Hallon two
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By David Sanderson on 06 Feb 2022







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Improved version of Hallon one.
1 More direct, better served, safer (but not completely so) route out of Halesowen to the countryside bypassing
2 More accurate representation of the route between SO 9786 8118 and SO 9783 8105
3 Follows pavement around Balaam's Wood, the track through which involved a certain amount of scrambling

Improved version of Hallon one.
1 More direct, better served, safer (but not completely so) route out of Halesowen to the countryside bypassing
2 More accurate representation of the route between SO 9786 8118 and SO 9783 8105
3 Follows pavement around Balaam's Wood, the track through which involved a certain amount of scrambling


This route has been reviewed by 4 people.

This route has been flagged (1 times) for reasons relating to access.

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Verified route

Route status - Live

Reviews - 4

Average rating -

Is this route good enough? -  Yes (3) Maybe (1)

Problems reported -  Access (1)

Downloads - 3


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref SO9648083422
Lat / Lon 52.44876° / -2.05321°
Easting / Northing 396,480E / 283,422N
What3Words impose.dice.leader
Grid Ref SP0138577573
Lat / Lon 52.39619° / -1.98106°
Easting / Northing 401,385E / 277,573N
What3Words spit.scarcely.nation

Sorry Land Cover data is not currently available for this route. Please check back later.


Mary Oz

07 Feb 2022 Winter

The route left Longbridge through a landscaped area, under the main road, and along a paved dual carriageway. Then it followed a cycle track, and passed through some housing, all pleasant enough until the entrance to the fields was reached, which was blighted by fly-tipping. Before Frankley Hill, sections of the fields were VERY overgrown with brambles. The diagonal footpath after this was not evident on the ground but could be followed directly in winter, but I suspect that in summer you’d need to go around the edge of the field due to crops. The path along to next field (after a short section of road) was overgrown with holly which needed to be pushed through.
There was a pub at Illey about 30% from the Halesowen end of the route. From Illey to Illey Hall Farm there was a (mostly) well marked diversion sightly to the east of the OS marked footpath, starting with a fence stile without its step, and ending with an excellent new double stile. Shortly before passing the Abbey remains, there was an earth bridge over a stream which had a collapsed edge, where you could easily slip down and drop a couple of metres into the stream. I think this was at grid ref 978827.
The busy A456 dual carriageway was followed so as to cross at the roundabout (carefully as there are no lights to help pedestrians). From here the route passed through the town centre and shopping mall to arrive at the bus depot.
This route is functional, but with some tricky and less pleasant sections. However, the views when crossing the fields are superb.


06 Feb 2022 Winter

I walked this route from Halesowen to Longbridge. Overall, I'll offer a mixed review.

The route leaving Longbridge is a bit uninspiring, following the noisy A38, but it is perfectly safe and good walking. The footpath through residential neighbourhoods is actually quite nice and pleasant, but the final bit just before the countryside opens up was overgrown and there was a big pile of fly-tipped trash to navigate through as well!

The first open field after Longbridge, there looks like there's only one path on the OpenStreetMap but navigating through the stretch of trees in the middle was a bit complicated by overgrown vegetation. The path was overgrown just after Frankley Hill Farm as well.

Then, there was a fairly long stretch of relatively straightforward and pleasant walking through rolling fields, with great views of the surrounding areas.

Crossing Manor Way at Halesowen is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but manageable enough, with the final approach into Halesowen sufficient for getting the job done!.

David Sanderson

06 Feb 2022 Winter

I walked this as part of a group and started from Longbridge. The first section through Longbridge is easy to follow, is well served for shops and eateries but has a short section where it follows the pavement of the busy A38, which might not be to everyone's taste. Having turned off, the next, residential section is much quieter. As you follow the road around Balaam's Wood, there is an option to follow a path through it, but this would require a bit of scrambling. As we left the city limits of Birmingham and crossed into Dudley we were greeted with a mass of fly tipping and the footpath was overgrown with brambles, requiring secateurs to get through. There is a climb, not an arduous one through fields up to the top of Frankley Hill which affords some good views looking back across the area. Having braved another overgrown narrow path down the side of Frankley Hill Farm, we were greeted by our first views of the destination. The route through fields was clear but slightly boggy. Having passed under the M5 on the pavement of Frankley Green Lane, the next part was a mixture of field and woods until eventually reaching the site of St Marys Abbey just south of Halesowen. Having crossed a stile onto the pavement of the very busy A456, you follow it to a mini roundabout and then cross the two roads at the "suggested" crossings. Halesowen and Dudley Council generally seem loathed to force traffic to stop, even if it would make their roads safer. Having joined the pavement of the A459 that's all the difficult crossing done. At the top of the road there is an underpass which leads through to the town centre. The last section leads through the shopping centre (which won't always be open but that's likely to be the exception rather than the rule) to the meeting point at the bus station (another meeting point that should be moved!). I've given this route 3 stars... my lowest pass mark. I know that if I had not been in such good company on the walk, I would have found this route deeply frustrating. I think there is a better route out there, but I think the proximity of major roads and the lack of good crossings makes it difficult. We shall see.


06 Feb 2022 (edited 08 Mar 2022) Winter

Walked Longbridge to Halesowen. A mixed walk, urban at both ends pleasant countryside in the middle. Still some challenging navigation. Stiles, horses, sheep and perhaps cattle at other times of year. Crossing of arable fields and some overgrown sections. I suggest use of Romlon and Romhal at a combined distance of 7 miles as a preferred route. Some issues have now been investigated by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, see details below.

This walk starts well with open paths through a new development on the old Austin car site. Safe passage under the busy road and perhaps a walk up the Rea when development is finished but for now it's alongside the noisy dual carriageway. I like that word carriageway, reminding us what roads were once used by before the infernal combustion engine took over.

A short section of cycle route before a labyrinth of paths between houses through New Frankley, frankly not an easy route to follow.

Finally over a pile of household rubbish to leave Birmingham City behind and enter the fields of Worcestershire. Even here I'm not wanted, two locations were reported in 2020 as needing vegetation clearance but Worcestershire record these as low priority.

Things do improve with good views but noise from the M5 is intrusive and the paths offer little sign of local use. After passing under the M5 along a short section of road the route heads towards the border into Dudley Metropolitan Borough where new issues raise their head with paths not quite where they are marked on the map so follow the plot not the OS map.

The Black Horse at Illey offers a break a bit over half way from Longbridge. From here the path is again not as shown on OS maps and not as the plot but new stiles and waymarking may help or hinder navigation around Illey Hall Farm, after which things improve. Having joined The Monarch's Way remains of the Abbey can be seen from the walked field which has the humps of fishpond earthworks.

At the busy road Hallon one failed so this route turns left to the roundabout, still a risky crossing, there appears to be no light controlled crossings anywhere on this road. A walk by the cricket ground and into the town centre. Not a walk I would recommend to a friend.

Follow up from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council see maps in pictures.

Footpath H97 at Bartley Green Football Club, the land occupier assumed that the path had been diverted when the footpball pitch was laid out. He is going to ask the owner, Bartley Green Football Club, to look to see whether any papers in their possession relates to a diversion. If there is no legal documentation, DMBC will assess the options available to the Council now and upon review. Currently the correct line shown red on the map is unavailable an available route follows the green line.

At Lower Illey Farm footpath H106 has its crossing point missing with consequent overgrowth along its immediate area. The Council has a Local Access Forum meeting week and I will ask certain members of the Forum if they could undertake some minor voluntary works to reinstate a bridging point. When the works are undertaken there will be a waymarker of some description . Here the route shown green offers a safe bridge.

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