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Staff and Worcs Canal: Stourton to Cookley

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Staff and Worcs Canal: Stourton to Cookley
Author: sammy_benbow, Published: 22 Oct 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
Staffordshire, Stourton
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Staff and Worcs Canal: Stourton to Cookley
Length: 5 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 5 mile linear trail from Stourton to Cookley. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete. The trail follows the route of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The route offers views of the local area, most of which rural. There are several points of historical interest and also a short tunnel.

The route itself is along a canal towpath. There is a short flight of steps and some slopes may be slippery. There are a couple of bridges and gates to navigate. The route starts in Stourton, passes by Kinver village which has several shops available and ends near to Cookley, which also has a few shops. The only toilets on the walk are in Kinver village.

As a linear walk you have two choices for getting there: either to leave a car at each end, or to use local buses.

By car to start point: The nearest parking is a free car park on the A458 at the junction with the A449. Cross the road and turn right, following the tarmac path down to the lock.

By bus to start point: The only bus that visits a point near to the start point is the 228/228, which visits Stourbridge and nearby Kinver. See hansonslocalbus.co.uk for a timetable. Stop ID: stagajgj or stagajgm

By car from end point: there is a small amount of residential parking nearby. Approximate postcode: DY10 3SA

By bus from end point: The 9/9A and 192 buses run from Cookley village. See travelinemidlands.co.uk for timetable. Stop ID: wocdjdjt or wocdjdjw

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Walk Sections

Start to Kinver
Start to Kinver

Start point: 52.4614 lat, -2.2055 long
End point: 52.4489 lat, -2.2236 long

Standing facing the lock, your path proceeds on your right and will take you down a slope alongside the lock, which can be slippery. After passing through the arch, the towpath continues. Follow the towpath alongside the canal for the entire journey, keeping the canal on your left.

After a short distance, you will arrive at Dunsley Tunnel. The tunnel is the shortest on the canal network at only 21 metres (or 25 yards) long. It is also the oldest on the canal system, being built in 1769.

Continue through the tunnel, and on to Hyde Lock. There is a sign board here detailing the history of the local area. As you continue on from Hyde lock, you will pass the Kinver long term moorings, with a variety of boats. As you arrive at Kinver Lock (Number 11), the path takes you under another bridge. If you wish to visit the picturesque Kinver village, walk up onto the road before passing the lock. Return to the towpath when you are ready to continue.

Kinver to Whittington
Kinver to Whittington

Start point: 52.4489 lat, -2.2236 long
End point: 52.4401 lat, -2.2175 long

On passing under the bridge, continue to follow the towpath. The route from here on becomes much more rural. Directly after the bridge, you may be able to see the "rock houses" along Gibraltar. They are set into the sandstone outcrop on the far side of the canal, and are caves hollowed out of the stone. They were lived in until the early 1960s.

The river that can be seen on the right hand side of the route is the Stour, an important tributary of the River Severn. Within a short distance, you will arrive at Whittington Lock.

Whittington to End
Whittington to End

Start point: 52.4401 lat, -2.2175 long
End point: 52.4216 lat, -2.2325 long

There is an attractive white lock-keepers cottage here, now a private residence. Cross over the road and take the short flight of steps down onto the towpath to continue the walk.

There are several attractive old bridges along this section, and at Austcliffe Bridge, there is a small footbridge over the Stour. Your path continues along the towpath. Keep an eye out for the sandstone formations along the far side of the canal.

The walk continues up to Cookley Tunnel. Shortly before the tunnel entrance, there is a gap in the hedge on the right. Go through this and up the slope to arrive on Bridge Road. Turn left to head into Cookley, where this walk ends.

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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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