Downs Banks dog walk

Walking trail

Take a little exercise and enjoy the fresh air on this 1.5 mile (2.4km) route alongside the stream, or if you’re both feeling energetic, add 0.5 mile (0.8km) more and climb uphill for fantastic panoramic views.

Dog on a walk


Map route for Downs Banks dog walk


National Trust Downs Banks car park, grid ref: SJ900365


Head south out of the car park and turn right on to Washdale Lane keep your dog on a lead for now in case of traffic.

The wooden gate by the Downs Banks ford


Carry on for a short distance until reaching the stream. Cross the footbridge and turn right into the woods. (If your dog is safe around people, other dogs and wildlife, you may wish to let it off its lead here.) This babbling stream runs the length of Downs Banks along a serene rolling valley. Keep your eyes open and you may see the fantastic blue flash of a kingfisher.

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A crab apple tree covered in light pink blossom


Follow this path along beside the waters edge all the way to another footbridge and cross the stream again. (Last chance for dogs to paddle.)

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Once over the stream follow the path to a set of steps down one bank and up the other side. This hilly area was once the site of an ancient watermill. You now have two choices: turn right and take the shorter, flatter route along the valley bottom, back to the car park, or follow the Ridge Path up a steep hill to the highest viewpoint at Downs Banks.


If you choose to go uphill, follow a path that rises sharply ahead of you. There are benches on the way to the top, so take a rest any time you like.

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Pass the Millennium Monument and stay on the same route. When you reach a fence, turn right and follow the path through a gate. The Milennium Monument is a rock pillar standing at the highest point on the Downs and shows you what landmarks can be seen in the distance. On a clear day you have marvellous views across the Staffordshire countryside of up to 40 miles (64.3km).

The stone column of Downs Banks's toposcope in the sunshine


Once through the gate head straight on, back into woodland. Continue down steps along a wooded valley.


National Trust Downs Banks car park, grid ref: SJ900365

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Downs Banks dog walk


A 1.5 mile (2.4km) route along the valley floor. Easy-going on well-surfaced paths, suitable for rugged pushchairs and adventurous wheelchair users. A 0.5 mile (0.8km) extension up onto the hill tops is a little more strenuous and uneven. DOGGIE HIGHLIGHTS: with cool pools, muddy puddles, woods and open grassland, the Clent Hills offer a doggy paradise. No need for leads if your dog behaves itself around other dogs, horses and people. Please remove dog mess and dispose of it responsibly. Bins and water bowls available at Nimmings Wood car park.

Downs Banks dog walk

Contact us

Downs Banks dog walk

How to get here

Downs Banks, near Stone, Staffordshire
By train

Stone station 3 miles (4.8km)

By road

15 min south of Stoke-on-Trent and 10 min north of Stone off the A34

By foot

2 miles (3.2km) from Stone and Barlaston on footpaths, 0.5 mile (0.8km) from Trent & Mersey Canal

By bus

Service between Stoke-on-Trent station and Stafford station - alight at Barlaston or Stone

By bicycle

0.5 mile (0.8km) from Sustrans National Cycle Network route 5 (runs from Stoke-on-Trent to Stafford, through Stone)

Downs Banks dog walk

Facilities and access

  • Toilets - nearest in Stone town centre
  • Parking - plenty of room to park though no designated accessible spaces
  • Dogs - always welcome at Downs Banks. Please help us to keep the area special by clearing up dog mess and taking it home with you as there are no disposal facilities on-site
  • Refreshments - nearest shops and public houses in Stone town centre or Barlaston village
  • Picnic tables and benches can be found at regular intervals around Downs Banks