Best foot forward: Stone Ramblers have brought out a revised and updated edition of their popular walking booklet ‘Stone Circles’. While its 11 routes are basically the same, route diversions, removed landmarks and new stiles and signs have made the update necessary.
“Members and other walkers have been bringing these minor changes to our attention over the seven years since ‘Stone Circles’ was originally published,” Stone Ramblers Chairman George Greensides explained. “We set up a working party to revise the booklet and all the routes have been re-walked, carefully checked for signposts and waymarks and in some cases re-described.”
Ten of the routes are easy/average, ranging from a leisurely 1½ miles round Rough Close to a more strenuous 8 ½ miles between Barlaston and Downs Banks. Illustrated in full colour with photos and ordnance survey map sections, they lead to local beauty spots and places of interest such as Sandon Park, Barlaston Park and the villages of Moddershall and Swynnerton.
Of appeal to long-distance walkers, the final route ‘Stone Circles Challenge’ is an 18.7 mile circular tour taking in Salt, Norton Bridge, Barlaston and Milwich. Waymarked with green circular signs, it can also be done in sections using buses or two cars.
“In the Norton Bridge area, footpath diversions will be in place because of railway and road rebuilding,” Vice-Chairman David Wright pointed out. “However, Stone Ramblers are in close contact with contractors Staffordshire Alliance and have been assured that footpaths will remain open throughout the construction period.”
Changes to this and other routes will be published on Stone Ramblers’ website www.stoneramblers.com
Backed by the Borough Council’s Healthy Walking initiative, the booklet introduces the best way to discovering the attractive and varied area we live in – on foot.
“We know people don’t always find map-reading easy, and have made the descriptions as clear as possible,” Programme Coordinator Gerald Gittins explained. “But even confident map readers often like to have a guide book or leaflet to take along with them as well.”
Financed by the sales of the first edition, Stone Circles 2 costs the same £3.50 as before. The 36-page handy-sized booklet is on sale at Stone Library and Aston Marina, Webberley’s bookshop in Hanley and at various pubs en route; The Green Man at Milwich, The Boar at Moddershall and the Shoulder of Mutton at Fulford. Copies can also be ordered via Stone Ramblers’ website.