THIS ROUTE MAKES A GREAT SHORT WINTER RIDE BUT IS GREAT AS A QUICK EVENING BLAST IN SUMMER. ALSO FANTASTIC AT NIGHT.
TOTAL MILES : 12
TOTAL TIME : 1.2 HOURS
MAPS : EXPLORER 219, DUDLEY AND WOLVERHAMPTON (BUY IT HERE)
LBS : HALFORDS BIKE HUT, MERRY HILL CENTRE
Two places to start this one, first one and the easiest is the car park on Ivy Lane (SO943803). The second place has a Tea shop and Toilets but is a short distance by road from the start.
The first climb
1 From the Ivy Lane car park, cross directly over the road and climb the steep bridleway, avoiding the horses and shit that they leave behind. Half way up, the bridleway goes left and then reaches a broad path on the top of Walton Hill. Turn right onto this path until you reach the trig point . Here, you bear slightly right at the Y junction, following a fairly broad path that heads down into the woods. This is a fast, tricky descent with some scary drop offs and big ruts that can really catch you out.
Still the first climb........
2 Follow the path through the trees until it forks, take the left hand fork which is the bridleway (a footpath goes straight on). Follow this fast hard packed trail onto theroad that it becomes, bearing left.
3 Carry on along this road until you reach a T junction where you turn right. After about 300m, you come to a wide junction on your left. Take the farm track and follow it until you reach the woodland. The bridleway carries on to the right of the gate and climbs through the woods on a nice challenging loose surface. At the top, the track becomes paved again and you carry on along the top of the deer farm. The track bears right and becomes a high speed tarmac descent.
4 At the bottom of the track, turn right onto the road and then left at the next T junction. Take the next right and then carry on straight across the roundabout (major road, beware). After the pub, take the first right and follow the tarmac until a bridleway branches off to the left. This fast, hard packed track descends through the woods until you reach a small car park.
5 Turn right out of the car park and take the next right turn. Follow this road until you reach a T junction then turn right. There is a couple of bridleways that cut the corner here but in my experience they are very muddy. The road passes through Belbroughton, past a couple of pubs and in to the centre ofHoly Cross where you need to go straight across the road onto Church Avenue.
6 The road passes throughClent village and you want Vine Lane, past the Vine Pub (tempting but believe me you don't want a pint in you on this last section). The next bit of road is St Kenelms pass, which is a bit of a bitch. At the top of the pass, turn right back to the car park. Now you can go back to the Vine Inn which does excellent food!
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