Alternative route avoiding Roman Road which is not a public right of way
Alternative route avoiding Roman Road which is not a public right of way
This route has been reviewed by 5 people.
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Route status - Live
Reviews - 5
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Is this route good enough? - Yes (5)
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Hugh Hudson27 Aug 2022 (edited 28 Aug 2022)
My original plan was to use this route as a link between SHELIC and SUTFAZ, and to use this one to bridge the gap from Shenstone to Sutton Coldfield, but by the time I reached Sutton Coldfield, energy and motivation were flagging and it would have been a late finish had I done the full plan.
I had high expectations of this route because it already has a number of five-star reviews, but I am afraid I can't add to that tally - for me it was between 3.5 and 4 stars.
Starting at Shenstone we follow a quiet residential road to Hollyhill Lane, which is quite narrow and has now pavement, so take care on this section.
The field path south is obvious and well cut, but follows the black dotted line path on the OS Explorer map not the green right of way. The crop changes about two thirds of the way and beyond that the path is a little more difficult to spot at times. There are a couple of stiles to negotiate before Footherley Lane is reached, and we then (somewhat counterintuitively) turn sharp right north.
The path south from Home Farm starts with another well cut field path and crosses a few smaller fields with more stiles, and Moor Lane is easily reached.
The next section is more problematical. We start off on a pleasant green lane, but there is a locked gate beyond which the path diverts into the edge of the field on the left (east) where the map shows the right of way continuing along the lane. There is a waymarker at the start of the path across to the sewage works, but this path is little used and overgrown - in places it was difficult to avoid nettles and although the path line is visible enough to follow it can't be described as comfortable. At the sewage works/Forge Lane end of the path there is a sign showing a footpath closure order from 2018 which should have expired by now, and this might account for its lack of use.
We then follow the quiet Forge Lane to the A454 in Little Aston, and follow the pavements through suburbia to Streetly, where we enter Sutton Park.
The Sutton Park section of the route is probably more enjoyable in the other direction. Coming after a couple of miles of pavements and roads, I didn't expect the first half of the park crossing to be on an access road popular with cars. If I was designing a route for fit walkers, I would have chosen to use more of the smaller paths to avoid the road, but there are so many of those that that might have created navigational challenges. Just before the memorial in the middle of the park there is a locked gate marking the end of the road for cars, and beyond this the walk is much more pleasant, if very popular, following a valley down past Keeper's Pool to the main Sutton entrance of the park. The short road walk from there to the meeting point is easy, but uphill.
Mostly quite enjoyable, with no major problems, but I really can't see this as a five star route - reviewers here must be much more generous than the ones who are active in the Nottingham area.
Max06 Aug 2022
Lovely walk, well worth exploring more of Sutton Park if you haven't before. Shenstone is lovely and the day I went there was a classic car show up at the church.
Mr Tippy15 Apr 2022
A good long walk that incorporates Sutton Park, streets with footpaths, quiet lanes, and countryside. Accessibility could be an issue at the Shenstone end due to styles and the conditions underfoot. Around Footherley the route crosses a couple of farm fields which could get muddy after wet weather and near the water works the path crosses scrubland which was still a bit boggy the day we walked it. Probably a route for wearing walking boots rather than trainers.
The start and finish are both at train stations on the same line so you can walk one way and catch the train back.
Nigel Cull07 Feb 2022
Good route taking in Sutton Park
though fields to Shenstone
Can be a bit muddy in places after the water works but enjoyable.
David Sanderson19 Jun 2021
I started this route from outside Sutton Coldfield Town Hall. It's not far from here that you enter Sutton Park and the walk here accounts for the first third of the walk. It follows main tracks which are easy to follow and although nearer the end the track can get quite busy with traffic arriving it's an annoyance rather than a hazard. Sutton Park is very popular amongst the locals as a place to run, cycle or walk and is friendly. It's so huge that despite the volume of people you can still achieve a feeling of solitude. The exit at the far end (the Lodge) is a bit of a rude awakening as you are suddenly on the pavement of the incredibly busy Thornhill Road and soon cross the border into Staffordshire. The next section is pavement pounding next to busy roads but there is no alternative. Private property rules round here and it seems like every inch of land is owned and fenced. As you get to the other side of Little Aston you join the Walsall Road and having had to circle around the historic old way of Ryknield Street (privatised and renamed "Roman Road", not a public right of way) you reach the other end and actually start to follow the ancient way in the shape of Forge Lane. Forge Lane is used for walking by locals and is reasonable safe. I encountered a couple of cars and a number of cyclists ("WALKER!"). At a sewage works you leave the lane and take a series of well marked footpaths across country to Shenstone (with one tiny stretch of lane walking). As you get to the edge of Shenstone you cross a narrow bridge over the railway, some caution is needed with this. Beyond the bridge a residential street delivers you to the station. You have arrived. Apart from the section around Little Aston this was a really enjoyable walk with some really beautiful sections. Paths and stiles are in good repair and the sections at either end are particularly good bits of walking. Very good. Full marks.
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