Silver circuit walk

ADVISORY NOTE: We have been informed that the footpath between points 6-9 is hard to access due to crops in the field. We would advise that upon reaching the road at point 6, turn right and take the bridleway on the left after the church. Follow this uphill on a track, past a farm, across a field, and through Highfields Park Farm. There is a footpath on the right, shortly before the road, which will get you back on track just before point 9.


2016 marked 25 years since the first trees were planted in The National Forest, and as part of the anniversary celebrations, the Silver Circuit was created.

This lovely 8-mile circular walk passes through Needwood Forest and down into the Trent Valley. It was designed to create a loop from the National Forest Way, which it follows between Tatenhill and the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Starting down in the Trent Valley, by the canal marina, the route takes you on a low level walk into the vibrant village of Barton Under Needwood, before entering the Dunstall Estate. This rolling parkland landscape gives good views back across the Trent Valley and climbs onto Tatenhill Common, before descending again to the valley floor. A final stretch along the Trent & Mersey Canal, with possible sightings of kingfishers, is a relaxing finish to the walk.


  • Car Parking
  • Children Welcome
  • Disabled Parking
  • Dogs Allowed
  • Open All Year
  • Picnic Area
  • Toilets
  • Walking Trails

Location Map

Barton Marina Barton under Needwood Staffordshire DE13 8DZ Staffordshire


Starts at: Barton Marina, Lichfield Road, Barton-under-Needwood, DE13 8DZ
Time: Allow 3.5 hours

OS Grid Ref: SK197181
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Walk type Medium Walks

Points of Interest

Barton Marina

This attraction opened for business in 2001. Situated on the Trent and Mersey canal the Marina is home for over 300 narrow boats. With the assistance of the National Forest Company, woodland covers much of the 90 acre site, intersected by a network of paths and bridges. There are plenty of walks to explore and a variety of wildlife to watch and enjoy. An independent cinema, shops, cafes and bars provide some opportunity for culture and refreshments after your walk!

St James Church, Barton under Needwood

Founded by Dr John Taylor, a native of the village, who’s father, William, worked in Needwood Forest. Once when the king, Henry VII, was hunting in the forest he became detached from his party and he came across William, who took the wet and cold monarch home to his cottage. In repayment for the kindness shown to him, the King undertook to pay for the education of William’s children. Later, his son John was appointed by Henry VIII as king’s clerk and chaplain. He quickly became a rich and influential man, but he never forgot the place of his birth and, in 1517, he obtained permission to erect a chapel. John Taylor died in 1535 but he lived to see the church completed. The church is a Grade II listed building and is a rare example of a church being completed in one lifetime. Inscriptions over alternate pillars of the nave tell of John Taylor’s career

Needwood Forest

This section of the walk takes you through Needwood Forest, in which you can find a number of areas of parkland and wood pasture. Often linked to the planned landscapes of historic buildings such as Dunstall Hall, parkland consists of grasslands with scattered trees. Unlike parklands, wood pasture tends to be unplanned and is usually the result of a grazing regime where a number of trees have been allowed to reach maturity. Both habitats are not only important in the landscape, but also for wildlife. Many of the trees are very old ‘veterans’ and support a wide range of other species within their trunks, branches and canopy.

Battlestead Hill

Sited at one end of the Tatenhill ridge, this is reputed to be the site of a bloody battle between the Angles and Danes. Big views across the Trent Valley from the ridge-top path capture the diversity of the National Forest as well as its heritage. This mature woodland is attractive in all seasons and especially so in spring, when primroses, bluebells and violets carpet the woodland floor.

Sinai Park House

Situated at the far end of the ridge (and off route) this is an historic site with its holy spring and commanding views over the Trent valley. It has been a Roman outpost; a Medieval manor with a hilltop moat; a C14th Monastery and a hunting lodge. Sold as a Co-op farm in 1905, it is now a family home and undergoing restoration. It occupies one end of the Tatenhill ridge, with Battlestead Hill at the other end, reputed to be the site of a bloody battle between the Angles and Danes.

Tatenhill Lock

This is one of the 76 locks on the 93-mile Trent and Mersey Canal. It was designed by James Brindley and completed in 1777 to carry industrial goods. The canal today is an attractive and tranquil spot where wildlife and people coexist.