It seemed an opportune time to take a local walk to get a feel for the area. After looking at Open Street Map I identified what appeared to be a suitable circuit.
The green line is the canal. The starting point was our mooring high on the embankment overlooking Hampstead. In the distance to the southwest was the BT Tower in the centre of Birmingham City.
If you can’t see it now then a visit to SpecSavers might be appropriate
The plan was to avoid residential areas which meant the route followed the River Tame upstream to the M5 Motorway.
Our route and the River Tame have been following each other since Fradley. The Tame joins the River Trent near the National Memorial Arboretum. We’re going to be near it all the way into Birmingham.
Wikpedia states that the source of the Tame is in Oldbury, but on the OSM the river’s source is shown as being in Woodgate Valley Country Park southwest of Birmingham.
M – our current mooring location with the river parallel to the west
1 – furthest north the river extends
2 – we will cross it again near Ocker Hill
3 – it passes under the Old Main line and New Main Line near Balancing Lake
Start – the source of the river
The river feeds Forge Mill Lake in Sandwell and the area is a local nature reserve
The Tame continues on north passing under the busy M5 and M6 motorways before doing a ’U’ turn and heading back towards Birmingham. There was a significant amount of traffic noise around here, which probably isn’t surprising as the Tame Valley forms a natural transport corridor.
The route bought me back to the canal near Rushall Junction.
Rushall Canal under the bridge
Looking back down the Tame Valley Canal. Waiouru is a couple of kilometres that way.
This is the view from Rushall Junction looking towards Ocker Hill. The Tame Valley Canal was one of the later canals,constructed in 1844 to relieve pressure on the Farmer Flight. Apparently the old boatmen liked it for its long straights and towpath either side.
My route took me up the Rushall Canal with the intention of crossing the canal at the first bridge.
Well that wasn’t going to happen so I had to keep walking away from the boat. Of course it always starts to rain when you’re at the furthest point.
Someone has been decorating the local trees for Christmas.
Two bridges later I found a path that would take me east. The Rushall Canal continues on with the bottom lock in the far distance
I was curious about these round fitting in the middle of the bitumen footpath. Could they be solar powered lights? There are too many to be survey points
The route took me across Red House Park
Off to the right was an obelisk on a ridgeline. Curiosity got to me. It’s a memorial to Princess Charlotte Augusta, (Charlotte Augusta of Wales). She was the daughter of King George IV.
Charlotte had a battle of wills with her father about who she would marry. She won marrying Prince Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld but after 18 months of happy marriage died giving birth to a stillborn son. Had she lived, Charlotte would have become Queen instead of Victoria. The memorial was refurbished in 2008.