Worcestershire's Biggest Bell End
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Join TJ for a bracing springtime walk through the beautiful Worcestershire countryside and a brief visit to the winner of Britain's rudest place name.
Our start point is Hagley, a large dormitory village on the outskirts of Stourbridge, just 10 miles from Birmingham city centre as the crow flies. From here we will join the North Worcestershire Path and cross in front of the 18th century Hagley Hall before the route climbs steeply up into the Clent Hills.
The National Trust-managed hills are very popular with dog walkers and day trippers and you can see why on a clear day with views over the Shropshire Hills, Malverns, Cotswolds, the Black Mountains in eastern Wales and not forgetting, of course, more nearby delights such as Dudley.
We'll stay in the hills for a few miles before descending to the village of Bell End for a quick titter, then onto picturesque Belbroughton. From here it's across country with views back to the hills we climbed until we arrive at Hagley for a pint and the journey home.
What to bring
You'll need a sturdy pair of boots and gaiters if you have them, as it can be quite muddy away from the hill tops. For other guidance, see below.
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch for the walk, along with enough to drink and perhaps a small snack as an extra. We'll end the walk at a pub.