LOCAL EXERCISE WALKS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

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Creative Commons License Text by Roy Hughes, April 2020 ; This work is dedicated to the Public Domain.
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.


LOCAL EXERCISE WALKS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS - APRIL 2020


With the country gripped by the Corona Virus - Covid 19, everyone is allowed to take only one daily form of outdoor exercise. I've decided to try and take as many varied and interesting walks as possible in my local area and record these so that anyone living in the Marlbrook and Lickey area can try them.




NUMBER ONE - "CHRISTMAS TREES AT EASTER"

This walk is about two and a half miles long and should take up to 60 minutes



This walk starts at my local Tesco Express store at 199 Old Birmingham Road Marlbrook
SO9774 : Old Birmingham Road Marlbrook Tesco Express Store After Refurbishment by Roy Hughes


From the store, turn into Cottage Lane and walk to the end where it turns sharp left where you will see a footpath sign on your right. Join the footpath and cross the bridge over a small stream and pass through the kissing gate into the field
SO9774 : Kissing gate and footpath off Cottage Lane Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Walk uphill along the hedge until you see a footpath sign on your left. Leave the field and join the footpath. A small stream follows the course of the path, but it is fairly easily passable.

SO9774 : Path with stream, Lower Marlbrook. by Roy Hughes

Follow footpath down and across Birmingham Road. Re-join footpath down to Halesown Road A38. Turn right and then almost immediately left into Woodrow Lane. After a short distance, take the footpath which is signed on the right hand side of the road. This view is looking back from the path to Woodrow Lane.
SO9674 : Footpath looking back to Woodrow Lane, Lydiate Ash by Roy Hughes

The path passes through Woodrow Farm where they are cultivating Christmas trees
SO9674 : Woodrow Farm Lydiate Ash, Christmas trees by Roy Hughes

Cross a stile, turn right and walk parallel to the M5 Motorway. Here we have Christmas trees at Easter with a good display of blossom.
SO9674 : Easter blossom and Christmas trees by Roy Hughes

Enjoy the view from the footbridge over the M5. At 2.00 p.m. on Easter Saturday the M5 was almost deserted. Thankfully, most people have heeded the government's instructions to "Stay home"
SO9675 : M5 Motorway Easter Saturday by Roy Hughes

Re-trace your steps back to Woodrow Lane where you can either, return by your outward route, or take a slightly longer way back to Tesco's.

For the longer route, turn right as you reach Woodrow Lane and walk down past Catshill Village Surgery until you reach Green Lane. Turn left here and then left at Golden Cross Lane. Cross the A38 into Braces Lane past the playing field until you arrive back at your starting point.





NUMBER TWO - CARRY ON UP YOUR ALLEY


This walk is about two miles long and should take about 45 to 50 minutes


Starting again from outside Tesco's Marlbrook, turn left up Old Birmingham Road for a walk to explore the little known alleyways of Marlbrook. After about 100 yards (91.44 meters) turn left at the footpath sign at the end of Cottage Drive
SO9774 : Footpath to Beaumont Lawns from Old Birmingham Road Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

At the end of the alleyway, turn right into Beaumont Lawns and walk to the junction with Marlbrook Lane. Turn left and, after a short distance, turn left down the narrow alleyway between houses 33 and 35
SO9774 : Footpath to Beaumont Lawns from Marlbrook Lane Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

After you leave the alley, follow the road around to the left and turn right into the cul-de-sac
SO9774 : Beaumont Lawns Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

The next alleyway, directly ahead, leads down to Cottage Farm Lane
SO9774 : Footpath from Beaumont Lawns to Cottage Farm Lane Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Turn left on to Cottage Lane and almost immediately right join the next alleyway at the footpath sign.
SO9774 : Footpath from Cottage Lane to recreation ground Braces Lane by Roy Hughes

The path tracks a stream at the lower end and then exits on to the Braces Lane recreation ground. Walk along the left hand hedge and join Braces Lane
SO9774 : Braces Lane recreation ground Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Turn right and walk down to the A38 Marlbrook crossroads. Turn left and walk towards Bromsgrove. Just after you pass Marlgrove Court turn left at the footpath sign by Marlbrook Auto Centre
SO9673 : Path from A38 Birmingham Road to Old Birmingham Road by Roy Hughes

A short sharp climb up the alleyway leads to Old Birmingham Road. Cross the road and turn down the next alleyway indicated by the footpath sign alongside 66 Old Birmingham Road
SO9773 : Path from Old Birmingham Road to Staple Flat by Roy Hughes

Half way down the footpath is a wonderful view towards Round Hill
SO9773 : View towards Gorse Hill from footpath by Roy Hughes

At the end of the path, turn left on to Staple Flat. Just after the road bends to the left you pass Round Hill allotments. Just before you reach the crossroads, turn left, pass through a swing gate and walk up the path through the allotments
SO9773 : Entrance to Round Hill allotments by Roy Hughes SO9773 : Round Hill allotments Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

At the top of the last climb of the walk, carry on straight ahead down the path which goes through a small copse on the edge of Round Hill
SO9774 : Path through copse on Round Hill Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Exit the path on to Old Birmingham Road, turn right and arrive back at Tesco's.




NUMBER THREE - THE FAMOUS FIVE - PLUS ONE - PLUS ANOTHER

This walk is about three miles long and should take about 60 to 70 minutes


This walk starts, as usual at Tesco's Marlbrook although, as it is a circular walk you can join and leave it at any point.

Walk up Old Birmingham Road (OBR) to pass five locations with associations with five famous people - A "King", a Baron, a racing driver, and grand inquisitor and a football administrator. - PLUS ONE A Yatchswoman - PLUS ANOTHER An Author

Just after the junction with Lickey Rock is the Lickey Hills Garage. If the garage is open you should see "The King" ELVIS PRESLEY waiting to greet you. The garage was previously Gracelands Garage and Elvis lived on the flat roof.
SO9874 : Elvis has left the building - Elvis has returned by Roy Hughes SO9874 : Graceland Garage by Mike Dodman Thanks to Mike Dodman for this picture

Continue up OBR and walk past the entrance to Grange Park. Lickey Grange, built in 1860, stands on this site and it was the home from 1910 to 1941 of HERBERT AUSTIN the famous car maker. It was later taken over as a school by the Birmingham Royal Institute for the Blind from 1953 to 1977
SO9874 : Lickey Grange - Entrance to Site of Lickey Grange by Roy Hughes

Continue up OBR and enjoy views of open countryside
SO9874 : Old Birmingham Road 1st April 2012 by Roy Hughes

The first house on the left after the junction with Alvechurch Highway was, in the 1970s, the home of the racing driver and garage owner DAVID PROPHET (1937 - 1981) David took part, without success in two Formula One races but was more successful in other forms of motor racing.

Just a short distance further on is Tranquil House (formally known as High Lea) which was the childhood home of JEREMY PAXMAN "Paxo" attended the Lickey Hills Prep School on Rose Hill. This was later taken over by the Hillscourt Hotel and Conference Centre
SO9874 : Tranquil House Old Birmingham Road Lickey by Roy Hughes

Turn Right and walk along Lickey Square to the junction with Twatling Road
SO9874 : Old Birmingham Road, Junction with Lickey Square 1st April 2012 by Roy Hughes SO9974 : Lickey Square and Twatling Road junction Lickey by Roy Hughes

Turn left and walk up Twatling Road, alongside Lickey Woods, to reach Holy Trinity Church
SO9975 : Twatling Road and Warren Lane junction Lickey by Roy Hughes

Go into the churchyard and cross to the hedge running alongside Warren Lane. Here you will see the final resting place of Herbert, 1st Baron Austin and Lady Austin. A short distance away is the grave of our fifth famous person on this walk, SIR BERT MILLICHIP (1914 to 2002) Sir Bert had a long career in football culminating in the chairmanship of the Football Association from 1981 to 1991
SO9975 : Grave of Lord and Lady Austin - Herbert Austin the motor manufacturer. by Roy Hughes SO9975 : Grave of Sir Bert Millichip and Lady Millichip at Holy Trinity Church Lickey by Roy Hughes

Leave the church and re-join OBR. Walk downhill and just after the Harvest petrol station on the left is Clayton Gardens.

I've long had a suspicion that this newish road had a connection to Lisa Clayon, the round-the-world yachtwoman. It turns out that my suspicion was right.
SO9974 : Clayton Gardens Lickey by Roy Hughes

After this walk was published I was contacted by two friends and stalwarts of the local community - Mike Brooke of the Lickey Hills Society and Mike Adams of the Lickey Community Group. Both have an extensive knowledge of the area and confirmed that Clayton Gardens was built on the site of the Clayton family home. I have, therefore, added LISA CLAYTON as the PLUS ONE to MY FAMOUS FIVE
Lisa Clayton, later Viscountess Cobham, was the first British woman to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. She set out in September 1994 and returned on 29th June 1995 after 285 days at sea. Her yacht was "The Spirit of Birmingham" and is seen here on display outside the Council House shortly after her return.
SP0686 : "The Spirit of Birmingham" Outside Council House 1995 by Roy Hughes

Continue down OBR and just before you reach Lickey School is the childhood home of the PLUS ANOTHER to MY FAMOUS FIVE - JONATHAN COE the author of "The Rotters’ Club". Thank you again to Mike Adams for this local information.

Continue down OBR for an easy stroll ramble back to Tesco's.





NUMBER FOUR - BLUEBELLS IN BEACONWOOD

This walk is about three miles long and should take about 70 to 80 minutes


As usual, start from Tesco's Marlbrook, walk up Old Birmingham Road and turn left into Marlbrook Lane. Continue up Marlbrook Lane, over the Alvechurch Highway cross-roads and start walking up Beacon Lane.
SO9774 : Whitebells Marlbrook Lane by Roy Hughes

When you reach Beacon Farm, follow the footpath signpost and turn left to walk through the farmyard.
SO9875 : Footpath sign off Beacon Lane Lickey by Roy Hughes

The path into Beaconwood is at the far end of the hard standing
SO9875 : Start of footpath from Beacon Farm into Beacon Woods by Roy Hughes

Enjoy a lovely walk down through the woods, passing a woodland memorial stone to Alderman Jack Wood
SO9775 : Bluebells in Beaconwood by Roy Hughes SO9775 : Woodland memorial to Alderman Jack Wood 1897-1969 by Roy Hughes

Cross a small wooden bridge and go through the large iron gate

SO9775 : Bridge and path leading out of Beaconwood by Roy Hughes

DON'T PANIC! The footpath really does go straight through someone's garden and down their drive

Turn left at the bottom of the drive and walk about 500 yards along Birmingham Road to the junction with Alvechurch Highway. Turn into Alvechurch Highway and after about 300 yards, turn right at the footpath sign. Go through the metal gate, walk down the path between the houses and through the kissing-gate into a field.
SO9775 : Footpath off Alvechurch Highway by Roy Hughes


Follow the footpath along the hedge as it zig-zags down the field to a kissing gate

SO9774 : Footpath leading to Cottage Lane Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Pass through the gate and over the bridge into Cottage Lane. Turn left and follow the road back to Tesco's





NUMBER FIVE - FIELD FOOTPATH AND FORMULA ONE

This walk is about two and a half miles long and should take about 60 minutes

From outside Tesco's Marlbrook walk down Braces Lane, cross over the A38 and continue down Golden Cross Lane for just over half a mile to reach the mini island at Gibb Lane.
SO9673 : Golden Cross Lane, Gibb Lane Junction Catshill by Roy Hughes

Turn left and then immediately right and walk to the end of Milton Road
SO9673 : Milton Road Catshill by Roy Hughes SO9673 : Milton Road leading to footpath by Roy Hughes

Take the tarmac path ahead and almost immediately turn left up a bit of a gulley to join the field path running alongside a hedge
SO9673 : Footpath off Milton Road Catshill by Roy Hughes SO9673 : Start of footpath off Milton Road Catshill by Roy Hughes

After 60 or 70 yards, fork right and take the path directly across the field heading for the right hand edge of the small wood on the horizon
SO9673 : Fork in footpath Catshill by Roy Hughes SO9673 : Footpath over field in Catshill by Roy Hughes

As the path leaves the wood, head for the gate on the far side of the field. Pass through the gate and continue along the path parallel to the M42 Motorway
SO9673 : Footpath leaving copse, Catshill by Roy Hughes SO9673 : Kissing gate on footpath near Junction 1 of the M42 motorway by Roy Hughes SO9673 : Footpath alongside the M42 Motorway by Roy Hughes

Walking through a small copse finally leave the path on to the A38 at the motorway junction. Cross the road and turn up Old Birmingham Road
SO9773 : Old Birmingham Road B4096 by Roy Hughes

Stop and have a look in Paul Matty's garage at the Lotus cars. At the time of writing he has a Lotus 24 BRM V8 Formula One car for sale ( P.O.A.) This car was originally driven by David Prophet See Walk Three - The Famous Five

Continue walking up OBR and just at the brow of the first hill you will see two new small detached houses on your left.
SO9773 : Houses Old Birmingham Road Bromsgrove by Roy Hughes

They used to be
SO9773 : Nailmaker's cottage by Mike Dodman
Thanks to Mike Dodman for this picture

And now, after being carefully dismantled, they have been rebuilt at the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings at Stoke Heath
SO9568 : Nailmaker's Cottage Avoncroft Museum by Roy Hughes

Keep walking up OBR to reach Tesco's Marlbrook.





NUMBER SIX - HERE WE GO ROUND THE MARLBROOK TIP

This walk is about two and a half miles long and should take about 45 to 55 minutes


As usual, start from Tesco's Marlbrook, walk up Old Birmingham Road and turn left into Marlbrook Lane. Towards the end of the of the houses on the right there is the first glimpse of The Marlbrook Tip as it looms on the horizon
SO9774 : Marlbrook Lane With The Tip  Dominating The Skyline by Roy Hughes

After the last house, the road bends to the left and crosses the culvert carrying the Marlbrook stream which emerges into the open on the left hand side of the road. The culvert carries the stream from it's source on the Lickey Hills, together with the overflow from the balancing ponds that run down the eastern side of The Tip.

Continue up Marlbrook Lane to the crossroads and turn right into Alvechurch Highway. A steep drop (16%) takes the road to a bridge crossing the Marlbrook. After heavy rain, the road often floods, as it did in February 2020 after storm Dennis hit the area
SO9775 : Alvechurch Highway steep descent to bridge over the Marlbrook by Roy Hughes SO9775 : Alvechurch Highway flooded following storm Dennis by Roy Hughes

At the bridge, pause for a while and gaze at the magnificent sight of the Marlbrook Tip Reservoir! This expanse of water, mud and sundry undergrowth is officially "An Impounding Reservoir" as defined under The Reservoirs Act 1975
SO9774 : The Marlbrook Tip reservoir by Roy Hughes

On the horizon is an abandoned JCB type digger. It has been parked there, without moving, since at least February 2012 as this image shows.
SO9774 : Marlbrook Tip - JCB Ready For Action by Roy Hughes

Carry on up the steep rise and then pass the main entrance to The Marlbrook Tip on the right-hand side of the road. Marvel at the rustic and bucolic charm of the abandoned plant and machinery, caravans and other sundry junk enhancing the beautiful Worcestershire countryside.
SO9874 : Alvechurch Highway entrance to The Marlbrook Tip by Roy Hughes

Continue along Alvechurch Highway and down a dip past the Hazy Hill Reservoir - a proper one this time.
SO9874 : Entrance to Hazy Hill reservoir complex by Roy Hughes

A short climb leads to the junction with Old Birmingham Road
SO9874 : Alvechurch Highway junction with Old Birmingham Road by Roy Hughes

Turn right, trundle down OBR and enjoy distant views of The Tip on the right-hand. After just under a mile, arrive back at Tesco's





NUMBER SEVEN - MANOR, MOTORWAY AND A MERRY MONARCH

This walk is about six and a half miles long and should take just over two and a half hours, including a stop for an ice cream


This is a "proper" walk and you will probably need some sensible walking shoes or boots, some Kendal mint cake and a flask in your rucksack. You will, however, be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a walk through 370 years of local history


This walk starts at the Tesco Express store at 199 Old Birmingham Road Marlbrook.
SO9774 : Old Birmingham Road Marlbrook Tesco Express Store After Refurbishment by Roy Hughes

From the store, turn into Cottage Lane and walk to the end where it turns sharp left where you will see a footpath sign on your right. Join the footpath and cross the bridge over a small stream and pass through the kissing gate into the field.
SO9774 : Kissing gate and footpath off Cottage Lane Marlbrook by Roy Hughes

Walk uphill along the hedge until you see a footpath sign on your left. Leave the field and join the footpath. A small stream follows the course of the path, but it is fairly easily passable.
SO9774 : Path with stream, Lower Marlbrook. by Roy Hughes

Follow footpath down to Birmingham Road and turn right
SO9774 : Footpath joining Birmingham Road by Roy Hughes

Continue along Birmingham Road for about ten minutes, passing a milepost

SO9775 : Milepost Worcester 16 Birmingham 10 by Roy Hughes

Shortly afterwards bear left into Manor Lane and pass under the A38

SO9775 : Birmingham Road leading to Manor Lane Lydiate Ash by Roy Hughes SO9775 : Manor Lane Tunnel under A38 at Lydiate Ash by Roy Hughes

Catch a glimpse of Chadwich Manor on the right and pass the entrance to the Chadwich Manor National Trust property. Chadwich Manor is a Grade II listed property built in the late 17th century.
SO9776 : Chadwich Manor - National Trust by Roy Hughes SO9776 : Chadwich Manor, National Trust Property. by Roy Hughes

Continue up Manor Lane until you reach the turning on the left for Lizzies Farm. Walk up the farm track and stop and, if you feel like it, buy a home-made ice cream from the farm shop ( Lime and ginger is especially recommended!)
SO9776 : Lane to Lizzies Farm near Chadwich Manor by Roy Hughes SO9776 : Lizzies Farm near Chadwich Manor by Roy Hughes

As you entered the farm track you joined the Monarch's Way Long distance footpath. This path (615 miles) traces the route taken by King Charles II after his defeat by Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worcester in 1651. It goes from Worcester via Bromsgrove, Bristol and Yeovil to Brighton where the King made his escape to France

The path enters Bromsgrove along Stoke Road, Charford Road and Worcester Road. The King is believed to have stayed the night at Ye Olde Black Cross public house near Hanover Street It then continues out through Dodford and Fairfield.
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Carry on walking past the farm and take the track straight ahead leaving the hard standing
SO9776 : Monarch's Way Path leaving Lizzies Farm by Roy Hughes

Almost immediately, turn left into a small copse to walk alongside the farm barn. The path has way-marks on the trees to direct you.
SO9776 : Monarch's Way path entering copse near Lizzies Farm by Roy Hughes

Emerge at the bottom of the copse and cross over a stile into the field TAKE CARE the bottom step of the stile may still be loose and wobbly
SO9776 : Monarch's Way path leaving copse near Lizzies Farm by Roy Hughes

Turn right and Follow the path through the field. Pass under the M5 Motorway by means of the conveniently located tunnel
SO9676 : Monarch's Way Path passing under M5 Motorway near junction 4 by Roy Hughes

Follow the path across the field and over the stile on to the (usually) busy A491 road. The fingerpost sign points the way to Wildmore Lane opposite.
SO9675 : Monarch's Way fingerpost on A491 near Junction 4 of M5 Motorway by Roy Hughes

Walk up Wildmore Lane and continue the walk along the Monarch's Way to the junction with Top Lane. At this point the Monarch's Way leaves the route as it veers off over fields through Fairfield and back to Bromsgrove.
SO9675 : Wildmoor Lane and Top Road Junction by Roy Hughes

Carry on along Wildmore Lane for a short distance before turning left up a footpath that is initially a farm track. Head for the stile by the farm building and cross this into a field with a hedge on the left hand side.
SO9675 : Path leading off Wildmore Lane by Roy Hughes SO9675 : Stile on path leading off Wildmore Lane by Roy Hughes

Follow the path up the field, turning sharp right at the top which leads to another stile
SO9675 : Stile on footpath leading towards M5 Motorway crossing by Roy Hughes

Cross the stile and follow the path along a very pleasant row of trees before walking past a view of the local sand and gravel workings on the left.
SO9675 : Line of trees on footpath leading towards M5 Motorway crossing by Roy Hughes SO9675 : Digging for sand near M5 at Lydiate Ash by Roy Hughes

Continue to follow the hedge to reach another stile
SO9675 : Stile leaving field to continue path alongside M5 Motiorway by Roy Hughes

Cross the stile and follow the path alongside the M5 and cross the Motorway by the footbridge
SO9675 : Footpath alongside M5 Motorway south of Junction 4 by Roy Hughes SO9675 : Footbridge over M5 Motorway just south of Junction 4 by Roy Hughes


Walk past the Christmas tree farm to Woodrow Lane
SO9674 : Footpath looking back to Woodrow Lane, Lydiate Ash by Roy Hughes

Turn left at Woodrow Lane to return by your outward route, or you can take a slightly longer (fully paved) way back to Tesco's. For this route, turn right as you reach Woodrow Lane and walk down past Catshill Village Surgery until you reach Green Lane. Turn left here and then left at Golden Cross Lane. Cross over the A38 into Braces Lane and walk past the playing field to arrive back at your starting point.

KML

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