Walk: Rock houses, Kinver Edge

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New boots! (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We’ve not had a lot of time to ourselves for a few weeks and have been dashing all over the place visiting various family members in various places. But I did have a brand new pair of walking boots for my birthday, I did want to at least start to break them in, and we did want to try at least a little walk where we can.

So, not this weekend just gone but last Sunday, we went to Kinver Edge near Stourbridge. Actually, we started off by going to the Lickey Hills Country Park, but couldn’t park in the very busy car park. Then we tried the Clent Hills, but couldn’t find anywhere to park. Then we grabbed a quick lunch and then I took us on a magical mystery tour. And we ended up at the rock houses at Kinver.

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Rock Houses, Kinver Edge (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I’ve wanted to see these houses ever since I found out they existed, but I’d tried to find them before sat-nav and got hopelessly lost. This time I was able to plug the post code into my mobile phone and just tell the poet which way to drive.

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Rock Houses, Kinver Edge (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

At first we thought we’d struggle to park here too, as the first car park you come to was already packed. But we drove on up the hill a little way and found another, bigger, emptier car park. It seems this was the car park used by regulars and locals too, as there were lots preparing to walk their dogs or coming back from walking their dogs.

The signpost said that the houses were only 500m away, or we could divert upwards towards a viewpoint. As I was dying for the loo, we said we’d visit the houses first, use the facilities, and walk up to the viewpoint after. But we had a perfectly adequate view from the rock houses, so decided in the end not to carry on upwards.

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Rock Houses, Kinver Edge (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The houses, managed by the National Trust, are on 3 levels. The 1st level has 3 restored houses; the 2nd level is closed to the public; and the 3rd level has the café and toilets plus a couple of caves you can walk inside. There is a piped soundtrack in the bottom houses, and they felt quite cool. Apparently, however, they were supposed to keep cool in the summer but warm in the winter once the fires were lit.

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Lord Rufus – isn’t he gorgeous? (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I’ve always wanted to see them ever since my dad mentioned he used to know someone who lived there in the 1930s. The houses were, in fact, lived in right up to the 1960s, but had to be abandoned due to lack of sanitation.

On the footpath back to the car park is a small adventure area and the dog climbed up a stair of logs where the poet could take his picture at the top.  They both did very well! 😉

The boots held up, didn’t even give a hint of rubbing or pinching, and were very comfortable.

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We only walked 1.04 miles this time and only burned 225 calories. But there’s plenty more for visitors to see and do.

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Walk: Langsett Reservoir

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Langsett Reservoir (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

When the poet’s son #2 + g/f said they wanted to go for a walk last Sunday, we decided to go to an old familiar/old favourite/very local one of ours: Langsett Reservoir. This is a fairly easy 4 miles and close enough to home to not need a picnic.

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Picture: Ian Wordsworth

It really is only 10 minutes away, but when we got there, we were surprised at how many others had the same idea. The car park was packed. The overflow was packed. And a little layby on the opposite side of the road was almost packed – so that’s where we parked.

Langsett is a very dog-friendly place and we were even able to take Rufus off his lead a few times. He ran on ahead and only once ran off after another dog, which, fortunately, was a big softie and didn’t mind his fussing.

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Picture: Ian Wordsworth

There was a young girl there who really didn’t want to be. Her dad (we presume) clearly thought it was a very good way to spend a Sunday morning with the dog, but all the way around, we could hear her grizzling, asking why they couldn’t turn back, complaining about it being too far.

We were intially quite warm walking. The weather was grey and overcast, and a tad chilly. But the exercise soon warmed us up.

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Grouse (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

However, the higher we started to climb, the faster the temperature started to drop, and by the time we reached the top (banner pic along top), it started to snow! I was so happy!

So were son #2 + g/f. In fact, they both seemed delighted!

The poet, on the other hand, distinctly looked a bit “boo!” Rufus didn’t even notice. He was just having such a great time.

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The view from where we parked the car (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

All the way along the top the poet and his son were scouring the gorse for signs of grouse. They saw a few. But by the time we reached “North America”, there was one just sitting on a wall. The picture’s a bit zoomed-in, but at least he looks nice and plump.

The path underfoot was mostly very good, with the first part from the visitor centre down to the lake recently re-sanded. It was a bit muddy in places, but nothing we couldn’t easily get across or around.

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Ryan, Chloé, Rufus, Diane, Ian

By the end of the walk we’d probably all just about had enough. We were ready to get out of our walking boots/shoes/clothes and into a nice warm car.

The dog, naturally, could have gone on forever. But within only 10 minutes again, we were back home where a loaf was baking in the bread maker and 2 lamb shanks were roasting in the slow cooker.

Son #2 + g/f said they’d love to come walking with us again, and it was nice to have them with us.

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Altogether, including the extra bit from and back to the car, we walked 4.18 miles and we burned 560 calories.

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