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The People Perspective: Gary and Nicola Thomas

After a long walk or cycle ride through the delightful forests and heaths of Cannock Chase, there is nothing better than stopping off for lunch or ending the day in a traditional inn and family friendly pub. The Chetwynd Arms in the village of Upper Longdon on the western side of the Chase is a local family run business offering freshly cooked homemade food.

How would you describe your business, and what is the story of your relationship with Cannock Chase?

We are based in the middle of Upper Longdon village which is on a direct route to the picturesque Cannock Chase. There are racing stables on either side of the village and we have the great pleasure of being on their direct daily route to exercise their horses on the Chase. We are a very dog friendly establishment as walkers regularly get dragged in by their furry friends for refreshments either on the way to their daily walk on the Chase or on the way back. We have facilities to allow horses to be secured whilst their owners have a refreshment and a cycle secure area for the many cyclists who pass through to the bike routes over the Chase.

How would you say your business benefits from its location and relationship with Cannock Chase?

Beaudesert Camp and Caravan site is not very far away from us, which is a lovely quiet break away from the hussle and bustle for people from all over the UK.  We very often welcome many of their guests for meals and drinks – usually in our beer garden to maintain that outdoor feel for them, or inside for a warm and cosy meal away from the camping life. Gary and I are also in mobile Brit Stops magazine welcoming stop overs for a quick meal and refresh before people continue on their way.

How would you describe Cannock Chase to someone who has never visited?

Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty no matter the season with picturesque villages and bridle paths to walk; the chase has amazing walks for people and dogs, cyclists and horse riders alike allowing a very diverse and unique experience to the general public.

The water holes and natural pools offer respite for all on hot days and very often you will hear the splash of dogs enjoying a swim or game of catch while owners and children enjoy the watching. The wildlife is abundant should you be an early riser you will very often encounter many species of birds and deer on your walk.