Tom Burnett: “On a good pub walk…” – Tom Burnett


Two of my favourite things about living in the Staffordshire Moorlands are the countryside and the pubs – in no particular order.

Our countryside is – and I admit I am slightly biased in this regard – some of the most beautiful in the country and we have some truly excellent pubs.

Even as someone who has lived in Leek their entire life there are still some areas of the district I have not been walking in – and some places I have not yet had a pint.

I told myself at the start of this year that I wanted to visit every pub in the Staffordshire Moorlands I had never been to before while walking around the district. Both as an opportunity to visit new pubs and a chance to do some much needed exercise.

The Stafford Arms pub in Bagnall

Obviously global circumstances this year have sort of put an end to that aspiration but on Sunday – with my fiancee working and myself on a rare day off – I visited Bagnall and Stanley.

Between them there are a total of three pubs in that area I had never been to before. I got off the bus at Stockton Brook and trekked up to Bagnall – starting at the Stafford Arms. That pub is in a beautiful location right in the heart of the village.

After that I began heading back down Clewlows Bank but spotted a public footpath through some fields and decided that would be a bit more scenic.

The Travellers Rest pub in Stanley

A short time later I came out at Stanley Pool and – despite not knowing the area particularly well – eventually used public footpaths to come out near my second destination, the Travellers Rest in Stanley.

Again I sat inside, on a rather comfortable armchair, and enjoyed an ale before heading downhill to the final pub on my tour – the Rose and Crown at Stanley Moor. This time I chose to sit outside and it was again lovely.

I should mention at this stage that all these pubs had social distancing and other measures in place to deal with the current situation, all of which were being observed by all staff and customers when I was there. So that shouldn’t be a concern if you plan to visit any of them.

The Rose and Crown in Stanley Moor

Initially my plan was to walk back to Leek – via the Hollybush at Denford – however one of my mates sent me a message asking if I’d like to meet them in town for a pint so I instead I walked back to Stockton Brook and got transport back from there so as not to be late.

All-in-all I’d recommend that triangle as a good route for anyone who fancies a not-particularly-taxing pub walk in Staffordshire Moorlands villages.

I’ll be looking for my next crawl soon and am open to any suggestions on a good place for a trek and a pint.  Cheers!





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