Saturday 2 March 2024

02/03/24 - The Slow Way to the Shrubbery Cottage, Stourbridge

 The 2024 Challenge?  Walks from Holden's Pubs

Having walked from all the Bathams Pubs, I might as well repeat the challenge with their Black Country Rival, Holdens. I make it 19 tied pubs in their estate, but I am sure this will fluctuate.

Holden's Brewery, a family-run establishment since 1915, brews traditional Black Country real ales in the heart of England. Located in Woodsetton, West Midlands, they are known for their commitment to local ingredients and time-tested methods. Their core offerings include Black Country Bitter, Black Country Special Bitter, Black Country Mild, Golden Glow, a stout, and a winter warmer.

I'm going to hit the closest to home, the Shrubbery Cottage. I can use Slow Ways to find an urban route from exactly where I left off last time, Roberto's Bar, Halesowen.

Its past the midday opening detailed on Google Maps but when the Number 9 bus drops me off practically outside the front door, I find it barrier closed. Roberto is quick on his social media, letting me know that Cia is having bus trouble and it will open soon. True enough, I get to see the magic of a micro opening for business, whilst taking on a keg Kernal Bitter Simmonds 1880.

Onto the walk. Once the mid-rise flats of Halesowen are navigated, this a fine rural walk along the bridle paths of Lutley and Foxcote.

The Lutley Gutter
Crossing the Lutley Gutter
A bridepath in Lultley
The Clent Hills from a Lutley Bridle Path

Stevens Park welcomes me into Stourbridge. A meander, as the stages of an Adventure Lab Cache are collected.

Stevens Park, Stourbridge
Park Life

Onwards to the Shrubbery Cottage. A simple local's local where there are questions that need to be resolved. Will there be cobs? How hard will the scratchings be? How old is too old to visit a pub wearing in-line roller skates?

Answers - Yes, Hard (and Hairy) and "Don't Know" but 35 is too old, especially when you need to keep getting up for a smoke.

The Shrubbery Cottage, Stourbridge
Need to work on my pub photos
The Shrubbery Cottage, Stourbridge
I'm always special

The walk back to Stourbridge Junction had to be via the Severn Stars. Black Country Ales can wait for their themed walk series before blogging.

Walk Details

Distance - 5 Miles
Geocaches - 2 and an ALC
Pubs - 3
Walk Inspiration - Slow Ways

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