Closed due to HS2

I had a family weekend in North Wales so couldn’t do my usual Saturday long walk / parkrun. As we were due to head Wales-ward at lunchtime, I needed to get my long walk in early today.

Starting from home, I crossed a fairly quiet M6 and followed Attleborough Lane to Water Orton thence on to Coleshill parkway.

I followed a well worn (at least by me) path, skirting Hams Hall which finally deposited me at Whitacre Heath.

I made my way back into Coleshill, walking along the almost deserted High Street. At the George and Dragon pub, I left the main road and took Packington Lane towards the NEC.

Expecting some traffic along the pavement-less sections, I had put a flashing red light on the back of my pack and, now it was approaching dawn, I switched my head torch to flashing mode.

With all this illumination I was bound to be seen by any approaching traffic.

However, during the two and a half mile walk along Packington Lane, I saw only one car!

After crossing under the busy A452, I was hoping to take a quiet lane to the A45 Coventry Road.

However, as I approached the start of the lane, I was confronted with a big blue fence and gates barring my way. Close examination revealed the infamous HS2 signage.

Checking on the HS2 website, later, I see that this is a permanent closure. Looking further on the HS2 website shows a number of works due this year including moving overhead electriciaty cables between Hams Hall and the NEC so there will bound to be move road / path closures with, hopefully, diversions in place.

Today, my diversion, was to walk in the gutter of the A452 up to the NEC where I could gain the safety of pavements.

I made my way to the airport, passing this impressing building owned by Interserve. With recent news of Interserve going to the wall, this may be up for sale soon!

I made my way through the airport crossing over the A45 and finding a good track heading towards Sheldon but avoiding the busy and noisy Coventry Road.

A couple of miles after the main airport buildings I passed the site of the original Birmingham Airport now a cargo centre.

On the outskirts of Birmingham (Birmingham Airport is in Solihull) I left the main road but continued to skirt around the airport boundary until reaching the other end of the main runway near Marston Green.

From Marston Green, it was a familiar walk along Kingshurst Brook and a few paths which brought me back home after a walk of 20.45 miles.

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