Cannock Chase (Ready Camp) Ready Camp
Cannock Chase, or 'the Chase' as it's known locally, is famed for its diverse wildlife. It may be the smallest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK but packed within its boundaries is so much flora and fauna that most of it is now also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), too. A herd of some 800 fallow deer are known to roam the woods, while a special feeding centre at the Marquis Drive Visitors' Centre attracts rare birds, from bullfinches to yellowhammers. If you want a wild break, the Chase should be high on your list.
Secluded away in the south eastern corner of the region, the established Cannock Chase Campsite certainly offers a prime spot to base yourself. Surrounded by trees, the site offers a grassy open space in which to camp but still with a rather remote, woodland feel. The recent addition of their new Ready Camp safari tents, meanwhile, also means you can camp here without the faff of bringing your own equipment. Inside the abodes (sleeping up to six with a maximum of four adults) are divided into two bedrooms with proper beds and an open plan living area with a well-equipped kitchenette. A deck to the front, meanwhile, offers a place to kick back on outdoor furniture and listen to the evening birdlife as small fledglings flitter along the tree-line.
As well as the varied wildlife, the real appeal of the place is the trails and footpaths that wiggle their way among the trees and across the meadows. Anyone who fancies walking further than the local pub (a mile and a half away) should stick a pair of sturdy shoes in their bag to really capitalise on the area, or bring a mountain bike along to challenge yourself on the well known local routes. The famous Follow the Dog trail and the newly opened Monkey Trail, start from the nearby Birches Valley Forest Centre and are always highlights for mountain biking campers, while walkers should keep their eyes peeled for the migrating nightjar as they follow the campsite's local footpath. It's one of the rarest and best camouflaged birds in the area. Rare, that is, unless you include some of Cannock Chase's most outlandish sightings. Werewolves, Bigfoot and even UFO's have all been reported in the area since the 19th century. One too many glasses of wine in the campsite? We'll let you be the judge of that.
FacilitiesReady Camp safari tents include a double bed, triple bunk bed and a pull out bed, along with kitchen facilities (hobs, fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, cutlery, crockery and utensils), a sofa, a wooden dining table and chairs. Ready Camp safari tents share facilities with the rest of the campsite, including a parent and baby room, family shower rooms, toilets, showers, full washroom facilities, washing machines and dishwashing facilities. Children's playground. Wifi is available across the site at an extra charge. Ice-pack freezing available. Campfires not permitted.
Suitable ForGlampers – yes (campers welcome elsewhere on the site). Dogs are not permitted in the Ready Camp safari tents.
NearbyThe campsites location in the heart of the Cannock Chase area is definitely the main appeal. As well as its bountiful wildlife, it offers endless walking and miles of exhilarating mountain bike trails, including the famous Follow the Dog trail and new Monkey Trail, which start from Birches Valley Forest Centre (01889 586593). For thrill seekers, Go Ape (0845 094 9253), 4 miles away, offers the chance to swing through the trees gorilla style – great for the whole family including little ones who can enjoy the Tree Top Junior course. The National Trust's Shugborough Estate (01889 880160), originally owned by the Bishops of Lichfield, is well worth a visit to get your fill of history. It's a 7 mile drive from the campsite, while the same distance in the opposite direction takes you to Chasewater Country Park, home to a beautiful reservoir with yet more bird watching, walking and cycling and a heritage railway (01543 452623) that's great for the whole family (but especially lovers of old steam locomotives).
Food & DrinkThe farmers' market in Cannock is the third Friday of each month and there is one in Lichfield on the first Thursday of each month, too. The nearest pub is 1½ miles away in Upper Longdon; The Chetwynd Arms (01543 490266) has a beer garden and serves proper pub portions, so be sure to arrive with an empty stomach.
PricingReady Camp safari tents from £26 per night.
The Owner Says
Your time spent…where it matters
Time away with family & friends is great, but let’s be honest - it can sometimes be hectic to even think about!
Ready Camp takes away some of the stresses and hassles of camping - having a preerected, canvas-wrapped haven with real beds, a kitchen and dining area. There’s no need to fill the car rammed to the rafters with an endless supply of ‘just in cases’. We give you back the time to do the fun things together with your friends and family.
Pack your bedding & a sense of adventure
Walk into a comfortable haven with cosy furnishings and oodles of little luxuries. With two bedrooms, an open plan living/dining area where you can wine and dine to your hearts content or put your feet up on the comfy settee after a long day’s adventure.
The Kitchen area includes a fridge, microwave and hob, along with basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. (We’ve even supplied the corkscrew!)
When it comes to light’s out…we’ve even included a torch for those midnight toilet trips, or just to make funny shadows on the tent!
Cannock Chase (Ready Camp), Cannock Chase Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Old Youth Hostel, Wandon, Rugeley, Staffordshire WS15 1QW
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