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Stratford Greenway

Looking for days out with a camera?  Look no further than the Country Parks managed by Warwickshire County Council.  I have featured their parks in my blog with visits to Burton Dassett and Kingsbury water park.  All their parks are well maintained and have many different activities. 

Stratford Greenway
Start of the Stratford Greenway where you collect your bikes
Stratford Greenway
On your bikes and get ready, go

The Stratford Greenway is a 5 mile stretch of disused railway that runs from the west of Stratford dwon towards Long Marston.  Along the way there are iron bridges, signs, wild flowers and beautiful countryside to view.  My photo buddy, John and I met at Stratford Cycle Hire at the start of the trail.  Parking is easy and a short walk leads to two train carriages.  The first is the bicycle hire and the second is Buddy’s Café with views over Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse.  I had previously arrange the bike hire with Vic the owner and there was a cheerful person to meet us and get us ready for our bike ride. 

Stratford Greenway
views over Stratford upon Avon Racecourse

The track runs along the racecourse and the first encounter was the iron railway bridge.  Lots of beautiful rust and overgrowth of bushes etc around the bridge.  There is also the change to get down onto the river path and take some tourist pictures looking back at the bridge.  The bridge is fascinating, and the iron rust makes for contrasting views with the greenery of the countryside.  Many leading lines and processing in black and white.  It was one of those structures that I could have spent a lot of time photographing. 

Stratford Greenway
The river Avon crossed by the old Iron Bridge
Stratford Greenway
Taking pictures

The cycle trail takes you through some picturesque Warwickshire countryside and you are able to move along holding a conversation.  My experience is that the Greenway is relatively quiet and therefore only occasionally do you have to go single file.  This may be different at the weekends.  Several minor roads and farm entrances are passed on the way.  It is part of the National Cycle way and therefore many signs are place commemorating this.

Stratford Greenway
National Cycle Route sign-posts

At Long Marston there is still the old railway lines in the road.  There is a large industrial estate and rail works and so a left turn and around half a mile down the road and you arrive at Expresso Coffee.  Time to sit down with a coffee and a pastry.  The café is owned by ExpressoStation They have outlets at Dorridge and Moor Street railway stations and expanding further afield.  A lovely rustic place to stop and refuel.  Rust is the word in this blog. 

Stratford Greenway
Expresso Station at Long Marston

Then the return journey.  At the half way point we took the right hand fork for a slightly different route and discover another train carriage which is Milcote Station Café.  It was after 4pm so the place was quiet and not open.  However the camera was at the ready and we were able to take some great photos of the place.  Then the final bit back to get the bikes in before 5pm.  There was then a chance to take a few pictures of Bobby’s Deli café and the Stratford Racecourse.

Stratford Greenway
Railtrack wheels
Stratford Greenway
Back of the Carriages
Stratford Greenway
Lightbulbs at Bobby’s
Stratford Greenway
Bobby’s Deli Cafe

A grand day out and one to recommend for photographers who like to add a bike ride to their day out.

If you enjoyed this, then I have other blogs covering the Warwickshire Country Parks
Walking in the hills and discovering Fox Covert covers one of my many visits to Burton Dassett Hills.
Feel free to browse through my blog for a range of places that I have photographed over the recent years. Enjoy!


Charlecote park

So many photographers talk about their 3.30am starts, getting up early so that they are able to catch the sunrise.  This got me thinking that it was time I looked for a good place to visit for a sunrise with a difference.  Amateur photographer had a recent feature on places to visit in the UK whilst interesting, they were a long road trip away, so I searched on the Internet for more suggestions closer to home.  On my search, a 2016 AP article came up from Stu Meech who lives near Charlecote park, a National Trust property in Stratford upon Avon.  What a great read and Stu advises where to park and how to access the public footpath in the park.  So I got ready, packed the gear and went to bed early.  I woke up before the alarm went off at 3.30am and got dressed.  The dog took a while to settle down as I had woken him up, but I eventually got out of the house but silly me, I made the decision to go down on the M42 and M40.  It was the fastest route, but I had not factored in night time roadworks. Eventually I got off the motorway and then the misty wonderland was all around me.  The village of Barford looked marooned by an eerie white carpet which was flowing around the old bridge.  I nearly stopped but Charlecote awaited. 

Charlecote Park
The early morning mist in Charlecote Park
Charlecote Park
Mist and a sunrise in Charlecote Park

Passing through the village of Charlecote, eventual I came across the lay-by described in the article about 50 metres away from the West Gate to the park.  Time 4.35am and all looking good so far.  Once through the gate, there is a recent sign that informs you that you must rigidly stick to the footpath and not to enter other parts of the park.  You may only do so if you have registered with reception (which opens at 9.00am).  Not possible this early in the morning so sticking to the public footpath is the only option.  Everywhere I look the park has a beautiful carpet of mist.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement and a herd of the resident fallow deer have picked up the noise that I am making.  Do I stay here, do I take pictures of the deer or do I move on?  Moving on has to be the best option and I eventually come to a hollow where the path opens up to show the beautiful Charlecote House. 

Charlecote Park
Sunrise through the trees
Charlecote Park
Charlecote House in the mist

The sun is impatient and already the beams of light are pressing through the mist.  I find a good spot as the intensity of the sun increases.  Excitement rises.  Do I put a filter on such as my half grad filter. Wide or telephoto lens? Decisions, decisions.  Settling down I switch my lens and filters as I see sunshine hitting the tops of the trees.  Then it starts to lower gradually becoming stronger and stronger.  I place the sun behind a tree, close down the aperture for a potential starburst and take pictures.  The light is magical.  Whilst this is going on, there is a procession of deer and goats passing through my line of sight.  There is too much to take in and I take as many pictures as I possibly can.  My kit bag falls over spilling lenses etc on the dewy grass but luckily, no damage done (I thought).  It was about 6:00am and I had been taking pictures since sunrise at 4.45am. 

Charlecote Park
A misty scene in Black and White

I moved further along the path and then looked over to some trees and saw the deer frolicking in the mist.  Telephoto lens on and more pictures.  One of the pictures of a deer in the mist got a big reaction on my social media. Reflecting I should have brought my 100 to 400mm lens but then I could have brought the kitchen sink as well! Photographers are never happy.

Charlecote park
Morning mist and deer in Charlecote Park

My next steps were to follow the footpath towards the village of Charlecote.  Everything was very quiet in the village and entrance gates to the park were locked.  The church was catching the sun and there were some super photos to take which normally I miss when you are rushing to park and get to the house during a day visit. 

A black and white path with sun and mist.

Then it was time to slowly retrace my steps back to the car.  There were a few more photographs but the mist was gone, having been burnt away by the sun.  The time 7.00am and the day was starting.  An enjoyable drive back home through Stratford and Henley in Arden.  The only drawback was that I left my lens hood in the park.  It was broken and loose on the camera so no regrets.  Leaving bits behind is a photographer’s lot in life but what I took with me was some wonderful pictures of the park.

Did you enjoy this article. Then please follow these links for other articles of taking pictures in the mist and fog. Please comment if you liked it too!
The Fog creates a Black and White Landscape describes a walk in the fog with my camera
Mist at Packwood is about a misty morning at this local National Trust Property

…..and if you go remember to stick to the footpath.

City of Culture 2021

Coventry is the City of Culture for 2021.  This prestigious title runs from  May 2021 to May 2022 and it follows on from Derry/Londonderry in 2013 and Hull in 2017.  Taking my first train for over a year, I set off from Leamington to Coventry.  So let’s be brutal, Coventry is not a place you would first associate with culture but do a little digging and you will be pleasantly surprised.  The home of the Specials and Ska music offers up several delights.  Autumn 2020 was my last visit to the City.  Then my pictures were taken around the two Cathedrals and a brief stroll around town.  This visit began at the train station and we moved through the city to the Canal Basin.  The train station is sixties architecture which has seen better days.  Leaving the station area we moved into the Plaza towards the much loved Trigger statue.  Trigger, a metal horse, was put together by Coventry University student Simon Evans in the 1980s using scrap materials.  Lots of photo opportunities around Trigger whether it is close up details or the interaction of people around it.

Trigger
Trigger, the metal horse
City of Culture 2021
Bustling Street Scene

Moving on through towards the shopping centre, next stop the rainbow street or better known as Hertford Street.  Here the Coventry City of Culture offices are situated.  I asked the volunteers if they did not mind having their photograph taken to which they were a bit taken aback.  I love their jackets!  The street is colourful and a haven for Streetphotography as you will see from my photographs. I had my polariser filter on the wide angled Canon 5D which brought out the colours as people wandered past.  We could have spent hours there but we moved on into the central shopping area. 

City of Culture 2021
City of Culture 2021
City of Culture 2021
Rainbow colours

We took a look at Pepper Lane that had been spruced up with colourful paint.  The street art mural by @mattchuuk dominates the far end.  The mural is a past, present and future dreamlike composition representing the spirit of Coventry.

City of Culture 2021
Pepper Lane with the mural by Matt Chu
City of Culture 2021
Matt Chu’s mural representing the past, present and future looks onto the Holy Trinity Church

Moving on to, through and past the Cathedral Square. We hit upon the tired and brutal architecture of the Britannia Hotel and moved swiftly onto the Whittle arches around Hale Street.  Their imposing shapes fits in well with the surrounding area.  Everything is blue including the buses and the spiral overpass into Lady Herbert’s Gardens and Volgograd place.  So good to take pictures and another place where you could spend a great deal of time people watching and taking pictures. 

City of Culture 2021
Reminder of Brutal Coventry
City of Culture 2021
Blue bridge and cyclist
City of Culture 2021
Old and new of Coventry
City of Culture 2021
On the bridge

Moving on our next destination was the Coventry Canal basin.  I warned my photo buddy not to expect much as at my last visit, there was not much to see.  I was glad to be proved wrong as there was activity around the basin and a few long boats were moored up.  By chance I noticed people sitting outside a café near the canal bridge.  Playwright’s café turned out to be a hidden gem.  Scones were lovely and the coffee just right.  Great service from the owner as well.  So my opinion of the area is changed now! 

City of Culture 2021
on the way to the Canal Basin
City of Culture 2021
Coventry Canal Basin

Time to make our way back through the City to the train station.  So lots to like about Coventry in its new clothes as City of Culture.  There is still the awful Brutalist buildings, the bad architecture but there is also a sense of optimism around the place.  The Specials sang in 1981  “This town is coming like a ghost town”, to which I would have agreed a few years ago.  Now “the good old days before the ghost town” are slowly returning.  I really hope so!

City of Culture 2021
No Ghost Town on the left but maybe on the right

Here are some more pictures from our walk

City of Culture 2021
My good friend and photo companion, John Bray

View of the City May 2021

Queensway is a busy arterial road in and out of Birmingham so there is always a high volume of traffic thundering along the tarmac.  With my telephoto lens and 24 to 70 mm lens, I went about taking different pictures of an area that is already very familiar to me.  New building projects are always happening in the city centre and the area between the Cathedral and the Canal was an old factory site.  It has been repurposed into city dwelling flats that are being built close to the canal.   

The area is also a magnet for different kinds of people and as I was taking pictures, I was hassled for money, so I quickly moved on.  It is something I am wary of when I am in the quieter parts of town.  I know that I do have to be careful of my own safety.  Still the lure of  taking a few photographs around the buildings on either side of Queensway won through.  I took pictures of St Chad’s Cathedral and also with my telephoto lens up past the Snow Hill buildings.  After that I made my way into town for a lunch time meeting. 

Parking on the top floor of Selfridges Car Park opposite the store provided skyline pictures of both the City and Digbeth, and the skyline bridge linking the two is always fun for a picture or two.    I love the new covering on the Selfridges which is being put in place whilst they replace the discs on the outside.  The covering is designed by Osman Yousefzada,who is a multi-disciplinary artist working in association with the IKON gallery. the pink and black geometric shapes are in contrast with the grey architecture.

It was a day of sunshine and showers and whilst I was outside there was a terrific downpour. 

This then led to the bonus of several puddles for a bit of reflective photography.  The puddles around Selfridges are still there and lend themselves to some nice reflections of the building as it is being renovated

On my way to New Street, there were other interesting images to capture including the queue outside Zara and the photographing of the Electric Cinema.  I lingered around the reflective roof of the entrance to New Street Station. I also took a few pictures of the trams passing through which is something you have to do when in Birmingham. 

So enjoy the pictures and it is good to see Birmingham as it emerges from the pandemic.  The only down side is the weather which is atrocious rain and so unlike May.


Tree reflections

Everyone loves a picture that shows a reflection. The unique view is fascinating, and it gives a different view of the world by suggesting further new worlds. Unusual angles or taking the picture from a low viewpoint. There is symmetry around a reflection that everyone loves to see. This may be caused by mirrors, a shop window or a puddle formed by the recent rain fall. The iPhone is great for taking pictures of reflections and you can get quite low or even dip the phone into the puddle to get that perfect shot. Care is needed with the exposure as the reflected light from the puddle is less intense than the direct light from the unobstructed area above the puddle. Even on some of my best loved pictures there is overexposure of the upper part of the picture. If I had my large camera with me then I may be able to put a filter on it to stop down the light but then I may not be able to get as low as you can with the iPhone. Adjusting the exposure is easy when you are standing up but not so straight forward when you are crouching down. Probably the best idea is to lie down so you can control the exposure at your leisure. You certainly get some funny looks if you do get down low.

Selfridges reflection
Selfridges with reflection of covering whilst the discs are being replaced. It is designed by Osman Yousefzada

So I have put together some reflection shots for you. My tips are to get down low and either bend the knees if you can or even lie down to get a different view. Always try and think differently as that is what will make the photograph attractive to the viewer. They will have some familiarity with the scene but will also be intrigued with the reflection and part of the fun is to work out what they are being given to look at. Once you start getting into reflections then you will see them everywhere and your photography will take on a new life.

Red canal boats
Red boats on the Canal near Knowle (featured in Birmingham Live Instagram post)
Black and White view
Black and White view from Knowle Church to Elderberry Black Cafe
Trip to the Curry House
Trip to the Curry House (featured in Amateur Photographer)
This reflection of Selfridges was liked by the designer of the scaffolding multidisciplinary artist Osman Yousefzada and was featured by @IgersbirminghamUK on Instagram

Finally Englands Big Picture featured the headline reflection of the small park in Knowle, Solihull

Tree reflections
Tree reflections (featured in BBC’s Big England)

Damien Walmsley

Welcome to my new look web site.  This web site was set up back in 2016 and my first posts featured the different topics of Birmingham Gems, Pictures of Bridges and entries into the Post and Mail.  Fast forward to 2021 and the site has recorded many photographic events over my five years of blogging not least the pandemic.  I use my camera to record events and make stories that I like to share.  When the site started, it followed the normal pattern of being a showcase of photographs.  There were sections on travel, Birmingham and local views around where I live.  But the one area that I kept returning to time after time was the my blog.  It is just like writing a diary.  It also enables me to display more of my photographs that don’t normally make it onto Instagram, Twitter or Flickr.  

Changing the site and taking account of all the new technology that has been introduced is key to ensuring the site is not stale.  Throughout this journey, I have been helped enormously by James Kelly who is responsible for the overall web design.  James has been key in the development of the shop @dammodammoshop and the overall branding of the web pages.  James has ensured that the site is Google friendly and we are now accepting adverts onto the site.  This is turn will get the site pushed up the Google rankings.  I hope that it does not distract from your viewing pleasure of the blog.   If you wish to know more about James and his work, then visit his site burstoffruit | We make fun stuff 

The photographs make the stories and allow me to move forward.  I do appreciate all the positive comments about my pictures in the various media where they get published and I am pleased that they bring pleasure.  I have also started to give photographic talks at different levels.  One is the fun social element to local interest groups.  Here I cover popular subject areas that I enjoy photographing and these include Canals, National Trust Properties and other stately homes. Other subjects include cities, travel, wildlife and woodland trusts.

Enjoy exploring the new site and thank you for all your support by stopping by to take a look.  BTW if you like the headshot it was taken by Ewen Rankin, professional photographer.

Public art has the power to bring out discussions on our feelings and emotions when we encounter it.  The artist Luke Jerram Luke Jerram understands this power and his aim was to create a piece of art that would help people come to terms with the events of last year.  All of us have been affected by the pandemic, some more deeply than others.  There is a collective need to grieve and reflect from what happened during the crisis.  The lockdowns changed how we interact with one another and the loss of a loved one was a difficult event.  I personally attended several virtual funerals during the lockdowns.  They were different and I am not sure that I was able to convey fully my condolences to the families involved.  This art installation made me look beyond the physical and come to terms with the amount of devastation the Covid19 crisis has brought.  Society has changed and we are discussing life and death in different terms.  Talking openly and honestly about death is central to BrumYODO who were one of several groups who enabled the exhibition by Luke Jerram to come to Birmingham. 

The blue and white NHS bedsheets complement the colours of the sky.

Luke has put together an open air piece of art that comprises 120 NHS bed sheets put together in an exhibit that makes a large medical logo.  The sheets are either blue or white arranged as flags that flutter in the wind.  I was fortunate to be invited to a private viewing of Luke’s artwork on a bright day with the sort of white puffy clouds that are appealing and call out to be photographed.  “In Memoriam” is situated in Aston Park next to Aston Hall.  It is a striking view when you see the white and blue flags for first time against the green of the grass and trees.  I met the organisers of the installation and also met Luke.  Instantly likeable, Luke explained the background to his art and how it came about.  His enthusiasm was tangible as he not only detailed the logistics of placing 120 blue and white flags in the form of a medical logo but also how he hoped that the artwork would make people talk openly about the pandemic.  People can reflect and grieve about the loss of loved ones or come to terms with how the year of lockdowns impacted on everyone.

The Artist Luke Jerram discussing In Memoriam

Photographing the flags was both easy and difficult. Easy, as the overall view was relatively strightforward to capture.  The sun was strong when it was not hidden by the clouds and it cast shadows on the grass which could be photographed.  It was difficult as the flags were tall and it was not possible to touch them.  I searched for a different view of an installation that has and will be photographed many times.  Getting low and framing the view of the flags as they flapped in the wind were the best that I could offer.  It really needed a drone shot but I learnt afterwards that the park does not allow this to happen as it has geofencing around it and it is on many air flight paths.  The flags do have a certain symmetry about them and the surrounding trees and fences made framing of them possible.  Unfortunately one of the white TV vans acted as a photobomb to some views! 

The first view of the flags in the park

Im Memorial was covered by BBC news and is a temporary exhibition for approximately 2 weeks.  The exhibition was made possible by the combined efforts of BrumYodo, Birmingham Hippodrome In Memoriam – Birmingham Hippodrome  and the Birmingham Museums What’s On | Aston Hall | Birmingham Museums .  It forms part of the Matter of life and death festival A Matter of Life & Death Festival 2018 – BrumYODO

Birmingham

I have been documenting the Lockdowns over the last year and we are a few days away from April 12th when shops will reopen. My last blog entry was all about Digbeth. I was interested to see what the city centre looked like and therefore, after taking pictures in Digbeth, I walked into Birmingham city centre.  As expected, It was quiet except for all the ‘Just Eat’ guys on the steps eating during their lunch break.  Their bikes were all strewn around the concourse overlooking St Martins church.  Other pictures taken on my walk included some headline photographs of the Electric Cinema looking sparkly from nearby reflections, trams and masks in Birmingham and the covering of the Selfridges store. Here are a few highlights of that stroll around the centre.

Walk to Birmingham
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk into Birmingham
This is a cheeky street photo
Walk into Birmingham
Selfridges is slowly being covered
Birmingham April 2021
Texting but not just eating
Birmingham
More of the Just Eat Guys
Birmingham
Street
Birmingham
Just Eat again
Birmingham
Signs of the times

Do you want to read more about Lockdown in Birmingham
Birmingham Lockdown #2 – a visit to the Mailbox
Venturing into Birmingham

Digbeth

Lockdown 3 is easing and in early April, I found myself back in Digbeth to take a look at what was happening.  One reason was to look for the new Street art project by @Fokawolf but more of that later.  I parked the car in Coventry street car park and made my way to Digbeth.  I love the Suki10cc artwork by street artist Gent 48 It features the up and coming black stars in Birmingham.  The house is so colourful and is great to photograph.  It was one of my pictures that was featured in my recent Amateur Photography magazine feature. This visit, I decided to do some unconventional pictures by getting close to the mural. 

Digbeth street art
Best in Birmingham
Digbeth Street Art
Meriden Street

Walking down Bordesly Street, I experimented with some street photography. It is my first venture out with my Fujifilm x100v and I was a little self conscious trying to use it.  However when I reached the Custard Factory, the camera comes into its own.  A few pictures on the bridge over the River Rea,  and then into Gibb street where there were a few people moving around. I took a few pictures of the colourful artwork (as you do when in Digbeth).  I was pleased with the one I took by the street artist 0707 as it was very colourful especially with the bicycle on the colourful bike rack.

Digbeth
Bridge over the River Rea
Digbeth
The Custard Factory
Digbeth
Street art by 0707
Digbeth
Colours of Gibb Street (so many street artists here, Philth, Gent 48, n4t4 etc)

My next stop was to see the artwork by @fokawolf.  It is a larger than life blown up picture of Pat Butcher from Eastenders and it is underneath the railway arch on Heath Mill Lane.  It is such a random bizarre mural.  The character is not associated with Birmingham and why it is placed here is not known.  What it does do is provoke comment and debate. That makes it all worthwhile.  My picture shows how tall the mural is with the couple next to it.  I also took a picture of the balconies on the Custard Factory and posted it on the BBC weather pages. The architecture always looks good especially when the sun is shining on it.  Fortunately for me, it was featured on the local BBC weather news.

Digbeth
Pat Butcher by Fokawolf
Digbeth
The Custard Factory as featured on the BBC local weather

Still in a wandering mood my next destination was Lower Trinity street taking pictures along the way of some of the more interesting street art. By the time I had reached Bordesley station, I thought it would be good idea to see the canals.  It is very quiet around there and I worry about my personal safety.  However it seemed ok so I carried on taking pictures.  I like the colour of the graffiti and in fact one of my favourite artists, Lucy McLaughlan‘s art work is under the Deritend road bridges.  My first attempt at a long exposure for 3 seconds with the Fujifilm x100v gave a pleasing result.  As I moved back into Digbeth along the canals it became much quieter.  I did meet a friend Mullerbiker from my Slack British Tech Network who happened (as he was) passing through the canal network.  After chatting for a few minutes, he left but then my courage failed me and I retraced my steps out of the system and walked along the road back into Digbeth again. 

Digbeth
Purple umbrellas
Digbeth
No Parking
Digbeth
The Night Owl
Digbeth
Thinking I should be somewhere else
Digbeth
Life and Death
Bordesley
Bordesley station in the light
Bordesley
Lucy McLauchlan Monochrome in long expsoure
Digbeth
Grafitti on the canals
Digbeth
In Digbeth
Digbeth
Custard Factory

Do you want to read more about Digbeth
Digbeth Lights
Digbeth Art
Lockdown in Digbeth


Knowle

I love a long walk and during lockdown 3,  I have found some good places to visit as I have ventured further afield than in the previous ones.  There is one walk that takes me out of Knowle village along the main road to Balsall Common.  Passing Knowle locks, the main Kenilworth road (B4101) is full of twists and turns.  It is an accident-prone road so being away from it is preferable and there is a public footpath that can be accessed just after a majestic building called Hedge House.  On the market for 3.5 million pounds, it is a converted barn.  The estate agents description shows the expansive interior and outside it demands your attention. 

Once on the public footpath, it crosses over the fields to the edge of Springfield House and from here, it is possible to cross the main road to Cuttle Brook Wood part of the Woodland Trust.

Temple Balsall
The brook on the edge of Cuttle Brook Wood

It is a young wood with a direct diagonal line through the property and it leads onto Cuttle Pool Nature reserve and a brook which forms one side of the property.  The road bridge forms a boundary to the private Temple Balsall nature reserve.  The area has many birds and wildlife abound.  There are otters back in the brook and the area is interesting to visit.  Going underneath the road bridge it is possible to take a picture of the entrance to the private nature reserve.  The featured black and white picture generated international interest on social media. The monochrome brings out the shapes of the tree branches as they are reflected in the water.

Temple Balsall
Entrance to private nature reserve showing a fallen tree

Making my way safely across the road bridge, it is possible to access Temple Balsall via the humanist burial ground and move into St Mary’s church graveyard.  Harry Williams is buried at the church and his grave is situated to one side of the property.  Williams along with Jack Judge wrote the song ‘It is A long way to Tipperary’.  There was controversy over the ownership of the song but here the area is peaceful and the grave points towards the path that leads onto the church. 

Temple Balsall
The grave of Harry Williams, writer of It’s a long way to Tipperary
Temple Balsall
Churchyard of St Mary’s church
Temple Balsall
St Mary’s Church

The church and the surrounding houses are picturesque and the path leads further onto the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson which runs a school and also cares for the elderly.  A direct footpath leads back via a bridle path to the Black Boy.  There are a couple of turns and the main Warwick Road to negotiate but once on the canal towpath then it is simple walk back to Knowle.  Civilisation returns with canal boats and cyclists.  There is a canal boat wharf with colourful boats and in spite of lockdown some activity happening. 

Knowle
The canal next to the Kings Arms on the Warwick Rd

The canal side pubs are still shut with stacks of chairs and tables lying empty. Not long now that we return to some normality.  The walk started and finished at Elderberry black café and a bacon sandwich is purchased.  A well deserved rest on a local bench in the centre of the village Coffee in one hand and sandwich in the other make for a sense of achievement.

Knowle Locks
Union Jack flying at the bottom of Knowle Locks

Further information
Do you want to know more about the Woodland Trust then there is much to read about the Cuttle Brook Wood
Here is a Wikipedia link about the controversy surrounding the song “It is a long way to Tipperary”
More posts about Knowle and the surrounding area
Winter wonderland in Knowle
– Up close in Knowle