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Nanny’s Rock is a series of rock houses that have been carved into the red sandstone of Kinver Edge. A high heath and woodland escarpment in Staffordshire.
Years ago, these were a series of cave dwellings that used to be called ‘Meg-o-Fox-Hole’. Today, it’s been abandoned and lies empty.
Although it is a popular tourist attraction on the Rock House Trail of Kinver Edge, Nanny’s Rock is not straightforward to find here in the countryside.
There are limited signs and it’s easy to lose track. Here is how to find Nanny’s Rock on Kinver Edge with detailed walking directions!
What are Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses?
Kinver Edge is a high heath and woodland escarpment that is made of red sandstone. It has two Iron Age hill forts and was previously a Mercian forest.
It has been a tourist attraction since Edwardian Times and is most famous for the Holy Austin Rock Houses which are now owned and protected by the National Trust.
These were some of the last cave dwellings in England that were inhabited by families until the 1960s. Today, these have been restored for tourism.
As well as the Holy Austin Rock Houses, there are other unrestored cave houses to visit in the countryside like Nanny’s Rock and Vale’s Rock (Crow’s Rock).
Nanny’s Rock used to be called ‘Meg-o-Fox-Hole’ and it is thought that a lady called ‘Margaret of the Fox earth’ used to dwell here until her death in 1617.
There are a series of five compartments but it has never been proven who these were inhabited by. You’ll find it on a short walk through the woods from the Holy Austin Rock Houses.
How to visit Kinver Edge in Staffordshire
To start the Nanny’s Rock walk, you’ll need to make your way over to Kinver Edge in the Staffordshire countryside.
This is located above the quaint village of Kinver which is 45 minutes drive from Birmingham and near the Shropshire Hills.
It’s easiest to drive as it’s quite a remote location and Kinver doesn’t have a train station. But, you can take a bus from Stourbridge or Kidderminster.
It can also be incorporated as part of a walk on the Staffordshire Way long-distance path which spans the county.
Kinver Edge postcode is Kinver, Stourbridge, DY7 6DL. Click here for a Google Pin!
Nanny’s Rock and Kinver Edge Parking
There is lots of parking around Kinver Edge to park for the Nanny’s Rock walk and all of it is free.
I personally parked up on Compton Road. There are lots of free and shaded spaces here.
Alternatively, you can park up in the National Trust Car Park on Kingsford Lane.
How to Find Nanny’s Rock on Kinver Edge
Although the Holy Austin Rock Houses on Kinver Edge are very easy to find as they are managed by the National Trust as a tourist attraction. Nanny’s Rock is a little harder to locate on Kinver Edge on the Rock Houses Trail.
It’s around a 30-minute walk from the rock houses through the countryside beneath the hillfort and ‘edge’ itself and it’s not a straightforward walk.
There is one sign that points you towards the cave in the beginning and, after that, you’re on your own.
But, there are some ways to ensure you find it easily. I will provide some detailed directions below.
The main thing to keep in mind is you need to follow the purple arrows on the Rock Houses Trail.
Nanny’s Rock walk directions
Here are some detailed directions on how to find Nanny’s Rock. These directions start from the FREE parking on Compton Road near the Holy Austin Rock Houses.
But, these directions can also be followed from the National Trust Car Park on Kingsford Lane.
1. Start off at the Kinver Edge parking on Compton Road
When you’ve parked up on Compton Road, you’ll find a sign that points towards the Rock Houses.
You’ll need to head opposite this path towards the National Trust car parking area on Kingsford Lane. You’ll be following the purple arrows through the forest for this walk.
Keep walking until you see a sign that points towards both the Rock Houses and the Car Park. Then, walk directly behind this sign.
2. Head straight until you see the sign for Nanny’s Rock
Follow this path all the way along until you see the sign that points you in the direction of Nanny’s Rock.
This is the only sign that you will find for it on the entire walk. Head in that direction and keep following the purple arrows.
There is a steep incline to get to the summit beyond this sign. Keep heading straight up until the path peaks and then heads steeply downhill.
3. Climb up and down the steep hills
The toughest part of this walk after the first incline is the steep walk down the hill.
You then have to come back up again and then head downwards towards the cave. It was especially tough on a sunny hot day!
But, keep following the purple arrows on this main path and around the corner and you’ll eventually make it to Nanny’s Rock.
It’s quite hidden as it’s been carved into the cliff face but you’ll instantly recognise it by the holes in the red sandstone.
I would recommend entering the cave at the smooth lower end which you will see when you first arrive. The openings further down the cave are very high up and hard to reach.
You’ve made it to Nanny’s Rock!
When you arrive at Nanny’s Rock you’ll be amazed at how big the cave is on the inside. I really wasn’t expecting it to go so far back.
You can climb up the pathway and head around the corner to the large antechamber. You’ll find some gaps in the sandstone like large windows that allow you to see spectacular views of the forest.
There are five compartments to Nanny’s Rock which used to be rock houses and you can see some pretty cool graffiti that has been etched into the sandstone.
My favourite was the ‘Scream’ mask and the Deathly Hallows symbol. Some of the faces were really creepy!
All in all, although it was quite hard to find, I found it well worth the adventure on Kinver Edge.
Nanny’s Rock opening times and prices
Nanny’s Rock and the Kinver Edge countryside is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
I would not recommend visiting at night time though, there’s limited artificial lighting and it looked like a bit of a hangout spot if you get my meaning.
Although protected by the National Trust, Nanny’s Rock is also completely FREE to visit if you manage to find it!
My top tips for visiting Nanny’s Rock
- Bring some good shoes – the pathways in winter can be quite boggy here! In summer it’s fine but the tracks are very dusty
- Pack a water bottle – There is a café at Kinver Edge Rock Houses but Nanny’s Rock is quite a walk from there. Pack some water and snacks for your walk
- Bring layers or a sun hat – the walk to Nanny’s Rock is quite exposed to the elements. In summer, it was roasting!
- Follow the purple arrows – this will lead you straight there. Don’t deviate from the main trail. Although it is called a ‘rock’, it’s not high up on the cliff. Nanny’s Rock is actually far below the hillfort of Kinver Edge.
Looking for more things to do on Kinver Edge?
After your walk to Nanny’s Rock, you can carry on the Rock Houses Trail to Vale’s Rock also known as Crow’s Rock. It was turned into a two-level house and was inhabited until the 1960s.
Or, you can turn back and visit the Holy Austin Rock Houses. These are great examples of how these rock houses used to look.
The houses are set over 3 levels. There is a Victorian restoration and a 1930s restoration plus a café that has an outdoor seating area with incredible views!
If you head up to the Iron Age Hillfort on top of Kinver Edge, you’ll be greeted with more spectacular views of Kinver town and the Staffordshire countryside.
Make sure to use the Kinver Edge Toposcope to check what you can see. On a clear day, you can see up to four counties!