Car-free adventures aroundStourbridgeWest Midlands

Glass-making, canalside cafes, a base for beautiful walks in the Black Country: the area around Stourbridge, thirteen miles west of Birmingham, has a lot to offer visitors. Chiltern railways run direct trains from London Marylebone that take about two hours and twenty minutes. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Rock Houses, carved from the rust-red sandstone under Kinver Edge, or taking a trip to Dudley Zoo to meet the meerkats, this guide will help you get there by public transport: by bus and train, on foot or even by boat.

  1. 4. Follow the canal to Kinver Edge

    The canalside towpaths around Stourbridge make a great network for walkers and cyclists. You can also walk part of the epic long distance path, the Monarch’s Way. It traces the supposed route that Charles II took after losing the Battle of Worcester, looping through the Midlands, heading south through the Cotswolds and Mendips and finally over the downs to the coast at Brighton – more than 600 miles! This six mile taster from Stourbridge is delightful. OS map 219 (Wolverhampton and Dudley) will be very useful.

    • Follow signs from Stourbridge Town station to the centre of town and walk along the cheerful high street, with Georgian inns like the Talbot Hotel and lots of independent shops.
    • Go on past the clock outside Stourbridge town hall and follow the underpass below the ring road towards the River Stour and the canal. Join the towpath near the old ‘Bonded Warehouse’ (boat trips leave from here). Follow the Stourbridge canal, turning left after a couple of miles at the junction. An aqueduct takes you over the River Stour.
    • Eventually, at Stourton Junction, turn left (leaving the Monarch’s Way) to reach the main road near Stewponey Bridge. Cross over and turn right along the road to find a path on your left, leading diagonally left across fields. Follow this path through the woods ahead and keep straight past the Hyde and a miniature railway into Kinver village.
    • Follow the directions in 3. (above) to reach panoramic Kinver Edge with areas of sandy heathland, wild ferny woods and views towards the distant Malvern Hills.
    • On Kinver Edge, walkers meet another long distance path. The Staffordshire Way ends here after nearly 100 miles from the county’s northern border with Cheshire.
  1. 5. Trains to Birmingham and beyond...

    Birmingham’s Snow Hill station is less than half an hour’s train journey from Stourbridge Junction. Snow Hill is right next to the cathedral and a very short walk from the city’s main sights.

    • Turn right to find the cathedral and right again to reach Victoria Square with the city’s wonderful Museum and Art Gallery nearby (a must for fans of pre-Raphaelite painting).
    • Stroll down to Broad Street for a huge selection of frequent buses heading west to the Botanical Gardens. Visitors to Birmingham by train get 2 for 1 entry.
    • Train travellers are also rewarded with 2 for 1 entry at sumptuous Cadbury World, which is not far away. Birmingham’s revamped New Street station is close by and trains to nearby Bournville run every ten minutes. Chocolate heaven!

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount

Visit car-free in 2019!