Great Haywood Canalside Campsite

UK England West Midlands Staffordshire Stafford

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
The simplest of canalside campsites with narrowboats chugging past and an award-winning farm shop over the road

A canalside location, a farm shop over the road, and a pub within walking distance are some of the headline features of Great Haywood Canalside Campsite. It’s also on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just 100 metres from a National Trust estate that’s reached via a walk over a historic bridge. But before you rush to book, take note of what it hasn’t got: frills. There are none. No showers, no electricity, and no flushing loos either.

This is the simplest of campsites with four chemical toilets and a drinking water tap to cater to your basic needs. You book online, let yourself in, and choose your own pitch in a flat four-acre field. Farmer Nick will be round to check on you later but it’s fair to say that confident, self-sufficient campers only need apply. What makes this place worthy of mention is its 100-metre frontage on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood Junction.

Pitch your tent facing the water (you’ll want to with the edge of the village behind) and you’ll have views of colourful narrowboats plying the waters. A marina sits on the other side of the canal and, if life on the water is calling you, there’s always the chance of day hire. Or, if you have a canoe, you can launch it just outside the site.

Back on dry land, the adventures are just as interesting, you only need to cross the bridge next to the site to get on the towpath and join the Staffordshire Way. In one direction this long-distance footpath will take you to the nearby village of Little Haywood, in the other and you’re soon crossing an ancient packhorse bridge into the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate. Pass through the parkland or pay up to explore the mansion house and gardens here. By now you’re in the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and for a proper hike the options are pretty much endless.

Great Haywood Campsite is not situated in an uncomplicated beauty spot. It’s on the edge of the village, and while it’s pretty, peaceful, and mostly green, there are buildings within sight of your pitch and a railway and a road within earshot (though the occasional whoosh of passing electric trains ceases at night). It also means there’s a pub and a farm shop with a cafe close by. For far-reaching views or camping with bells on look elsewhere, but for a simple weekend of canalside camping in the West Midlands with plenty of walks and farm-fresh produce in your picnic hamper, you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere better.



There are four chemical Portaloos, a drinking water supply, and that's about it! Campfires are allowed but must be on off-ground fire pits which campers will need to bring themselves.

Suitable For

Campers, groups, dogs – yes. Campervans, motorhomes, caravans – no.


The site is next to the Great Haywood Junction where the Trent and Mersey Canal meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Just over the waterway, there's a farm shop and cafe (see below) where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables, when in season. It's also the starting point for some great walks and cycle routes which are detailed on the cafe's website. The Staffordshire Millenium Way and the Two Priests Way, two long-distance footpaths, pass close by. About 100 metres away you reach the edge of the National Trust's Shugborough Estate (01889 880166) to explore the mansion house, gardens, and parkland there. The village sits on the edge of the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just six miles east of Stafford. If you fancy taking to the water, you can launch canoes from just outside the site and follow a nine-mile circular route on the canal and river. If you fancy something more sturdy, how about hiring a narrowboat for the day (you'll want to book in advance) from Anglo-Welsh (01173 041122) at the marina opposite site?

Food & Drink

Just over the road, there's an award-winning Canalside Farm Shop and cafe (01889 881747) with seasonal pick-you-own fruit and vegetables too and just down the road, there's a Spar general store and a pub, The Clifford Arms (01889 881321) which is dog friendly and serves pub grub. There are a further two pubs about a mile away in Little Haywood, The Red Lion (01889 881314) and The Lamb and Flag (01889 881501).



Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

A relaxed rural campsite on the edge of Cannock Chase overlooking canal junction and opposite a farm shop and cafe with pubs a 10-minute walk away.


50 undesignated pitches

Grass pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 8 20 Available
Spacious grass pitch next to the canal junction

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Contact Great Haywood Canalside Campsite, Mill Lane, Great Haywood, Staffordshire ST18 0RJ

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Getting There

From the A51 follow signs towards the Canalside Farm Shop which will take you on to Main Road through Great Haywood. At the mini roundabout turn off on to Mill Lane (again signposted for the Canalside Farm Shop).  The campsite is on the left after half a mile, opposite the shop. The closest stations are at Rugeley (just under six miles away) and Stafford (just over six miles form site). From either the 828 bus will get you to Great Haywood.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews


Great weekend

Had a great weekend ,Lovely site right on the canal , only one toilet but was clean. Site only spoiled by the uncut grass and many nettles which was a problem with kids running about and getting stung. But we will be back
Sep 19, 2021 by Carlin Anderson

Fantastic for a night!

We stopped saturday night. Lovely location with everything you need on the doorstep. The canal shop was fabulous. The only down side on the site was the thistles and nettles but I just swapped my shoes over from sandals and I was ok! Will definitely be back. 😁
Aug 30, 2021 by Zoe Hudson Verified Review

no frills,no fuss,no problems.

lovely little site, gorgeous canal/marina view. great location for many local attractions which are worth a visit (especially amerton farm for the kids) and a fresh as can be farm shop directly opposite the site. A tad pricey for no facilities, but would definitely stay again .

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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