Pepper Wood and Bournheath

3½ mile Starts and finishes at Pepper Wood car park, Dordale Rd, B61 9JT. It can be found on the road between Bournheath and Belbroughton. Alternatively, you can walk from Catshill and join the walk at point I, by the New Inn. The terrain is generally good, through woodlands and fields, some of which can be muddy. Short distances on minor roads. All footpaths followed are clearly marked or signposted.

Follow the path (Monarch’s Way) from Pepper Wood car park (A) up the hill through the woods which are managed by the Woodland Trust and used to be part of the Forest of Feckenham. The path then continues out of the woods, turning right along a track that turns into a small lane (B). Turn right onto the path by the side of the house. Follow the path down and across the field until you reach the stile and road. Follow the road left a short distance until you meet path (C) on the opposite side. The path veers to the right and is often muddy here. Go over the stile and follow the path along the field in a straight line until it changes direction by ninety degrees to the left (D). The path then leads to Bournheath Road (E) where you turn right.

This is Bournheath where the poet A E Housman was born. Many of the small dwellings in the village are former nailers’ cottages.

Walk along the road, straight over the crossroads, until you meet the narrow footpath on the right by the side of a gate (F) and a house. The narrow path traces a route behind the Gate pub (G) and comes out on the road alongside the pub. Turn right and walk a few yards to a small path (H) beside the Nailers Arms.  Turn left and follow Doctors Hill downhill. Follow the footpath to the right (I) just before you meet the New Inn. The path follows a line through fields across a number of metal gates and by the side of a pond (J) before it meets Yarnold Lane (K) where you cross directly over.

The path then continues along a field used by horses (it can get muddy) until it intersects another path (L). Our route takes us to the left through a gate and then right into a large field where you will go straight on, keeping the slope on your right. Go through another gate and up an incline and past another field used by horses. The path crosses the Monarch’s Way where you will turn right (M). A short walk past some modern dwellings takes you back to Pepper Wood.

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