not manage to explore.
It’s worth noting that the trails are not flat and manicured. Often, you are walking over gravel, loose footing, and very uneven surfaces, and there are some very steep inclines and descents. Therefore, a decent pair of walking boots are a necessity. I wore a pair of Mountain Warehouse Adventure Boots*, which I really liked. (*affiliate link)
Mountain bike trails
Cannock Chase is probably most famous for its mountain bike trails. Particularly “Follow the Dog” and the new “Money Trail”.
When exploring, I very rarely saw other walkers, however, I encountered lots of mountain bikers.
Honestly, watching them zip though through the forest made me a bit jealous. Their trails twisted in and out of the trees with various obstacles and jumps and I really wanted to have a go! Heck, I would have even enjoyed walking their trails, let alone biking them!
But for obvious safety reasons, walkers were not allowed on the bike trails. So, my dog and I just had to watch from a distance. See if you can spot the cyclist in the below photo.
Although it was a bit stressful at times (emails compounding and no wi-fi to answer them) I think that overall, our first camping trip was a success!
We are now members of the Camping and Caravanning Club and are planning our next trip to another part of the UK soon!
Stay tuned for the next adventure!
Next Stop: Camping at Ebury Hill, Shrewbury