Walk 1501 - printer friendly version
Lickey Hills, Barnt Green and the Bittell Reservoirs Walk
Author - Peter Lane
Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km
Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference SO997753
Lat 52.375741 + Long -2.0058315
Postcode B45 8ER (approx. location only)
This short walk visits the North Eastern corner of Worcestershire and the delightful Lickey Hills. Starting from the popular Lickey Hills Country Park Visitor Centre it makes use of well defined footpaths and bridlepaths, making for a straightforward outing requiring minimal navigational skills. Refreshments are available at the Visitor Centre and in Barnt Green.
The start point is the free car park at the Lickey Hills Country Park Visitor Centre, grid reference SO997753. There is usually ample space, but weekend afternoons and Bank Holidays will find the place filled with "Brummies" enjoying the area. From the upper car park follow the North Worcestershire Path (pine cone symbol) over the brow of Cofton Hill and down towards Cofton Hackett. The North Worcestershire Path (NWP) takes a well sign-posted turn left in the woods down some steps to the road below. Cross carefully and continue directly down a private drive (right of way) and into a field (still the NWP).
Continue along the well trodden path through a number of gates, over a metalled track and into a farmer's field. At the hedgeline at the bottom of the hill, the path turns right to follow the hedge down to a tarmac lane. Turn left along the lane, past a small church, under the railway and then to a junction. Depart from the NWP and take the bridlepath that forms the access road to the Barnt Green Sailing Club on the right. When the road turns 90 degrees left into the club, continue on the muddy bridlepath to a turn a few metres ahead. Take a very short diversion over the stile on the left to see Upper Bittell Reservoir.
Retrace to the stile, cross and continue down the bridlepath to another tarmac lane at Lower Bittell Reservoir. At the elbow of the road on the right a well defined footpath climbs gently uphill. At the next junction of footpaths, turn left along another well trodden footpath heading towards Barnt Green. Cross the playing field at Barnt Green Sports Club and emerge onto Margesson Drive. Turn left onto this and follow to its junction with the B4120. Turn right towards the railway bridge and then first left onto Hewell Road.
Walk into the great metropolis of Barnt Green and then follow the sign to the railway station. Cross over the railway lines using the iron bridge and exit onto Fiery Hill Road. Almost opposite is Cherry Hill Drive, the bridlepath returning to the Lickey Hills Country Park is immediately to the left running parallel with this lane. Follow the broad, well defined bridlepath the remaining 1 1/2 miles back to the Visitor Centre. There are many crossing paths, but all are smaller than your route. The path heads pretty much NNW, taking just one swing right and then left, crossing a very small stream.
Back at the Visitor Centre there is much to engage you besides tea, coffee and ice cream! The kids can also make use of the play area.
Addendum: This short, but worthwhile addendum visits a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Bittell reservoirs and the City of Birmingham. From the upper car park, go through the gate on the right (signposted Woodpecker Trail) and walk for about 200 metres. The viewpoint is on the left.