5.5 miles. Moderate terrain and an easy to follow circular walk, following roads and footpaths with some climbs. Starting from the Royal Oak, Barley Mow Lane, Catshill B61 0LU.
From the car park of the Royal Oak (a) turn right and walk up Barley Mow Lane. At the top of the road, turn left and use the pelican crossing to cross the A38, Birmingham Road. After crossing the road, turn right and walk down the A38 until you meet the footpath (b) beside a garage. Follow the path and walk uphill to Old Birmingham Road. Turn right (c) and follow the pavement to the M42 / A38 roundabout. Walk clockwise around the roundabout, so turn left and carefully cross the road you have walked down and then the lanes that lead to and from the motorway.
Follow the B4096 (Alcester Road) south a short distance, until you get to the footpath (d) on your left. The footpath is opposite a Methodist church and another footpath that you will be using on the return journey. The footpath meets Long Meadow Road which you will follow as it arcs to the right and downhill through a modern housing estate and into Meadowvale Road where you will turn left, until you get to the T junction (e) with Little Heath Lane. Cross the road and turn left into the lane. The pavement on the right side of the lane finishes and you will need to walk a very short distance on the road. Cross to the other side of the lane and walk past the garden centre. Carefully cross back over the road and pick up the footpath adjacent to a house (f) just before the road turns sharp left.
The path runs to the left of another house before following a track through a horse riding centre. When the track meets the lane turn right and follow the quiet lane to the junction (g) of Spirehouse Lane where you will turn right. After a short distance pick up the path on the other wide of the road and follow it left into the field. After passing through a kissing gate you will meet another path (h). Turn left and follow it uphill into woods. After climbing (ignore the paths on the left) the path runs parallel to a fence before descending to steps and onto Spirehouse Lane. Turn left and walk a short distance (i) down the lane until you meet the track on your right into the woods. Follow the track as it veers to the right (there are excellent views to the left) before running beside a stream and finally turning into a tarmac road. Turn left (j) into Dale Hill and follow the lane (try to ignore the noise of the motorway) until you meet Little Heath Lane (k) where you will turn left. Carefully walk downhill going past the garden centre again and back into Meadowvale Road. This time keep left (l) and follow the road through the houses to Alcester Road (m). Turn right, cross the road and walk up to the Methodist church. Follow the path beside the church (n), cross the A38 using the pelican crossing and turn right. Follow the pavement, clockwise over the motorway until you get to the path on your left.
You can choose to walk beside the A38 back to Barley Mow Lane, but our route turns left (o) and follows the path around the business park. Ignore other paths and head through the field towards the left side of the copse of trees (p). Keep straight on until you leave the fields and meet the pavement (q) beside the houses and turn right. Turn left, then right snaking around the houses until you come to Byron Way and directly opposite (r) Blake Road which you will take. At the T-junction turn right into Barley Mow Lane and after a short distance you will be at the Royal Oak again.