Saturday, 12 August 2017

12/08/17 - Heart of England Way - Stage 5 - Lichfield

Distance - 8.5 Miles
Geocaches - 3
Pub - The George and Dragon, Lichfield, Banks Bitter
Previous Stages - Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3, Stage 4

Stage 5 on the Heart of England Way and it delivers it's first real highlight.  Lichfield Cathedral's three spires can be seen long before arrival into this charming city.

The Nelson Inn at Creswell green was found at the mid point of Stage 4 and provides the start of this walk.  A chance to pick up a couple more of the Chorley Circular Geocache Trail.

The walking is agricultural - country lanes and wheat fields, where in the main, the farmers have adhered to leaving the rights of way accessible.

Wheat Fields
Easy Walking
HOEW Views
Big Skies on the HOEW

1st Peak of the Cathedral
First Peak of Lichfield Cathedral
The Cathedral is not the first architectural delight to visit.  Lichfield has 4 entries in the 2017 Good Beer Guide.  We find the George and Dragon immediately on entering the town through the Park and Shaw Lane.

First surprise is that its a Marstons House, a brewery that's not usually troubling the Booze Bible. The 2nd is that it's open at 11:10am.  They might be still doing the cleaning up, with all the chairs upended on the tables, but this does provide an opportunity to explore.  Impressive tiling throughout and the Cask Marque certificate found, we make our way outdoors.

It's not every pub that has a beer garden complete with a memorial explaining the history.  Prince Rupert's mound was a siege position built during the civil war.   I'm always finding bits of Civil War history on my walks but here is the location of a rare Royalist victory.

It now makes a nice spot to enjoy a top quality Banks Bitter with commanding views.

George and Dragon, Lichfield
George and Dragon - Deserved Good Beer Guide Entry
Banks Sunshine in a Glass
Mrs M wondering what I'm not sitting with her.  There is a a memorial to read from here.

Next up is the Cathedral.  A group of lads are dressed as Peaky Blinders.  We spend the rest of the walk arguing whether they are on a stag do, a wedding or are the real Peaky Blinders.   No stag do I have ever been on has a professional photographer.

The Cathedral is as stunning on the outside, as I am sure it is on the inside.  I could spend hours admiring the intricate stonework.  Many photos taken but I will leave you with a shot of the restoration of Charles II shoe.

Lichfield Cathedral
Mappiman.  Peaky Blinders out of Sight
Lichfield Cathedral
Charles II - Paid for the Cathedrals restoration
Lichfield Cathedral
So he got a new shoe

The walk back is merely functional.  Through Lichfield's many alleys and a slightly rough housing estate and back into the not quite as well maintained wheat fields.

Stage 5 and the HOEW is really getting into its stride.  A top walk.

Wheat Fields
Battling the field borders

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