Walk 10 The Countryside around Hagley 12½ MILES CIRCULAR

This is a walk through an area around Hagley in Worcestershire that follows a line which may be considered as the rural walking boundary. The total length is approximately 12½ miles. Allow 6 hours plus time for lunch. Hagley has a rail service from Birmingham and Kidderminster, buses 318 from Stourbridge and Bromsgrove and 192 from Halesowen and Kidderminster. The car park in Worcester Road allows parking for a limited time.

Intermediate distances are:
Hagley to Clent Church - 5½ miles.
Clent Church to the Castle Folly – 2½ miles
Castle Folly to Hagley – 4½ miles

Difficulty of walking the terrain:
Section 1. Easy/moderate
Section 2. Moderate/hard
Section 3. Moderate/easy

f.p.s.- footpath sign or marker post
KG - kissing gate
NT – National Trust
NE - North East SE - South East
O.S.- Ordnance Survey

START at Section 1. Leave the village via Station Road, go over the bridge and to the end of Brake Lane, to O.S. Explorer 219 889807.

Alternative convenient start points on the circuit loop may be found by studying the map.

Walk up Brake Lane to its end at a T-junction. Turn right and then left onto a wide track which is the North Worcestershire path. Continue to the end to reach a tarmac road with a Staffordshire boundary sign opposite.Hagley Railway Station

Cross this road which connects Churchill to Iverley and climb a stepped track. At the top turn left on a signed path and follow the left hand hedge. There are wide ranging views to your right.

Drop down to cross the road from Stakenbridge and follow f.p.s. heading towards Churchill, keeping to the left hand hedge to a stile. Go a short distance further to another stile, then another by a concealed bungalow. Keep to the field boundary left, then cross a stile and turn right to emerge opposite Churchill Church.

Cross the road, turn left and go 200 yards to take the second bridge on the right. Then immediately turn left on a signed path to a stile, followed by a KG. Walk alongside the stream to a stile. This leads to a hedged path between properties and emerges on a track.

At the T-junction take a 50yds detour left to see Churchill pool and then Churchill Forge. An explanatory board is on your left..Churchill Church

Retrace your steps and then continue on through a gate and walk ahead on the same line over a field to the railway. Cross the level crossing with care. The noise of the traffic on A456 is now evident. Continue ahead to a hedge, over a stile onto the A456 and turn left to a stile 20 yards on the right. Cross this busy road with care and take the signed path running SE over a field to a signpost. The path then runs between pools with a house on your right. When you reach an open field turn right and in 10 yards turn left across a field to reach a gap in the hedge with a f.p.s at the edge of a wood. Turn left behind the hedge for 10 yards then turn right and follow the path uphill. Continue on this path which leads to the A450. This is a busy road; take care when crossing.

The path goes via the gap in the fence opposite the lay-by and runs N.E. over the rise to drop down at the end of a farm track onto the road into Broome. Turn right and right again at a signpost to Broome. Pass the Church and continue ahead on a ‘No Through Road’ to a T junction. Turn left and continue to a gate. Then follow the left hand hedge with the Clent Hills in full view ahead. After ¾ mile, at a lane turn right and after 100yds look for a path on the left up a bank of 9 steps. Go right between hedges with a wire fence on the right. This is a long stretch and in season has good views of Hagley on the left. Ignore the left fork then the reach the road via a property – the path runs between hedges on the right and not via the drive. At the road turn left and after 50 yards take a path which goes through a KG by a cottage on the right. Walk with the stream on your right through another 3 KGs. Keep right, go over a plank bridge crossing the stream and walk past a hedge corner jutting into the field and continue to another gate at Church Avenue. Cross over the road, turn left and go under the road bridge. Continue up to Clent Church.

Continue on Section 2. Go ahead up Vine Lane to The Vine public house. 50yds after ‘The Vine’ look for a steep path on the right. Cross a stile by an N.T. sign and when the track joins a wider one on the left, turn left and continue to climb up the high path. Keep straight on walking up and around the side of the hill, until you reach the O.S. Trig. Point. From here continue ahead straight through a small open area with benches and straight on down a narrow path through trees. Cross a track, and the path then shortly joins a lane. Turn left and pass Walton Hill car park. Walk along the lane to a T junction by High Harcourt Farm. Turn left into St. Kenelm’s Pass and then right onto the North Worcestershire path, passing a gate and walking uphill. Bear left and climb to the highest ground, ignoring any side paths. At the top on your left are the Four Stones and the Toposcope erected by Stourbridge and Kidderminster Rotary Clubs. Take in the wonderful views all around and look north to see the Castle and Obelisk which are your next objectives. Descend right of a clump of trees and go straight on leaving the visual display plaques on your right. (Avoid the two tracks on your right). The descent is steep and when you reach a cross path take the path to the right, leaving the North Worcestershire path. A house behind a hedge is soon visible, then the castle is can be seen further behind. Turn right along a broad track, past a Private No Cycling sign. Bear left and then right on leaving woodland. The timbered Badger’s Sett public house and Obelisk come into view..

In the distance are Sedgley Beacon and Dudley Top Church. At a broad track on the left before the power lines, turn right to cross a stile and then another to reach the A456. Go left to just past the Old Rectory and use the tarmac path as the point for careful crossing of this busy dual carriageway.

Continue on Section 3. Opposite the island is a stile below road level. Keeping close to the fence on your right, proceed to the wood ahead, passing the restored Obelisk on your left. Go through a KG and continue ahead passing through the wood for a birds-eye view of Stourbridge and beyond. Carefully descend the well used and often slippery path through a KG onto Pedmore Lane. Turn left to reach a busy island, go past the Foley Arms public house, use the pedestrian crossing to carefully cross the A491, turn right then left into the bridleway just after Pedmore Convenience Stores. This passes by modern properties, then past a school and between houses. At the T junction turn right continuing along a bridleway, across Redlake Drive and onto Worcester Lane. This is a busy road; cross carefully and then straight over the railway bridge passing very substantial houses. At the tarmac roads go straight ahead to eventually reach a T junction. Turn left and go past the Ounty John Lane Severn Trent site. Take the next turning right. This becomes a sandy track and drops down to a junction of tracks. Turn left after Norton Sewage Works onto a Roman Road which may be very muddy in parts and go straight ahead to reach a tarmac road (Brake Lane). Turn left to soon return to the start.

Hagley Historical and Field Society hopes that you have enjoyed this walk which was published in March 2016.