RambAle 2: Catshill and Fairfield

route2Distance: 6.9 miles/11km. Allow 2 ¾ hours (excluding pub stops).

Starting and finishing venue: Crown Inn, Catshill B61 9LE

This walk surrounds the village of Fairfield in Worcestershire, and passes through Bournheath and Wildmoor. The route involves a series of level fields, though there is a small uphill incline through the woods followed by a sharp stepped downhill footpath.

Heading south, cross the road and turn left onto Crownhill Meadow. Follow the road around the bend then look for a footpath in between the houses on your left. At the top of the hill, turn right onto Rocky Road and follow this road across the motorway. On your left, you will see a gated factory unit; there is a kissing gate in the left-hand corner as you walk down the entrance to the gate. Turn right and directly west across two fields to join Valley Road.  Turn right to reach a grassed triangular junction in the road, then turn left and head north-west on Doctor’s Hill. The New Inn will be on your right, which serves two real ales alongside main meals.

004Continue west on Doctor’s Hill, then follow the footpath on the bend of the road next to a farmhouse. This footpath will cross four fields to reach Yarnold Lane. Turn right and follow this road up the hill to a T-junction then turn right at the crossroads to find the Nailers Arms on your left. This pub serves up to four real ales and a reasonably priced food menu. You may also like to consider the Gate, which is just around the corner.

Turn right and head north-west past Yarnold Lane then take the first footpath on your left. Cross the field to re-join Yarnold Lane, then turn right and take the next footpath shortly on your right. Follow this footpath through five fields in a westerly direction until you come to a farmhouse building on your right. Head north then follow the gravel path north through the farm buildings to reach Dordale Road. Cross the road to enter Pepper Wood then follow the main trail uphill in a northerly direction to merge onto Wood Lane. Turn right to follow the lane to join the main road, then at the T-junction turn left to find the Swan Inn on your left. This Marston’s owned pub serves three ales and is popular with diners.

001Head south on Stourbridge Road, walking past Wood Lane until you reach the Fairfield playing fields on your left. Bear on the left-hand side of the football pitch and cross the stile at the far end of the field to follow a footpath which sharply declines onto Swan Lane. Turn right and follow the road, then take the first left onto Third Road. Once the road has bent round to the east, look for a footpath on your right opposite the second farmhouse from the bend. Head directly east across the field onto Middle Road, then follow the road to the right. The next footpath will be just before the first farmhouse on your right; follow this footpath in a north-easterly direction to merge onto Top Road, where you will find the Wildmoor Oak on the right-hand side. This rural inn serves 3 real ales alongside a selection of ciders and a Caribbean-themed food menu.

006Return to the previous footpath in a westerly direction, then when you reach a stile on your right follow the opposite footpath to the south. Continue on this footpath until you reach the road, then turn right and follow the road round the bend then take the next footpath on your left. Head south, passing through two fields, then turn left to merge onto the driveway. At the main road, turn left and follow the road downhill to cross the motorway. After passing a garage on your right, you will arrive at the Plough & Harrow which serves two real ales and a daily carvery.

Continue south down the hill, passing a church on your left but remain on this same road. Cross the mini-roundabout to return to the Crown.