Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: birmingham, birmingham and worcester canal, canal walks, may day, middle march, pilgrimage, walking, worcester, worcestershire
Yesterday I celebrated May Day with a very long walk from Worcester to home along the canal.
This was almost the end of the Middle March – the walk I have been doing over the last year from home, doing a long loop to delve deeply into some of the places of significance here; Stratford, Evesham, the Cotswold hills and villages, Bredon Hill, the Malverns, Worcester. I will finish it with a walk along the Severn next week from Kidderminster to Worcester, saving a few day section of the lowlands from the Cotswolds to the Malverns as this is really hard to do in single day walks.
I got an early train to Worcester, got onto the canal at Diglis Basin and began walking.
The canal was built to transport goods made in Brummagem to the River Severn and on to the world. It now comes across as rural and quiet, a place for tourists, although I passed under the motorway, under very old roads like the Salt Way, through industrial revolution settlements like Stoke Works.
The weather forecast was terrible. I was lucky to get a relatively dry morning. I even walked with this chap for a while
Midday found me passing the Eagle and Sun at Hanbury Wharf
Wye Valley HPA scores very highly on the Pilgrim Points System.
As I walked I went inwards, praying and thinking about my life and work. I looked outwards, seeing heron, a variety of water fowl, trying to identify the small birds singing on the reeds. I enjoyed the wildflowers and the colours of the crops.
It was very hard, despite the distance still to walk, not to go through gates like this and see the other side.
At half past two it began to rain torrentially. I stood under a bridge to put my waterproofs on, then walked on steadily for a couple of hours. I hoped for a cup of tea at the boat yard in Tardebigge. The shop was open but deserted. I left money for a cold drink on the counter and trudged on.
Walking over the hill above Shortwood Tunnel, the rain stopped. The ground was saturated. When I got back to the towpath, it was either water to my ankles or deep mud. It was slow going and the odds of my falling in were getting shorter. At Alvechurch I got the train and walked home along the Stratford on Avon Canal from Kings Norton. I think I walked about 20 miles. It was enough.
I home I drank a few of these and put my feet up.
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