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Stourbridge Canal: Fens Pools to Stourbridge

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Stourbridge Canal: Fens Pools to Stourbridge
Author: Sammy Benbow, Published: 30 Oct 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 UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
West Midlands, Stourbridge
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Stourbridge Canal: Fens Pools to Stourbridge
Length: 4 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 4 mile linear walk along a few branches of the Stourbridge Canal. It commences at The Fens Pools in Pensnett and ends near to The Bonded Warehouse in Stourbridge.

The walk itself is along a canal towpath and offers views of the surrounding countryside and of the canal, which is often reasonably busy with boat traffic. There are a couple of nature boards along the route detailing some of the history of the local area. There are also points of historical interest. The footpath is a well maintained tarmac path for the most part and would also be suitable for cyclists. However, there are several low bridges that you will need to take care of while going under and some slopes can be slippery during wet weather.

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

Start parking: Free parking is available in Swan Street, Pensnett. Alternatively, there is parking on the Fens Pools, off Blewitt Street.

End Parking: There are several pay and display car parks in Stourbridge.

From car park to the start point: If parking at Swan Street, turn left out of the car park and walk down the road to the island. Take the third exit onto Blewitt Street, walk along and take the first left onto the Fens Pools.

From end point to the car park: Head down through the town towards Canal Street and The Bonded Warehouse.

By bus to start point: the 222 departs Dudley and Merry Hill regularly and stops in Blewitt Street. See for timetable. Stop ID: nwmjwgdg or nwmjwgda

By bus from end point: Nearby Stourbridge bus station is served by buses going to a variety of areas. See for timetables.

By train: Stourbridge Town junction is adjacent to the bus station.

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Walk Sections

Start to Leys Junction
Start to Leys Junction

Start point: 52.4951 lat, -2.1301 long
End point: 52.4836 lat, -2.1416 long

The walk starts at The Fens Pools, a feeder reservoir for the Stourbridge canal. They were constructed in the 1770s and are now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for the variety of waterfowl present here, as well as Great Crested Newts.

Your path heads right directly after the small car park. Choose the right-hand of the two green gates and follow the path down the hill. You will see Grove Pool on your right, before going downhill past the start of the feeder to the canal proper. Follow the path through the green gate at the bottom, noticing the map of the reserve on the right.

Cross the road and follow the path opposite through the green gateway. Bear left and you will soon happen upon the Fens Branch canal. Continue along, going under the disused railway bridge then crossing the footbridge over the Stourbridge Extension Canal at Brockmoor Junction. This short canal was opened in 1840 to support the mines that had opened in the area. It was abandoned in 1935.

Continue along to Leys Junction, which marks the junction of the Stourbridge Canal with the Fens Branch. The first lock of the Stourbridge flight is adjacent.

Leys Junction to Wordsley Junction
Leys Junction to Wordsley Junction

Start point: 52.4836 lat, -2.1416 long
End point: 52.4726 lat, -2.1643 long

Continue to follow the towpath, keeping the canal on your left. It now descends through 16 locks towards Stourbridge. At lock 3, there is a radar key scheme gate. Go through this then follow the path under the road bridge. Take care on the cobbled surface.

At lock number 9, you will find a nature board detailing the history of the canal. In the distance, however, you will also see the imposing Red House Cone. Continue on past Dadford Wharf on the far side of the canal, with its moored boats, and under Dadford's Bridge.

Shortly after this, just before the bridge that marked the entrance to the Redhouse Cone Arm, you will find another nature board, this time detailing the history of the glass cone. Continue along until you come to Wordsley Junction, immediately after lock 16.

Wordsley Junction to End
Wordsley Junction to End

Start point: 52.4726 lat, -2.1643 long
End point: 52.4611 lat, -2.1527 long

At Wordsley Junction, take the bridge over the canal, signposted Wordsley Junction Bridge. This canal is the Stourbridge Branch of the Stourbridge Canal. This odd naming convention arose as the Stourbridge Canal Main Line leads from The Delph at Amblecote to Stourbridge Junction at Stourton. The "Town Arm" as it is known, provided access to the town of Stourbridge and the industry there, lots of which is still visible alongside the canal.

Shortly after leaving the junction, the sandstone that forms the local area can be seen at the far side of the canal. Shortly after the cottages on the right, there is another nature board detailing the history of the area. The path continues along a surprisingly green corridor, under a couple of bridges and through a RKS gate, before passing over two bridges close to the terminus of the canal. Your walk terminates by the black and white gate. To get into Stourbridge, continue straight, between the buildings, then turn right at the main road.

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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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