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|Shareshill to Brewood|
|Author: DJHampton, Published: 22 Sep 2012||Walk rating : Rating:|
|This walk takes you between two Staffordshire villages and uses paths, bridleways and tow paths with less than 850 metres of its thirteen and half kilometres on roads, all of which are quiet country lanes. |
Although the route is fairly flat, it is advisable to take a map and compass as many of the paths are little used and some cross very large fields indeed, with way markers only at their edges. The walk should take between 3 and 4 hours, but can be broken up into smaller chunks to suit all abilities. Most of the farmland is arable, but there horses and some cows in fields adjacent to the route.
A note of caution is that because the route is so little used, many paths are very overgrown and long trousers are a must!
I have graded this walk as a 3, simply because of the navigation requirements, but in terms of the difficulty of the terrain it is probably a maximum 2.
The walk starts at the church of St Mary and St Luke, Shareshill, post code WV10 7JW OS reference SJ945 066 and finishes at the church of St Mary and St Chad in Brewood, post code ST19 9BT OS reference SJ884 085. The walk straddles two maps so I would suggest OS Explorer 242 and 244, although most of the walk appears on 219, but not all of it.
|Start to Gate from graveyard|
Start point: 52.6568 lat, -2.0838 long
The walk starts at the entrance to the church of St Mary and St Luke in Shareshill, which is situated off Church Lane in Shareshill. There is a small car park in front of the church.
|Gate from graveyard to Small elm below large oak|
Start point: 52.6579 lat, -2.0846 long
As you enter the field just take a moment and if you look carefully, you can see the church in Brewood to which you are walking. Its a little tricky to pick out, but it's between the two pylons to the left. It's a little easier to pick out once you've walked a short way along the path.
|Small elm below large oak to wooden Slade Heath|
Start point: 52.6579 lat, -2.0953 long
The path now follows the edge of the field with the hedge on your left, until you reach a small wooden footbridge. This footbridge is easy to miss if you cut the corner off the field, as I did the first time I walked the route. Having crossed the bridge you are now faced with a truly enormous field that does not correspond to the OS map field layouts. This presents the most difficult bit of navigation. However, don't worry too much about your navigation across this field. Section 137a of the Highways Act 1980 states that where a farmer plants a crop across a footpath, he/she should reinstate it to a width of one metre. If they haven't undertaken this legal obligation, walkers cannot really be at fault if they walk the wrong route!
|Slade Heath to Coven Heath bridge 69|
Start point: 52.656 lat, -2.117 long
Turn right along the country lane and after 200 metres turn left through the passageway under the railway bridge eventually coming out onto another road. Turn right and cross the road and after 50 metres you will arrive at the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. You need to turn left onto the tow path, which initially heads west and then turns towards the south west.
|Coven Heath bridge 69 to the Shropshire Union canal|
Start point: 52.6412 lat, -2.1322 long
Leave the tow path at 'Coven Heath Bridge 69' through the metal gate and turn right. After 200 metres turn left along the bridleway which is clearly marked. After 50 metres go through the metal gate on the right and walk along the path, which takes you round the left hand edge of the field. Every time I have walked this route I have seen buzzards soaring above this field and their characteristic high pitched call is unmistakeable.
|Shropshire Union canal to Brewood|
Start point: 52.6438 lat, -2.1562 long
Turn right along the canal, again a busy stretch of the waterway network until you reach the Hunting Bridge, which is the first bridge and has a number 7 on it. Leave the tow path, cross over the bridge and follow the path to the top of the field. However, if you want to, you could just follow the tow path straight into Brewood, which knocks a couple of miles off the route, but you miss some lovely countryside.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author djhampton 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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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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