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Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction

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Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction
Author: Sammy, Published: 26 Sep 2014 Walk Rating:star0 Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide star0 Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide star0 Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide star0 Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide star0 Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide
West Midlands, Tipton
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide boot Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide
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This is a 5 mile linear trail from Owen Street Bridge in Tipton, to Gospel Oak Junction on the Walsall Canal, in Wednesbury. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete. The trail follows the route of the Old Main Line to Pudding Green Junction, before turning left and following the line of the Walsall Canal to Gospel Oak Junction.

The route itself is along a canal towpath. There are no steps or stiles, but there are a couple of bridges to navigate. There are also several radar key scheme gates. The route starts in Tipton which has a small shopping centre and ends near to Wednesbury.

The route offers views of the local area, some of which are urbanised while others are more rural. There are several canal junctions along the route and points of historical interest.

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

By car to start point: The nearest parking is a free car park off Albion Street, Tipton. Approximate postcode: DY4 8QG. Cross the bridge and turn left by the entrance to the station.

By bus to start point: There are several buses that depart Dudley bus station for Tipton Owen Street. Stop ID: nwmdmgwa

By train to start point: Tipton train station is adjacent to the start point.

By car from end point: there is a small amount of residential parking nearby. Bannister Road is closest to the end point. To get here from the end point, walk back to the bridge and turn left. Walk a couple of hundred yards with the houses on your right. It is quite near to the A41 Black Country New Road. Approximate postcode: WS10 7LY

By bus from end point: The 311/313 buses run from nearby Leabrook Road, visiting Walsall, Wednesbury, Tipton and Dudley. Stop ID: nwmtjpwp or nwmtjpwm

Wednesbury Parkway Metro station is also quite nearby, however this will not visit Tipton.

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Walk Sections

Start to Dudley Canal
Start to Dudley Canal

Start point: 52.5303 lat, -2.0661 long
End point: 52.5224 lat, -2.0431 long

Access the canal towpath via the entrance adjacent to the railway station. Go down the slope then turn back under the bridge. Follow the towpath under Tipton Station Bridge, keeping the canal on your right. There are two bridges here that the towpath crosses, with a boat yard, known as "Caggy's", on the left. Go under the third bridge and continue along.

This section of the canal was redeveloped in 1809 to add the now-removed Toll End and Tipton Green branches. These canals joined the Walsall Canal to the Main line. Sadly, they were infilled during the 1970s.

Continue along over Puppy Green Aqueduct, Dudley Port Station Aqueduct and Ryland Aqueduct, which carries the canal over the A461. The rusty metal bridge that can be seen on the other side of the canal is Rattlechain Bridge, a towpath bridge which would have originally allowed canal access to Dixon's Basin. Not long after this, you will arrive at Dudley Port Junction, with two black and white roving bridges. Notice the BCN-style (Birmingham Canal Network) waymarker to the left of the towpath.

Dudley Canal to Pudding Green Junction
Dudley Canal to Pudding Green Junction

Start point: 52.5224 lat, -2.0431 long
End point: 52.5141 lat, -2.0167 long

Continue straight, following the towpath underneath the bridge. Although it is not visible from this vantage point, Cooper's Aqueduct takes the canal over the course of the River Tame, which flows through scrub land on the far side of the canal.

The metal bridge seen on the far side of the canal, after a short distance, once allowed access to Rattlechain Basin. This site has a somewhat controversial history, as chemical waste was apparently often dumped here in "Rattlechain Lagoon", as late as the 1970s. The name "Rattlechain" was a term used to describe two pit shafts being managed by a single steam engine. Continue along.

The concrete oval structure in the middle of the canal is Dunkirk Stop Island, a toll stop where boats would be measured and charged a toll based on the amount of cargo they were carrying. Continue on past Albion Junction which leads to the Gower Branch canal, noting the BCN-style waymarker at the junction. Go under three bridges, then cross the fourth over the Wednesbury Old Canal at Pudding Green Junction.

Pudding Green Junction to Ryders Green Junction
Pudding Green Junction to Ryders Green Junction

Start point: 52.5141 lat, -2.0167 long
End point: 52.5228 lat, -2.0221 long

The Wednesbury Old Canal runs for just over a mile before branching off at Ryders Green. Your path continues on the left at the end of the bridge. Follow the towpath with the canal on your left. Go under Izon Bridge and continue on.

This canal, short though it may be, is the oldest on the Birmingham Canal Network. It was built to support the productive coal mines found in the area, but much of the basins and arms that gave access to the local area have been lost. The remains of one can be seen in the form of brickwork at the side of the canal a short distance on.

Cross the canal at Izon roving bridge. A roving bridge was used to allow a horse to cross the canal without unhooking from the boat. In this instance, the horse would be to the right of the canal, pulling the boat along the channel. The boat would stop just before the bridge, while the horse would ascend and then descend the other side, before going under the bridge and continuing on to the left of the canal. Your path follows the same route.

Continue on, going underneath the attractive two-tone grey Belper Bridge. Shortly after this, you will come to Ryders Green Junction. Again, note the waymarker on the left, by the gate. The Wednesbury Old Canal diverges to the right here, while your path continues straight on, adjacent to the locks.

Ryders Green Junction to Tame Valley Junction
Ryders Green Junction to Tame Valley Junction

Start point: 52.5228 lat, -2.0221 long
End point: 52.54 lat, -2.0357 long

Continue on, keeping the canal on your right. The canal descends to the 403' level via a flight of 8 locks, known as the Ryders Green flight. This canal was opened in the 1780s and was created in several sections.

Follow the towpath under several bridges and eventually you will find the eighth lock. This lock is unusual in that it has a drop of only three feet, a signifier that it was created relatively early in the history of the Birmingham Canal Networks. Later engineers would have designed the entire flight to have a steady fall, but this would have involved the use of embankments and cuttings. This was something the early engineers avoided whenever possible, due to the amount of work and costs involved.

The Haines Branch was originally located immediately after lock 8, but has since been filled in. The next bridge that you go under once carried a railway to Dudley Port, but this is now disused. Shortly after Hempole Bridge, the towpath crosses a bridge. This was once the junction with the Danks Branch. Slightly further along, after Moors Mill Lane bridge, some green space can be seen through the trees. This was once the site of the Toll End canal, which linked with the Main Line at Tipton.

Continue over the Lower Ocker Hill branch, which will often have various boats to be seen, until you arrive at the two Tame Valley Junction turnover bridges.

Tame Valley Junction to End
Tame Valley Junction to End

Start point: 52.54 lat, -2.0357 long
End point: 52.5494 lat, -2.0366 long

The canal continues on your right. Go under Doe Bank Bridge, over an unnamed bridge, under Lea Brook Bridge and then cross Wiggins Mill footbridge. Turn left at the end of the bridge and continue on for a short distance.

You will shortly arrive at Gospel Oak Branch Junction. At the junction, standing with the canal in front of you, you can see the disused Gospel Oak Branch. Behind you is the derelict Leabrook Basin.

This is the end of the walk.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network Old Main Line Canal to Walsall Canal: Tipton to Gospel Oak Junction Walking Guide Original GPX source file

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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Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

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AB 123 456

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Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

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There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

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Getting There (required)

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Section Title (required)

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Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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