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Sandwell Valley: Priory Woods Trail

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Sandwell Valley: Priory Woods Trail
Author: sammy_benbow, Published: 23 Mar 2015 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, Sandwell Valley
Walk Type: Woodland
Sandwell Valley: Priory Woods Trail
Length: 3 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 3 mile circular walk that takes you from Sandwell Park Farm, via footpaths through woodland and by ponds, past the remains of Sandwell Priory and round Swan Pool before returning to the farm. On the walk you will see several ponds, woodland, the remains of a historic Benedictine priory, the sand well that the local area gets its name from, a small area of heathland and a large pool with its plentiful waterfowl. With walking, history and waterfowl, there is something for everyone here.

The route follows a clear path for its entire length. Most of it is either tarmac or gravel, but there are a couple of sections that can be muddy. The gradients are very shallow and there are no stiles. There is a kissing gate, but you can take a short flight of steps instead if you prefer. There are no toilets on the walk, though there are some at Sandwell Park Farm (entrance charges apply).

By Car: Sandwell Park Farm is situated on Salters Lane, West Bromwich. The postcode is B71 4BG. It's quite close to J1 of the M5. There is free car parking available at the farm.

By Bus: The nearest bus stop is a 10 minute walk away on Seagar Street. The 45 bus stops here regularly. See for details. Walk along Lloyd Street, taking a right onto Salters Lane and follow the brown signs.

By Train: the nearest station is Hamstead. it is a three mile walk to the farm from here.

By Metro: the nearest Metro station is West Bromwich Central. From the station, head right along West Bromwich Ringway then follow Bull Street to Herbert Street. Walk northeast through Dartmouth Park, then turn right onto Salters Lane.

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Walk Sections

Start to Park Lane Track
Start to Park Lane Track

Start point: 52.5208 lat, -1.9738 long
End point: 52.5202 lat, -1.9585 long

Depart the car park by the signboard for Priory Woods, near to the pretty brick building at the end of the car park. Follow the path through the woodland, keeping right at the fork. When you arrive at the steps on the right, your path leads sharply to the right, through the kissing gate. (Alternatively, you may wish to climb the flight of steps). Whichever you choose, follow the slope uphill and over the motorway.

On the other side, ignore the first path on your left and continue on for a short distance, going through the wooden kissing gate on your left. Follow the path through Priory Woods, going around Ice House pool. At the junction, bear left around Cascade Pool, following the path through the wooden kissing gate back onto the main track.

Turn left and in a short distance you will arrive at the ruins of Sandwell Priory. There are a couple of context boards here and on the right you will see the sand well, a curious structure comprised of three squares. Water wells up here, and gives the local area its name.

Continue along the lane for a short distance, before turning into the woods on the right by the wooden signpost. Follow the path uphill slightly, and you will soon arrive at an area of managed heathland, covered in heather. Follow the path across, then bear left, walking parallel to the wall on your right. Continue to follow the path, turning left after you exit the kissing gate.

Continue on for a short distance, then bear right into the trees. Your path continues between two large Sweet Chestnut trees, both of which are over 200 years old. Bear right here, following the path with the horse paddock fence on your left. Continue on for a short distance until you arrive at the grey gravel path.

Park Lane Track to End
Park Lane Track to End

Start point: 52.5202 lat, -1.9585 long
End point: 52.5209 lat, -1.974 long

Turn left onto the grey gravel path, following it parallel to Park Lane on your right. The track passes the horse paddock on your left and crosses Salters Lane. Continue straight, following the path past Swan Pool meadow on your left. The path leads left after a while, heading straight for Swan Pool.

Bear right at the junction, and follow the path around Swan Pool, keeping it on your left. There are a number of different waterfowl species that live on the lake, most of which are quite tame. On the far side of the lake, by the wooden fishing piers, there is a nature board that reveals some of the species that can be seen here, which include Great Crested Grebes and Pochard.

At the far end of the pool, where the path splits, take the right-hand fork. Bear right and follow Salters Lane over the M5. Take the first path on the left after you cross the bridge, which is signposted to the farm. Continue straight, then bear left into the trees. At the donkey paddock, turn right and follow the path back to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 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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