There’s no denying it. It’s cold outside and a chill has snuck into all our houses. Yes, you could stick the heating on and pour money down the drain. Or, you could get outside and warm up those bones by walking about. Nothing beats seeing wrapping up and tackling the crisp landscape of England at this time of year. We believe the country never looks more beautiful during the winter months – especially when your destination is a cosy country pub. So try one of these winter walks near Birmingham that all end at a pub.
1. Earlswood Lakes
Loop around Earlswood Lakes – which is actually made up of three 22-acre reservoirs together, Terry’s Pool, Windmill Pool and Engine Pool – for a short lakeside walk and delve into the edge of Clowes Wood. Soak up the beautiful surroundings and spot local wildlife, sailing boats and the historic engine house, before stopping off at the large country pub, The Red Lion. Another pub option is The Bulls Head.
The Red Lion, Lady Ln, Earlswood, Solihull B94 6AQ
The Bulls Head, 7 Limekiln Ln, Earlswood, Solihull B94 6BU
Bromsgrove is blessed with many good pubs and many better walks. Wander over to Dodford for breathtaking scenery and a variety of terrain – park up at the The Park Gate Inn and loop through the stunning landscape, before returning home to the pub. Or head in the other direction from Bromsgrove and follow the canals to Avlechurch – taking in the Tardebigge Locks, Tardebigge Church, two canal tunnels and the village. Stop at the canalside pub, The Weighbridge Inn, for a refresher.
The Park Gate Inn, 178 Kidderminster Rd, Park Gate, Bromsgrove B61 9AJ
The Weighbridge Inn, Scarfield Hill, Alvechurch, Birmingham B48 7SQ
We recently talked about our love for the historic town of Henley-in-Arden. So you know there’s already plenty of reasons to visit. Follow the River Alne through open fields, and woodlands (visit Austy Woods in spring for bluebells), and along the canal towards Wooton Wawen, before looping back into Henley. There are plenty of pubs to choose from, but we have to go with The Mount by Glynn Purnell. It offers a proper pub experience with Michelin expertise – from the restaurant experience to a simple pint at the bar, it can do it all.
The Mount, 97 High St, Henley-in-Arden B95 5AT
4. Clent Hills
With miles of footpaths, three different hills to climb and panoramic views over the Cotswolds, Shropshire Hills and Welsh borders, Clent Hills will keep you occupied for hours. Discover The Four Stones at the summit of Clent Hill, which aren’t as ancient as they look but were actually created in the eighteenth century by Lord Lyttleton. Or head to the quieter Walton Hill for wildlife spotting, like birds, stoats and deer. The old oak-beamed country pub in Clent, The Fountain, serves real ales and hearty pub grub.
The Fountain, Adam’s Hill, Clent, Stourbridge DY9 9PU
5. Kinver Edge
The Rock House walking trail is the best way to discover the rock-carved houses of Kinver Edge. It’ll lead you through a heathland abuzz with wildlife, children’s play areas, two explorable areas of rock houses and atop the Iron Age hill fort. The homes in Holy Austin Rock are restored to Victorian-style cottages, while you can climb into the houses at Nanny’s Rock and wander around the empty rooms – look out for ‘devil’s chimney’. Kinver is full of wonderful pubs, but we often head to the cosy Cross Inn.
The Cross Inn, 1 Church Hill, Kinver, Stourbridge DY7 6JA
6. Lickey Hills
With over 524 acres to explore, Lickey Hills‘ varied landscape is made up of woodlands, heathland, grassland, a series of hills and a diversity of wildlife. There are a variety of trail maps at the visitor centre, but the circular walk is the best way to take it all in. Make sure to rise to the challenge of climbing Beacon Hill, the Lickeys’ most famous viewpoint – on a clear day as the Black Mountains. You’ll also find a children’s adventure playground, an 18-hole golf course, off-road cycle paths and plenty more. Head to the edge of the park to find The Oak Tree.
The Oak Tree, Rednal, Cofton Hackett, Birmingham B45 8UX