Park Gate

2 ¼ miles. Start/finish: The Park Gate Inn, near Bromsgrove, B61 9AJ  (A448). Terrain: Good, through fields and woods. Some steep sections. The footpaths followed are clearly marked or signposted.

From the car park (A) of the Park Gate follow the Monarch’s Way footpath as it follows a virtually straight line through gates and over stiles. It eventually passes close to farm buildings (B) and a road. Cross the road and follow the path diagonally across fields. At (C) the path is intersected. Carry straight on as it enters a wood (D). The path is well-marked and descends steeply until it meets a brook with a bridge. On the other side of the valley you will meet another well-signed path (E).

Turn left (away from the Dodford Inn) and follow the path as it runs parallel to the brook. You will pass through a number of gates until you meet another footpath left and right. Take the left-hand path (F), back over the brook and up the steep bank. Sadly this path isn’t as defined as the one you descended earlier! At the top of the hill, you will leave the woods and after crossing a field you will come back to the path intersection (C). This time carry straight on. At (G) the path veers to the right and descends to the road (H).

Cross the road into the field opposite and head up the slope towards the right of the oak tree on the summit (I) an intersection of paths in the middle of a field where you will turn right. Look out for a hedgerow on your right which you will head towards. The footpath runs parallel to the hedgerow. At this corner of the field (J), the path descends to the right across the field. Head for the right-hand side of the field. The footpath turns right and left as it crosses a brook (K). The path now climbs towards the A448 with the houses and pub on your right. At the road turn right towards the Park Gate.

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