Rowley RegisSmethwick

Rowsme one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Rowley Regis and Smethwick.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Rowley Regis and Smethwick.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 2 people.

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Not verified

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Reviews - 2

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (2)

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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

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Start and end points

Rowley Regis
Grid Ref SO9796486571
Lat / Lon 52.47708° / -2.03140°
Easting / Northing 397,964E / 286,571N
What3Words trucks.bunks.keys
Grid Ref SP0200288710
Lat / Lon 52.49631° / -1.97193°
Easting / Northing 402,002E / 288,710N
What3Words fears.dark.wage

Rowsme One's land is

Urban 100.0%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018


Steve Litchfield

19 Mar 2023 Winter

I walked this 3.4 mile route north-eastwards from Rowley Regis today. It was the third section as part of a longer four-part circular walk starting and ending in West Bromwich and took in the delight of Oldbury. I tend to save these urban walks for wet periods, as rural walks can get boggy in places, especially after we had some snow just the week before and river levels were quite high due to the melt water. However, this turned out to be quite an eventful walk, in which a seemingly innocent hot cross bun played the unlikely protagonist in saving my life.

Immediately after leaving Rowley Regis railway station, we were greeted with an impromptu art installation of Red Bull cans stuck to the top of the security fence outside the ScrewFix outlet on Station Road (first photo). Little was I to know how this artistic wonder would act as a metaphor for the rest of the walk, as I had no idea of the high-energy wonders ahead...

The next artistic marvel was a mere short walk away, for on the other side of the roundabout from the ScrewFix outlet, was a fascinating grey motor placed atop an ornate brick pedestal with the words 'BETTER THAN HOME' (2nd photo) proudly placed at the front. My friend and I mused on exactly how the location could have been construed as such, and then pondered as to what state ones home must have been in for this to have been a better option... After a little research, it turns out that Fairfields is an estate built on land once occupied by the British Thomson Houston electric motor company – known locally as ‘Better Than Home’.... Still none the wiser, we unfortunately had to leave this random juxtaposition, and headed down the delightfully industrial Cakemore Road in search of normality.

The route then takes you diagonally over the M5, down the wonderfully named Penncricket Lane, then over the A4123 Wolverhampton Road and eventually into Barnford Hill Park. The park is a welcome break from suburbia with wide open spaces. The route through the park takes you past a high point which is worth the slight detour and allows you to survey the Black Country landscape. I was about to leave, but whilst on the summit of Barnford Hill, my companion for the day offered me a hot cross bun. It felt rude not to accept the currant bun, so I accepted the offer and enjoyed the bun and the view for several more minutes.

Upon leaving the park, the route re-joins the roads and takes you through Queen's Head and Londonderry. We were walking down the left hand side of Londonderry Lane and came to the roundabout with Manor Road. As we crossed, we noticed that unusually there was a car that had apparently mounted the pavement and was sitting on top of a brick wall. As we slowly acknowledged the scene, it became clear that this accident had only happened just minutes before. As we surveyed the scene, we traced the route that the car took to end up in such an unlikely position by looking at the trail of destruction, and deduced if we had been crossing that spot just a few minutes before, we would likely have been in the path of the speeding vehicle. The scene was unusually calm considering what had just happened. The inhabitants of both the car and the house on the corner were safe, if not dazed by the events and were discussing details. It was a miracle no-one was injured. So if you're reading this ahead of doing the route yourself, do take a look at the location I mention and think how lucky two of your fellow 'Slow Wayers' were at that spot... and do beware of low flying cars!

I hope you enjoyed this death-defying review of this route. Not sure I would personally want to do the route again, but I'm happy to say the rest of the walk was comparatively uneventful. Do look out for the collection of Lions heads on Londonderry Lane, and the sight of the Blue Gates Hotel (now just a pub) in Smethwick. The first floor windows makes you wonder when it was that the last paying hotel guests stayed there.

David Sanderson

24 Oct 2021 Autumn

A direct and safe route which makes sensible use of green spaces available. I started it from the Smethwick end on a Saturday morning. The first part goes through the residential area of Londonderry, there is pavement throughout and easy crossings of roads. Just over half way through, you cross Barnford Hill Park which was a particular highlight for me. The route is across the park is not -the- most direct, but it gave me more opportunity to enjoy it and it was very easy to follow. Having left the park, the descent down Barnford Crescent gives views across to other parts of the Black Country which was nice. The A4123 was the busiest road to cross, but there is a pedestrian crossing at the end so it was no problem. Saying that, technically one of the next roads, the M5 was the busiest to cross, but to do that all I had to do was follow pavement of the B4169 Oakemoor Road which passes high over it. From there it was a short walk to the meeting point at Rowley Regis Station. Did I enjoy this? Would I follow it again? Yes to both. Could it be improved? Did it fail as a Slow Way at all? No to both. Full marks!.

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