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Walk 2024 - printer friendly version

Kinver Edge, South Staffordshire Walk

Author - John Roberts

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km

Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SO840835
Lat 52.449222 + Long -2.2368489

WHERE - Off A458, 4 miles west of Stourbridge. Maps: Landranger 138, Explorer 218. Map reference SO840835.

TRANSPORT, PARK & START - Buses call; enquiries 0121 200 2700. There are several car parks off the High Street. Both the Stroll and the Walk start from Ye Olde White Hart Inn.

REFRESHMENTS - In the centre are the George & Dragon (Ansells), The Vine (Free House), Olde White Hart (Banks), Plough and Harrow (Batham's), several restaurants and a tea shop.

HOW FAR - Stroll 2 miles/3.25 kms, Walk 6 miles/9.5 kms.

THE VILLAGE - Kinver originally grew up around St Peter's church, high on a sandstone hill above the flood plain of the River Stour. The present building is mainly 14th century but the earliest parts are Norman. Today the village sprawls along its several roads, but the High Street with its timber framed and brick buildings provides a focus. The village is hemmed in by the bulk of Kinver Edge to the south with the River Stour and the Staffs & Worcs Canal curling round to the east.

Kinver had its industrial revolution between 1820 and 1870. The river Stour was the source of power and from 1772 the canal provided transport. During the 19th century there were five iron mills around the village. Kinver Mill by the lock was powered by three waterwheels and produced iron and steel wire. Kinver Light Railway opened in 1901 from Amblecote near Stourbridge; Black Country workers on days off and Victorian tourists flocked to the area.

Mighty, sandstone Kinver Edge with its caves and hollows and acres of woodland belongs to the National Trust and Hereford and Worcester County Council, who call their bit Kingsford Country Park. From the summit are misty, blue views to the Clent Hills, The Sheepwalks, the Clee Hills, Abberley Hills and Malvems. The ridge is the meeting place of three long distance paths, the Staffordshire Way, Worcestershire Way and North Worcestershire Path.

Cave dwellings carved out of the rosy sandstone at Holy Austin Rock were occupied by hermits in the Middle Ages. During the 1800's, twelve families lived in houses which were later equipped with gas and a piped water supply, and some houses were inhabited until the 1950's. One of the Victorian cottages on top of the outcrop has been restored and is occupied by a warden.

THE WALK - Around 6 miles of exercise, climbing Kinver Edge for an exhilarating ridge walk with superb views, wandering in woodland at Kingsford Country Park, steaming up a rising track and whizzing down a high, green hill to woodland paths on the lower slopes of the Edge. You can also visit the rock houses at Holy Austin Rock.

(1) Face 0lde White Hart & go R past library to take Vicarage Drive L. At fork go R to gates, & turn L down fenced path to road.

(2) Go R 200 yds to junction by post box. Go L to 30mph sign & turn R up tarmac drive to end.

(3) Take narrow path L of garage & follow it to take gate. Go ahead 50 paces & turn R up steep, sandy path. Follow via wooden steps to grassy shoulder. Go L up to crest.

(4) Go L on ridge path 300yds to where grassy spur veers L. Bear R & follow ridge 1 1/4 miles (passing trig point & meeting of three long distance paths) to fenced reservoir.

(5) Bear L on main path to far corner of reservoir fence. Go R to reservoir gate & turn L 150yds to 5-ways junction. Go R down middle of 3 paths 500yds to wide sandy track.

(6) Go L 500yds to T junction of tracks. Go R to road bend. Go ahead 350yds & take 1st road R to junction by white house.

(7) Go R, then bear L onto track signed Starts Green. Follow 1/2 mile (past 1st & 2nd groups of houses & track R) up to farm entrance.

(8) Take small gate ahead & go ahead to next gate & track. Turn R to cross stile. Head just L of lone tree, cross shoulder of hill & go down to bottom corner fence to cross stile.

(9) Walk by paddock fence 50yds, then turn L & join path to fork. Bear R with (tiny) stream on your R, pass path L to fork, then go R. Cross open area into tunnel of bushes & cross stile. Follow field edge to lane.

(10) Go R 450yds, over crossroads & up to T-junction. Go L 25 paces & take path R.

(11) Go ahead 400yds; ignore side paths but COUNT 1st & 2nd cross tracks to 3rd. Go L to Y junction of paths, then ahead along foot of Edge. Pass side paths & eventually curve R, to climb stone staircase & steps to crest.

(12) Go ahead to track junction. Take 2nd track from L for 150yds, then take path R to T junction. Go R to next junction by mark post. Go ahead & down. Cross sandy area & bear L to road.

(13) Go R past Neddins Lane plus 100yds & take track R. Pass rock houses & take steep path AHEAD. Curve L via wooden steps & follow path up to grassy shoulder.

(14) Go ahead & down to crossroads of paths. Go L via gate to tarmac drive & follow to road. Go L to junction. Go R 200yds to "Church View" L & take path just beyond. Follow it to track & go R back to High Street.

This walk is reproduced by kind permission of the publishers Walkways and is featured in the book "Strolls and Walks from Midland Villages" by Irene Boston & John Roberts. Visit his website for more information and online purchase.

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