This morning I set off from Redditch bursting with confidence. All the friends and relatives who saw me over my highly enjoyable birthday weekend were unanimous that I have lost weight and look tanned. That's enough to make anybody feel good, but to add to that the blister which has been an annoyance over the last few days seems to be fading away and within myself I'm feeling fitter than ever after a month on the road.
It was very easy to work out a route from Redditch to Worcester that avoided all A-roads completely. Some quiet lanes took me out into the countryside until I picked up footpaths through fields that lead to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, which I joined near Hanbury. From there the canal with it's grassy towpaths goes all the way into the centre of Worcester. Having covered 12 miles by midday I took a break at the Fir Tree Inn at Oddingley.
Sometimes it almost feels like I'm doing a pub-crawl from John o'Groats to Lands End, not a walk. But quite honestly on days like today a pub is the only place on my path where I can rest my legs for a while, enjoy a cold drink and spend a penny. Also, in the evening the local inn is usually the best place to get a good value meal without feeling too out of place in my walking gear (I don't carry any other clothes or footwear).
In error I left the canal a bit earlier than I needed to in Worcester, so I made my way to the centre through some residential areas. After a quick stop for lunch I crossed the River Severn, pausing to look at the impressive cityscape and cathedral from the bridge. After passing the county cricket ground I arrived at the local Milk & More depot. I was welcomed there by two very friendly fellows, manager Dave and area manager Clive.
After leaving the depot I walked on another couple of miles to a lovely spot where I'm camping tonight, it's right next to the Severn and has views across to the Malvern Hills. Handily there's a pub next door (the best place to write a blog entry of course). Tomorrow my advance towards to the South West will continue when I walk to Gloucester. It will be another off-road day, I'm going via the Severn Way. All being well I should make the northern edge of Bristol on Wednesday afternoon.
GPS data click here
Mileage today; 22.94 miles, walking time 5 hrs 35 mins, average walking speed 4.1 mph
Weather; bright spells and breezy, max 19C
Cumulative mileage; 664.57 miles
|The Worcester and Birmingham Canal near Droitwich|
|Crossing the River Severn at Worcester|
|One of the peaceful lanes west of Redditch|