Along the Cut

Because of the nature of my job, I am able to work from home most of the time but occasionally I have to go to site. Today was one of those times.

I caught the bus to Birmingham city centre and walk the best part of a mile from the bus stop to work. Luckily, I was able to do most of this commute along the canal passing through Digbeth ‘Tunnel’ en route.

I had packed and was travelling light with my new pack. I had the two half pint (250ml) bottles on the front and a soft shell jacket, First Aid Kit and emergency toilet kit and my sarnies in the back.

A little under a mile after getting off the bus I was getting in to work.

After I had done what I had gone into work to do, I donned my walking gear and set off for home, initially by heading for the Grand Union Canal. After crossing the Coventry Road (A45), for the first time, I was on the cut and after ascending a few locks was walking past Vincent Timber. There is always the scent of newly cut wood drifting across the canal at this spot.

I continued along the Grand Union for a little over two miles leaving the water behind (for now) at Kings Road. At the end of Kings Road, I had to wait for the lights to re-cross the Coventry Road. A short walk past mostly closed shops brought me to the River Cole. I took the parallel footpath and started on what would be six miles alongside the river.

The going was good with the occasional puddle that was easily circumnavigated.

Just before the path went under the railway at Stetchform, the going went from good to soft which required a bit of puddle jumping, not always 100% effective !

On the other side of the railway, what is normally a small pool was now a much larger lake. This got me slightly concerned as an upcoming stretch often floods after a downpour.

After negotiating the, still under re-construction, roundabout on Stetchford Road / Stetchford Lane, I regained the footpath which is now named Cole Valley Way. As feared, parts of this next stretch were under water and were, all but one, walked around. The one that wasn’t, resulted in me getting my feet rather damp.

The approach to Cole Hall Lane was again blocked but it was also about a foot deep. “Sod that!” I though and back tracked so that I could circumvent this section by walking along the road.

From Cole Hall Lane, the path was generally above water or easily got around.

Ay Babbs Mill, Kingshurst, I left the Cole behind and after a stint through Yorks Wood completed my walk on pavements arriving home having clocked up another eleven miles.

The new pack worked well with my drinks readily accessible. The only negative was that as the bag is a snug fit, it did result in a sweaty back.