Saturday, 11 July 2015

11/07/15 - The Black Country's Best

Distance - 4 Miles
Geocaches - 1.  Out of 7.
Walk Inspiration - Best Pub Walks in the Black Country - Walk 20

Sometimes, it's unnecessary to travel huge distances to find a great walk.  I was time limited today, and needed a local walk with the chance of a decent pint for a reward.  My "Pub Walks in the Black Country" book certainly acted as a guide for the pint but I really didn't expect such super countryside.

From Stourbridge.

Park up at where Greyhound Lane meets the Broadway and head along a lane before turning right at Stourbridge Tennis Club.

With the whack of tennis balls ringing in my ears, I climb a sandy bank into Bunkers Hill.  Managed by the Woodland Trust, it offers great paths in the shade.

Bunkers Hill
Fine Walking in Bunkers Hill

There a number of tough geocaches in the area, either involving anagram solving, tree climbing or outwitting a very devious cache owner.  I'm not really feeling the love for treasure hunting today and decide to concentrate on the walking.

Leave the woods via a couple of fields and emerge at Whittington Hall Lane, where I pick up a great path running south easterly past Turbine Cottage.

Some surprisingly rural views for the Black Country,

Path to Turbine Cottage
Turbine Cottage
Looking Back from Turbine Cottage
I actually make a cache find on Sugar Loaf Lane and walk past the transmitter to Norton Covert.

Stourbridge Ahead
That's the four mile walk done and no time for my reward.  The pub is a short distance away, requiring the navigation of the Stourbridge Ring Road - possibly the worst road system this side of Birmingham City Centre.

But its worth it, as I am revisiting a Bathams Pub.  The Royal Exchange is a traditional back street boozer that offers much more than its unassuming exterior indicates.

Royal Exchange
Another Walk from a Bathams Pub Ticked off.
The alleyway leads to a rather nice courtyard, popular with cyclists.  But the real joy is the Bathams.  Best pint in the Midlands and here, a bargain £2.60.

40p Change from £3 to blow on Scratchings

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