Amy Walks: Hanbury Circular Trail
2018 was an incredible year. I went on fun adventures, amazing holidays, saw and experienced a lot of new things and practically had a plan for every weekend. But as brilliant as it was, I had hardly any spare time and it all became rather costly. Plus, with an expensive holiday in the pipeline for December, I knew 2019 had to be much quieter and much cheaper. However, I also didn’t want to compromise on getting out in the fresh air with my camera and thus, my first New Year’s Resolution was born! My aim is to go on an outdoor, nature-based walk each month – if possible! Which all started with the Hanbury Circular trail two weekends ago.
My Mum and I are close and speak to each other every week, so when I mentioned my resolution plans, she was keen to join me having made a similar one herself!
Using the Worcestershire County Council’s useful leaflet, we met at the Gateway Car Park – located on the first left on the turning for the Rugby Club. Then, donned with layers and layers, we set off in to the gloomy Worcestershire countryside.
Following Hanbury’s canal, we started to follow 6 3/4 mile trail directions. As we’d met first thing in the morning, we practically had the route to ourselves, which was great!
We followed the muddy pathways next to the water and admired the calming stillness of it all.
Leaving the canal, we made our way through kissing gates and across fields. In order to help us along the way, we’d brought a thermos of coffee along. It didn’t take long to find the perfect perch and we enjoyed the mugs greatly.
Whilst making our way along the woodland path, we spotted some of Bromsgrove Rocks painted stones and carefully re-hid them.
Once out of the woods, we had another uphill slog to get to Hanbury Church. A few puffs and pants later and we’d made it to the churchyard and could take in the views behind us and of the grand church.
The next direction took us through the grounds of the National Trust’s Hanbury Hall. With all the exercise, we saw it only fit to stop for cake – it would have been rude not to! We both went for a slice of coffee cake and oh, my! It was succulent, rich and scrummy!
After that, we made the final climb up Summer Hill and decent back towards the car park. This section was my favourite part of the walk for three reasons:
- Firstly, we came to an instruction that we were sure we’d read wrong. Whilst standing at the edge of a long farm driveway, we consulted the map. All the while, being eyed by two Spaniels at the farm. After about 5 minutes, Mum decided to check out a signpost we could spot in the distance. As she started to walk away, I turned to see if the dogs were still there and found that they were bounding towards us! Much to our delight, they simply wanted to come, say ‘hello’ and have a little scratch behind the ears before running back to where they came from. Even Mum, who is not a dog-lover, admitted how sweet they were as they were clearly well trained – they didn’t bark or jump!
- Once Mum had reached the post, she confirmed we were on the right path and thus, we continued. Shortly afterwards, we came to a railway bridge. A train was coming from the distance, so we rushed the rest of the distance to get on the bridge. Then, like the children we clearly are, we waved and the train driver waved back! He actually waved back…how lovely is that?! Mum and I burst out laughing, as it was so unexpected and really brightened the walk.
- Finally, not even at the egde of the railway bridge, we noticed a field full of sheep. One in particular was doing a peculiar sort of wiggle with it’s bum. On closer inspection, we realised it was simply scratching it’s rump on a branch and was loving it! We’d both clearly got the giggles by this point because again, it was hilarious.
Finishing off the route, we walked back by Hanbury’s canal and to the cars. On consultation of my phones ‘Health’ app, we’d walked over 19,000 steps, a total of 13km which equates to just over 8 miles! We couldn’t believe it!! I’m proud of our achievement but particularly of Mum, who, before that day, had not walked such a long distance in years. She did brilliantly!
Having done a few circular trails before, the Hanbury leaflet was the best by far. The instructions were clear, as was the map and it had extra sections for local information which was fun to learn!
Although the weather was gloomy, I had a wonderful winter walk with my Mum! And the Hanbury trail was the perfect one to start my 2019 resolution.
I’m already looking forward to the next one…