Saturday, 20 January 2018

20/01/18 - Heart of England Way Stage 10 - Whitacre Heath

Distance - 8 Miles
Geocaches - 6
Previous Stages - Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7Stage 8, Stage 9

Grim day in the West Midlands but the monthly leg on the Heart of England Way is calling.

Check out the route and there are four pubs, although its hard to tell if the White Swan in Kingsbury is a pub or a Chinese restaurant.  Through on line reviews, the Swan in Whitacre Heath looks the best of the bunch and is chosen as the starting point.

It's the sort of weather that requires head to toe goretex.  The camera needs to be protected from the sleet but there's really not much worth photographing until reaching Kingsbury Water Park.  Even that looks desolate in this weather but the geese do put on a show.

Kingsbury Water Park
A Water Park in the Rain
Duck Attack
And the Native Residents

All six of today's Geocaches are in the water park and I make a clean sweep, even mistaking a log replacement for a potential First to Find.

Kingsbury has a large church, the remains of a medieval castle and a couple of pubs (one potentially a Chinese - confirmation not possible even after walking past).  The short high street is navigated before heading back out into the wilds.

View to Kingsbury
Coming out of the Water Park and into Kingsbury
Not much else to report until the end.   I pass our second MOD firing range of the HOEW, which is being used for live practice today and the weather deteriorates.  The last three miles are a grim mud fest of rambling agony, which makes me question exactly why I am out today.  The map warned me.... Foul End.

2nd Firing Range on the HOEW
HOEW at the Firing Range
How do you spend your weekends?
Walking through muddy cabbage fields in the Snow to get to Foul End

Off with the Goretex, change of footwear and into the Swan at Whitacre Heath.   Its cask marque accredited, has half a dozen punters gathered around a central bar and a log burner that pumps the smoke into the pub, rather than out the chimney.

Beer wise, it fits in with the day.   A downbeat and dull choice of Doombar or Old Golden Hen but at least the DB was in excellent condition.

The Swan at Whitacre Heath
Its all over.  Sanctuary awaits
The Swan at Whitacre Heath
2 Minutes till Cyrille's Minutes Applause
Next leg in Feb.  Shustoke better be good.

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