New Bridge

After a shorter than planned walk yesterday, I chose to add a few extra miles today.

The dogs were walked giving me four miles and then I arranged with my other half that I would walk to the pub where she would meet me and kindly drive me home after a few jars.

There are a few different ways that I could walk to The Griffin and with around eight miles to cover picked a route through Water Orton, Coleshill and Whitacre Heath.

At around a quarter to four, I bid the dogs farewell and stepped out of the front door.

The walk went well, going past the roadworks on Attleboro Lane and following the diversion due to the closure of Gypsy Lane, both due to the dreaded HS2.

I skirted the edge of Coleshill Industrial Park and crossed the Railway at Coleshill Parkway then followed the River Tame. Finally, I crossed the River Tame quickly followed by the River Blythe near to Ladywalk Nature Reserve.

Within a hundred metres or so the River Cole joins the River Blythe which in turn joins the Tame.

Coincidentally, Coleshill is, obviously, named after the Cole but does sit between the Cole and the Blythe.

The map (below) shows the Cole (blue) and Blythe (green) flowing around the town.

Enough of the geography lesson.

I crossed a small field to emerge in Nether Whitacre.

I usually walk through Nether Whitacre to Hogrills End Lane then cut across towards Shustoke Reservoir but having a bit of time in hand continued towards Whitacre Heath.

Just before the next Whitacre (there are Nether, Heath and Over) I went through a kissing gate and crossed a small field to a new bridge over the railway.

The new bridge, all steel and concrete replaces the old iron and rotton wood, but full of character, bridge and was completed this year.

I crossed the new span then followed a tree lined path running parallel to the railway as far as it when then turned left along Middle Lane. I’m not sure what it’s in the middle of but it soon gave up this identity to become Gate Lane. I know why this is called Gate Lane – because it ends at The Gate pub.

From The Gate (outside) I cut back on quiet country roads towards the reservoir, crossing a different railway line before descending a few steps to the reservoir itself.

As I approached the water, I spotted some people I know, namely the gaffer from The Griffin and his other half out walking a few dogs.

I told him that this walking was thirsty work and asked if he could recommend anywhere local for a pint.

I was directed to a path that has for the past, umpteen, months been closed. I was told that it was now open. Apparently, Severn Trent Water (STW) had been doing some work but some paperwork hadn’t been signed off so they just left all the fences in place when they cleared off. Eventually, the locals ran out of patience and pulled the fences aside. I’d like to think of a mass or rural folks with burning torches and pitchforks storming the compound but I dare say it was a lot more clandestine.

I was glad that the path had succumbed to people power as this is a much better route and the one I used to follow before STW got involved.

I bid farewell and returned to beside the railway to follow the re-opened path. Severn Trent has made a few improvements to the path and a once muddy watercourse has been tarted up.

As I approached the pub, I was still a bit ahead of schedule so took a minor diversion through a couple of fields arriving at the pub at around ten to six having covered 8.89 miles.

TOTALS for 2021
TODAY’S MILEAGE   13 miles
ANNUAL MILEAGE   1461 miles
#WALK 1000 REMAINING   -461 miles
ROUTE 66 REMAINING   817 miles

Sue, my better half and nominated driver for the evening, arrived at six and after a few pints of Oakham’s Inferno (me not her) I was driven home, well satisfied.