Dudley Number 2 Canal.
Tw bought his house in Alwold Road, Weoley Castle in 2007 and ever since then we have been saying that we would investigate Weoley Castle AND the derelict canal that runs across the bottom of his garden. We know lots about the local[ish] pubs, the [almost] next door convenience store and the cycle routes to the university, curry houses, purveyors of real ale and music venues but we sadly lack knowledge of castles and derelict canals.
In the past, we have had several christmasses when we did Snowdon, usually via Crib Goch, but this this year we were in the mood for a more gentle exploration of the local environs. One of tw's christmas presents to me this year is a trip to North Wales for a few days to take on Snowdon and Tryfan in the same way that we did Hadrian's greatest hits last year.
Crib Goch in 2007
PYG track, Crib Goch in the background
Which way to go? Summit is clear
Warm and bright, lets go for it!
Misty but fun
Did I say misty?
Weoley Castle without the cage
So properly booted and well wrapped up we ventured forth on christmas day to investigate the Dudley No 2, also known as the Lapal canal. Ever since we did Crib Goch in not much more than tee shirts we remark that we are wearing more clothes now than we did then and so it turned out this time.
Across Selly Oak Park, the line of trees is the canal route
Bridge carrying the Bristol Road into Birmingham
Just beyond the Bristol Road, the place where Dudley No 2 joined the mainline
Local graffiti artists are also nuclear physicists
Quick check of the time on my pocket sundial
We detoured to the road. The first bridge carries the railway line, the second the Worcester and Birmingham Canal
In the other direction, the bridge ready for the restored canal
So now we know where it crosses the road, back to the canal on the proper route
Yes! The Lapal sign
So back we go
Climb the fence and cross the road back into the park
Behind the scout hut lurks the canal
The other side of the road bridge
The view through the railings. Canal and two towpaths
Away from the road bridge
Walking the very stones of the old canal
Canal bridge, the only remaining piece of canal architecture
Looking back from the bridge
But our way is onwards
You can almost believe in the canal here
Soon get this bit of scrub cleared
Dark and muddy. This section will need a towpath on both sides as local houses access the path from both side
A bridge will be needed here
The backs of the houses on Alwold Roundabout
The laurel bushes at the bottom of tw's garden
I bag this mooring spot
So does the boy
Soon we cross Stonehouse Brook
Back to Weoley Castle again
This time from the other side
A Norman selfie
Somewhere below here is the tunnel portal
On top of the tunnel portal
The other side of the laurels. Tw all ready to go with kayaks and beer
You may wonder why there is no handy map showing our epic trek, this is because despite being kitted out with the GPS logger, it failed to record our journey. It seemed to work OK to track tw as he pranced around in his back garden though so we suspect that this was user error on our part.
Another wonder might have been as to why he would prefer to go out into the back garden and not out in front of the house. "I'm not going out there with everyone else testing their new christmas presents" he said.
We had been joking about all the "christmas boyks" out for the first time while we were walking.