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Fradley Junction and Riley Hill

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Fradley Junction and Riley Hill
Author: andyt2404, Published: 22 Nov 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
Staffordshire, Riley Hill
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Fradley Junction and Riley Hill
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 7 mile circular walk from Fradley Junction in Staffordshire. This route explores the countryside which includes farmland and villages as well as sections along the Trent and Mersey Canal at the start of the walk and at the end. There is plenty of wildlife to see along the way. There is a canal visitor centre that is worth exploring however it is run by volunteers and times of opening vary. At the junction there are several listed buildings, these are: Cottages, Warehouse, Crossover bridge and lock and on the Wharf you will find the original Stables, Carpenters shop and Blacksmiths (which now form part of the cafe and visitor centre). On the opposite side of the canal you will find the award winning Nature Reserve, this is well worth a look for all the family to enjoy.

The route will take you along a mixture of tarmac surfaces, towpaths and footpaths across farmers fields. At least one of the fields may be holding cattle so take particular care with dogs. Parts of the route can be muddy, depending on the time of year. You will need to negotiate a few metal gates. There are several long stretches of road walking with no pavements so take care of traffic. Approximate time 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the Canal and River Trust Fradley Junction car park alongside the canal visitor centre. The centre is accessed from the A38 at Alrewas and Fradley Park. Take the A513 towards Kings Bromley. After 2 miles turn left, signed towards Fradley Junction. Follow signs to the car park. The car park is pay and display and costs £1 for 4 hours or £1.50 for the full day (correct November 2015). Approximate post code DE13 7DN.

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Walk Sections

Start to Shadehouse Lock and Cottage
Start to Shadehouse Lock and Cottage

Start point: 52.7243 lat, -1.7905 long
End point: 52.7219 lat, -1.7986 long

Exit the Canal and River Trust car park and turn left, walk through the open large wooden gate into the courtyard, exit the courtyard at the right hand corner and go onto the towpath. Proceed straight walking towards Bridge 51, the canal should be on your right. On the other side of the canal you can see the award winning Nature Reserve.

When you get to the bridge, cross the canal to the other side and turn left. Walk straight ahead along the road (be mindful of traffic) with the canal now on your left. Immediately after the bridge is a set of locks. Further along you will see the junction turn off for the Coventry Canal on your left. The towpath you are following is along the Trent and Mersey Canal. You will pass the local canal side pub, there are also some tea rooms. On the right you will go past a large holiday park, these are mobile holiday homes. After walking for a few minutes you will come to a set of locks, called Middle Locks.

When you have gone past this set of locks you will see up ahead of you Bridge 52. On this section you will come to an electronic information post, press the button and the recording will start to play and inform you of what is in the area. Walk past Bridge 52 and again, immediately after the bridge, is a set of locks, the Shadehouse Locks. On your right is lock keeper's cottage. Ahead of you is a large metal gate, to the left of the gate is an exit chicane.

Shadehouse Lock and Cottage to Wood End Lock
Shadehouse Lock and Cottage to Wood End Lock

Start point: 52.7219 lat, -1.7986 long
End point: 52.7195 lat, -1.8123 long

Go through the metal chicane and you will come onto a stretch of towpath that is mainly grass and is not greatly used. As such, this next section could be muddy and very slippery, depending on the time of year and weather. Keep walking along the towpath. As you walk along this section of the towpath there are large woodland areas on either side of you.

Eventually the woodland section on your left will stop and open fields will be seen. Just a short way further along, you will come across a cast iron mile sign. As you approach Bridge 53 you will see on the left-hand side of the canal a row of private moorings. There is now open countryside to left and right of you as you walk along. When you get to Bridge 53 you will see that yet again, directly after the bridge, is a set of locks and a lock keeper's cottage. You have now arrived at Wood End Lock.

Wood End Lock to BR 54
Wood End Lock to BR 54

Start point: 52.7195 lat, -1.8123 long
End point: 52.7305 lat, -1.8297 long

As you proceed along this next section of the towpath you will see some more private moorings, open fields and woodland areas. You will come across another cast iron mile sign (where you will notice that it is a mile between this one and the last mile sign you passed).

As you approach Bridge 54 (a road bridge that you will be walking underneath) you will see a very tall chimney and a row of old buildings. As you exit from under the bridge you can see the writing on the wall, this area is called Kings Bromley Wharf. Boat repairs are carried out at this wharf today, but in the past Bromley Wharf brought a great deal of canal trade through Kings Bromley. At its peak, thirty boats stopped there each day. This included a fortnightly load of coal, from Rugeley, for the Edwards Creamery. The creamery no longer stands.

BR 54 to T junction
BR 54 to T junction

Start point: 52.7305 lat, -1.8297 long
End point: 52.74 lat, -1.7833 long

Carry on walking straight ahead along the towpath. After only having walked for a short while on your left you will see the very large entrance/exit off the canal, for Kings Bromley Marina. This is a very large marina where there is parking, a shop, diesel, coal, logs and lots more. There is also a boat sales here so if you fancy a life on the canal this could be a good stop for you to buy that dream boat.

Continue along the towpath and after walking for some time you will see up ahead of you Bridge 55 - the point at which we leave the canal. Follow the towpath under the bridge and immediately afterwards, turn right up a set of steps that lead you up to Shaw Lane. Turn left along the lane (NOTE: Be advised that there is no pavement, verge or walkway, so be mindful of the traffic while you are walking along the lane).

Carry on walking straight along the lane until you get to a T junction. When you get to the T junction you will see on your right a road sign that informs you that the road you have been walking along is called Shaw Lane (Hanch), turn right onto the next stretch of Shaw Lane.

T Junction to Signpost
T Junction to Signpost

Start point: 52.74 lat, -1.7833 long
End point: 52.7245 lat, -1.7911 long

Again this stretch of road has no pavement, grass verge or walkway so be mindful of traffic as you walk along. You will see open fields to the left and right with some woodland areas dotted about and small groups of housing in the distance. This is a fairly long stretch of road walking, but there is plenty of open countryside around you to enjoy as you walk.

You will eventually come to the crossroads with the main A515. Cross this main road with extreme care and go ahead into Common Lane. Continue along Common Lane until you come to a crossroads.

At this crossroads turn right onto a bridleway. Ahead of you will be a metal gate (there is a picture of this in the gallery). Go through this gate and follow the path until you come to another metal gate on your left (this is just as the path bears round to the right). Turn left through the gate into a field.

Follow the hedge on the left until you reach a metal bridle gate on the left. Turn left through this into the adjacent field (NOTE: there may be livestock in this field) and turn right along the field edge. Follow the hedge on your right until you get to the corner. Turn left and walk straight ahead, you will see in front of you a metal gate. When you get to this gate, exit the field. You will see ahead and slightly to your left, a track that runs the length of the next field. Walk along this track towards a white farm building, there will be a hedge on your left and an open field on your right.

When you get to the farm building, carry on walking straight, the track will turn into a tarmac farm lane. When you get to the end of this farm lane you will be facing the main road (the A513). This is also a local bus route and you will see a bus stop to your left. On your right is a road sign, where you will see a large brown information sign that reads Fradley Junction. Turn right into this side road. This is the final stretch of this walk, carry on walking straight along this road.

Signpost to End
Signpost to End

Start point: 52.7245 lat, -1.7911 long
End point: 52.7245 lat, -1.791 long

This is a fairly long stretch of road that will lead you back to Fradley Junction. You will see along the way open fields to your left and right. Again this road has no grass verge or pavement, so be mindful of the traffic on this fairly busy road. About three quarters of the way along this road you will come to a large opening on your right, the entrance to an exclusive countryside venue. Stay with the road which bears round to the left passing some beautiful cottages on your right.

When you finally come round the bend you will see just a short way ahead of you a bridge, this is Bridge 50 spanning the Trent and Mersey canal. Just before the start of the bridge is an information sign on the left that says Fradley Junction. Turn right immediately before the bridge and carry on along the access road. This road has a designated walkway for pedestrians on the left-hand side of the road.

You will see on your left a set of locks called Keeper's Lock. You are walking alongside the canal (which is on your left) making your way to Bridge 51. On your right is the Nature Reserve (halfway along the access road is the main entrance to the reserve). When you get to Bridge 51, cross over the canal and turn left onto the towpath (heading back on yourself). Walk the short distance to reach the courtyard where your walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author andyt2404 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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1 images to "Fradley Junction and Riley Hill"

5261_0andyt24041448108501 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: andyt2404
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This is at the crossroads in Common Lane

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