RambAle 6: Clent Hills

route6Distance: 6¼ miles/10½ km. Allow 2½ hours (excluding pub stops).

Starting and finishing venue: Lyttelton Arms, Hagley DY9 9LJ.

This walk tours the village of Clent and explores the Clent Hills, allowing excellent views of the Black Country and towards Wales. The path to the summit is quite steep, though the walk becomes much flatter after descending from the viewpoint.

Bear east on Park Road, then at the staggered crossroads continue east across Bromsgrove Road and onto Park Lane. Continue past the housing estate, and then opposite the turning for the second road on your left, you will find a footpath bearing south alongside Hagley Hall on your right. The path bears south-east alongside a wood on your right before entering the wood itself. Continue on a south-east bearing, turning left and then right at a staggered crossroads then bear directly south to emerge onto Woodman Lane. Turn left and follow the lane to the east to reach the Fountain Inn. This pub serves up to four real ales and is popular with diners.

DSCF0044Head east on Adam’s Hill, bearing up the incline to find the Hill Tavern on your left. This is the last chance saloon before you reach the hill’s summit, and serves two real ales.

Climb the hill in front of you and bear north-east along the main trail. On your left you will pass a viewpoint depicting the landmarks of the Black Country.  At the top you will find the Ordnance Survey beacon marking the summit, and also the Clent Hills Stone Circle. When you are ready, re-trace your steps back to the viewpoint, then follow the trail that leads directly south down the hill and into the woods. When the trail reaches a T-junction, turn left and bear east until you reach the main road. Turn right here and you will find the Vine Inn on your right, which serves two real ales alongside man meals.

DSCF0046Bear east on Vine Lane, then when you reach the previous footpath turn right and head directly south into the woodland in front of you and up the hill. As you approach the end of the woodland, bear west and follow the footpath down through two fields and alongside the grounds of St. Leonard’s Church.  Turn right onto Walton Pool Lane then left onto Church Avenue, and follow the road south-west. The road will pass under a large bridge then reach a five-point crossroads where you will see the Bell and Cross pub in front of you. This Grade II listed heritage pub serves four real ales and also has its own restaurant.

From the pub’s car park, bear directly south on Belbroughton lane, then take the first left onto Pool Furlong. Continue along this lane to find the Clent Club on your right, a social club that offers up to three real ales alongside a variety of bar snacks.

DSCF0050Bear north-west through the club’s car park and follow the footpath ahead, passing a duck pond on your right. At the road junction, follow the road directly east, then just after the road bends to the right, take the footpath on your right and bear north-east through a series of four fields until you reach the road. Turn left and follow the road north-east, then at the roundabout follow the second lane. Continue north-east and you will find the French Hen on your right, a former Mad O’ Rourke Pub that serves up to five real ales.

Head north-west on Bromsgrove Road, then when you reach Field Lane on your left, cross Bromsgrove Road and follow the footpath into the field in front of you. Bear directly north, passing a large tree and merging onto a track by Gallow Brook. Bear north-west on this track until you reach the main road, then turn left. Continue past the housing estate, then at the staggered crossroads continue east to return to the Lyttelton Arms; which serves up to three real ales alongside an all-day food menu.