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Bonded Warehouse to Whittington Canal

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Bonded Warehouse to Whittington Canal
Author: sammy_benbow, Published: 26 Jun 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Midlands, Stourbridge
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Bonded Warehouse to Whittington Canal
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This is a 6 mile linear walk from the Bonded Warehouse in Stourbridge to Whittington Lock via Kinver, following the canal towpath. The walk takes in views of the surrounding countryside which contains fields and woodland. It also offers the opportunity to see boats along the canal. At the start of the walk, there are signs of Stourbridge's industrial past and there are a few nature boards along the walk giving more information.

The route takes place entirely along the canal towpath, which is well maintained. There are no stiles, but there are a few pinch gates to navigate and some radar key scheme gates. There are also bridges to cross and go under, some of which will have very little headroom. The route is suitable for cyclists.

There are a couple of pubs along the walk. There are several in Stourbridge and also the Vine at Kinver. There are disabled public toilets available at Court Street in Stourbridge and in the High Street car park at Kinver. There are also shops available in kinver and Stourbridge.

By car: The Bonded Warehouse is on Canal Street, just off the A491. Parking is available nearby, but you may prefer to park at the Ryemarket multistorey car park.

By bus: several buses arrive at nearby Stourbridge bus station, see nxbus.co.uk for details.

Approximate postcode: DY8 4LU

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Walk Sections

Start to Wordsley Junction Bridge
Start to Wordsley Junction Bridge

Start point: 52.461 lat, -2.149 long
End point: 52.4726 lat, -2.1643 long

Walk down Canal Street with the Bonded Warehouse on your right. Go through the black and white gate and continue straight on. The canal is visible on your right.

Built in 1799, the Bonded Warehouse is a building in which goods can be stored without payment of customs duty. It is a Grade II listed building. As you follow the path, there are many buildings on the far side of the canal that date back to the canal's heyday, some of which are still in use today.

Follow the path along Stourbridge Town Arm canal for 1800m. Head under Coalbournbrook Bridge and Chubbs Bridge, then keep an eye out for the nature board on the left hand side of the towpath that details the history of the local glass industry. Continue under Longboat Lane bridge, then on to the gauging stop. Holy Trinity church in Wordsley is visible from here. Cross the bridge to the far side of the canal.

Wordsley Junction Bridge to Prestwood
Wordsley Junction Bridge to Prestwood

Start point: 52.4726 lat, -2.1643 long
End point: 52.4637 lat, -2.2056 long

This next section continues for 3400m along Stourbridge Canal. After crossing the bridge, turn left, keeping the canal on your left. After a short distance, there is a nature board detailing the function of the gauging stop.

Shortly after this, where the canal narrows, it is carried over the River Stour via an aqueduct. Work started on this in 1776, the same time that the work on the canal was commenced by Thomas Dadford and James Green.

Continue on, past Mount Pleasant Covert on your right. Go under Bells Mill Bridge, Middle Bridge, past Trench Covert on your right then under Newtown Bridge. The next point of interest (POI) is Stourton Top Lock, which is the first of 4 locks. Continue past the second, then cross the canal via the metal bridge directly in front of Four Locks Bridge.

Follow the towpath with the canal now on your right, past Stourton Bottom Locks, then cross the bridge over the Staffs & Worcs Canal.

Prestwood to Kinver
Prestwood to Kinver

Start point: 52.4637 lat, -2.2056 long
End point: 52.4489 lat, -2.2236 long

This section continues for 2900m. After crossing the bridge, turn left and follow the towpath with the canal on your left. Continue on for a short distance and you will come to Stewpony Lock. Note the oddly octagonal shaped tollhouse on the opposite bank. Continue to follow the towpath which descends under the road bridge adjacent to the lock.

The canal now follows a route between the A449 up the hill to your left and the river Stour, through the trees to your right, for a short distance. After 600m, enter Dunsley Tunnel. The tunnel is interesting in that it is believed to be the oldest navigable tunnel on the canal network and is carved out of sandstone rock.

After passing through the tunnel, the next POI is Hyde Lock, which has a nature board detailing The Hyde Ironworks and the Kinver Light Railway. Shortly after this point, cyclists are asked to dismount at the kissing gate, while passing along the moorings. After passing through the next wooden gate, walkers can follow the towpath. Cyclists must use the path on the right, as directed, before going through the gate. The paths rejoin after a couple of hundred metres. The church visible on the hill is St Peters.

Continue on, past the moored boats, until you reach the lock. The Vine public house is visible across the canal. To reach it, head onto the main road, which crosses the bridge, then turn left. To reach Kinver village, do the same but turn right and follow the road for 200m.

Kinver to End
Kinver to End

Start point: 52.4489 lat, -2.2236 long
End point: 52.44 lat, -2.2176 long

Leave the lock via the towpath that heads under the road bridge. The hill visible to your left contains several rock houses, now disused. These are dwellings that have been carved out of the sandstone. There are several others at nearby Kinver Edge. Sadly, they aren't visible from the canal due to tree cover.

Follow the towpath for a further 1500m, underneath Whittington Horse Bridge, until you reach Whittington Lock, by the white lock-keeper's cottage where this walk ends.

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