Clent Hills walk
Start: Walton Hill car park
Finish: Walton Hill car park
Length: 8 km / 5 miles
Weather: Dull and damp
I had the option of either shopping in the Merry Hill Centre or going for a walk. I chose the latter and whilst one half of Birmingham and the Midlands went to Merry Hill, it felt like the other half went for a walk up Clent.
I based my ramble on the AA No Through Road walk number 108. Fortunately this takes in some of the quieter and less well-know parts of the Clent Hills and I extended it slightly to Calcot Hill and the back of Walton (or possibly the front of Walton, which ever way you look at it).
AA No Through Road, walk number 108, Clent Hills.
After a short walk from the car park in Walton Hill Road, climb over a stile and follow the path downhill before reaching a lane.
Walk past St Kenelm's church on the right.
The church is dedicated to a boy who became king at the age of seven. But his ambitious sister, Quendreda, had him murdered by her lover whilst out on a hunting trip. It is said that he was killed on the spot where the church now stands.
The timber framed porch was built during the Perpendicular Period, between 1350 and 1530.
After the church, a very muddy stroll through several fields and uphill, brings you out on a lane by the very popular and very busy NT Nimmings car park.
The steps up through Nimmings Woods.
On the top ridge of Clent.
The Four Stone, once known as the Stonehenge of the Midlands! Not really, it is merely a folly built in the mid-18th century.
The view from the top of Clent of Wychbury Hill and monument, also Hagley Castle. Both are also follies.
There are fine views from Clent on a good day. Malvern, Bredon and the Cotswolds to the south; Wales and Clee to the west; The Black Country to the north. Unfortunately not today. But the toposcope pinpoints everything you should be able to see.
The view across to Deep Wood.
In Deep Wood.
The sharp, muddy hair-pin bend taken in Deep Wood.
The second church of the day, St. Leonard's, Clent.
Walton Pool Lane was very wet, with a torrent of water running down one side of it
...and a large puddle blocking the way further up the Lane
...but luckily the route takes you through the stile on the left.
The track takes you past The Foresters.
A track across the fields.
Another muddy track.
I've never seen this stone near to Calcothill Farm before, which is unusual because the plaque says it has been there for several million years!
The next section of the walk reminds me of Hobbiton.
In stark contrast to Clent, the top of Walton was deserted.
The hill was once the scene of fierce fighting between the Britons and the Romans, where the Romans were driven down into the valley and put to sword.