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Dudley No 2 Canal: Section 1

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Dudley No 2 Canal: Section 1
Author: Sammy Benbow, Published: 07 Aug 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Midlands, Netherton
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Dudley No 2 Canal: Section 1
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 7 mile 'there and back' walk along the section of the Dudley No 2 Canal from Bumble Hole to Dudley Tunnel. The route goes past Netherton Reservoir and Blower's Green Pumping House. The walk follows well maintained paths and towpaths and takes you along the first half of the Dudley No 2 canal route. As with the second half (published as a separate walk on iFootpath), there are several information signs along the way detailing the history of the area. As this is the Black Country, some sections of the route are more heavily developed than others. However, there is a lot of wildlife to see.

You may wish to spend a little time exploring Windmill End, including a visit to the visitors centre. However, it's run by volunteers and opening times vary. Mornings are generally your best bet. Alternatively, call on 01384 814100 to check opening times.

The walk starts and finishes at a free car park located off the B4171 Dudley Road, which is open from dawn until dusk.

By car: the nearest A road is the A461 Duncan Edwards Way. The B4174 goes between Dudley and Rowley Regis.

By bus: the 241 departs Dudley bus station, see for details.

Approximate postcode: B65 8NE

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Walk Sections

Start to Bumble Hole
Start to Bumble Hole

Start point: 52.4956 lat, -2.0655 long
End point: 52.4915 lat, -2.0702 long

Depart the car park via the gate opposite the road. Follow the path past Top Pool on the right, then cross over the wooden bridge. Continue straight, then bear left down the hill, by the green bench. In the near distance is Cobb's Engine House, which is a Grade II listed building, built around 1831. It housed a stationary steam pump used to pump water from nearby collieries into the canal. It closed in 1928 and the engine was moved to a museum in America. Continue on past the bridge over the canal on your right, then go over the Windmill End bridge straight ahead.

On the far side of the canal is the Boshboil Arm. Straight ahead is the visitors centre with its flock of geese. Be sure to view the map just beyond the visitors centre as it has lots of interesting information about the vicinity.

Bumble Hole to Netherton Reservoir
Bumble Hole to Netherton Reservoir

Start point: 52.4915 lat, -2.0702 long
End point: 52.4859 lat, -2.0929 long

Continue your route along the canal towpath, passing the visitors centre on the right. Go under the footbridge and the road bridge, and continue on. Go under Griffin Bridge, then keep an eye out on the left for the first historical sign. These take the form of black and white metal signs and they detail interesting information about the area. This one can be found opposite Withymoor Island Marina, which is on the far bank.

Continue along under Bishtons Bridge, then you will find another historical sign on the left. The canal sides become more green now, heading away from the factories and built up areas. Go under Primrose Bridge (known locally as Astles Bridge - see the sign on the underside of the bridge for more information), then in a short while you will find another historical sign by the winding hole. Go under Saltwells Bridge, then after a short while, Netherton Reservoir can be seen on the left. The reservoir is used to supply water to the canal system.

Netherton Reservoir to End
Netherton Reservoir to End

Start point: 52.4859 lat, -2.0929 long
End point: 52.501 lat, -2.1007 long

Continue your path between the reservoir and the canal. Just after the reservoir, a bridge carries the aptly-named Highbridge Road over the canal. There is a nature board close by, detailing the Site of Special Scientific Interest status of the local area and explaining the particular geological formation found here. Although the area is somewhat overgrown, there is an outcrop of rocks visible quite nearby.

Just past this point there is another historical sign, detailing an intriguing phenomena that happened in the local church yard. At the next bridge, the route deviates slightly from the canal, returning to it very shortly. This is because the bridge is in a state of disrepair. There is another historical sign at Blackbrook Bridge. The fields on the other side of the canal lead up to Netherton Church, the tower of which can just be seen above the trees.

The next section becomes more industrialised again. On the next historical sign you will see details about the location on the opposite side of the canal, where parts of the Dambusters 'bouncing bomb' were made. Continue on, and you will soon come to Blowers Green Pumping House. Take the footbridge over the canal, by the locks to the left, and follow the path along the canal. Go under the disused viaduct, follow the path over the bridge to the left and you will find the entrance to Dudley Tunnel at the far end of the basin.

This is the end of the linear route and from this point you will simply need to retrace your steps back to the starting point.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author sammy_benbow and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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