Lickey and Chadwich

6.5 miles. Start/finish: Birmingham Road, Lydiate Ash, B61 0HT near Singletons Nurseries and The Potting Shed Cafe. Along minor roads, some with pavements, well-marked footpaths (some can be muddy) and a country park. Hilly.

From Singletons Nurseries (a) follow Birmingham Road. This is the former A38 (spot the original milestone) that is now a dead end although a footpath does continue to what is now the main road. Beaconwood Nature Reserve on the right is worth visiting. Turn left (b) into Manor Lane. It is not a busy road, but take care as there is no pavement. Continue as the road passes Chadwich Manor Farm on the right and Lizzie’s Farm, a farm shop/cafe on the left and ascends into Redhill Lane, then Holywell Lane. At the crossroads (c) turn right and cross the bridge over the A38. The road turns left but you will take the footpath (d) at the corner and follow it uphill. The path is wide but can be muddy. Carry straight on up until you meet Beacon Lane (e). Carefully cross the road and pick up the path that heads uphill running parallel to lane. Continue the climb amongst the trees, approaching the grassed area and summit (f) of Beacon Hill. It is worth spending some time here enjoying the views across the Lickey Hills to Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond from the toposcope atop the ‘castle’ that was built in 1998. The Lickey Hills were sold to the Cadbury family in 1907 who then passed it over to the City of Birmingham even though you are still in Worcestershire!

From the ‘castle’ and with the views of Birmingham behind you, our route will head towards Monument Lane. Aim to follow the edge of the wood as it runs alongside the left of the large grassed area. The path becomes more obvious and runs just inside the woods with the grassed area to your right. It runs parallel to a green metal fence and then turns left (g) close to Monument Lane. Eventually, the (often muddy) path at the edge of the woods comes to an end (h) and you will need to cross the road and continue on the pavement. Continue along the road, and shortly after the mast where the road bends to the left look out for the entrance to the small wood on your right (i). Enter the wood and follow it to the Earl of Plymouth’s marble obelisk erected in 1834. It is not as popular as Beacon Hill so is a peaceful place to sit. When you are ready to leave, follow the path to the other side of the monument (ignore the path to the left) back into the trees and eventually you will come out (j) on Old Birmingham Road by High House Drive.

Follow the pavement of Old Birmingham Road as it descends out of Lickey. Continue for 1 mile until you meet Cottage Lane (k) where you will turn right. Look out for and take the well-marked footpath on your left (l). Follow the path as it runs between the houses, follows the Marl brook before reaching a park. Continue straight on past the play area, following the brook behind more houses eventually turning left onto small service road (m). Follow the road as it turns left and comes out on the A38. Turn right onto the pavement and follow the main road back to Birmingham Rd on your right (n) which leads back to Singletons Nurseries.

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