Walktober in Wolverhampton

          Each October a group of us bloggers get together to walk, our walks are hosted by Robin over on her blog “Breezes at Dawn” and although we each walk in very different surroundings, every year we all arrive at Robin’s and enjoy the company of the whole group on our chosen walks.

          This year I’ve chosen to share a very unusual walk, I’ve often found myself wandering along a canal, but a canal walk in the middle of Wolverhampton, that was definitely a new experience. 

          Staying the weekend in Wolverhampton for a sports competition, I visited the train station to buy my ticket for my independent journey home on Sunday and left without my ticket, but with my stress levels pushed up another notch by the hustle, bustle and queues inside the station.  Deciding to just head for a park I’d seen on the map earlier, and then after a few hours out and about, to call it a day, I zoomed in on the sat-nav on my phone for directions.  I spotted a little blue squiggle on the map and went to check out on the way, within minutes of leaving the busy station I found myself at the canal.

2015-10. The Boatyard.

          From the pavement of a street full of busy traffic and rushing people I peered down enviously at the empty tow path until movement from the other side of the canal drew my attention to the footbridge and the boat house.  I scanned the area to find some access and set off towards what I later worked out was the Broad Street Bridge.

2015-10. Three geese.

          After negotiating the traffic and crossing Broad Street I came to this little landscaped area to the side of the canal, obviously appreciated by the geese as well as other canal dwellers.  I gave the geese a little attention then noticed this information map a little nearer the canal and since someone had gone to all the trouble of making it and putting it there,  I decided to follow it.

2015-10. Main Line Trail.

          I would appear to have stumbled on the Birmingham main line canal.  The boathouse is clearly marked on the map on the other side of the bridge so I followed the canal back in the wrong direction, under the bridge to take a few snaps.

2015-10. Boatyard footbridge.

          Although the footbridge and it’s reflection in the water may have given me more of the usual “prettiness” I look for with the camera, I couldn’t help thinking that the graffiti on the brick wall and the station’s multi-story carpark needed to be captured in this picture too. Incidentally, the boathouse now houses a nightclub.

2015-10. Broad Street bridge.

          Back on the other side of the bridge I looked at the still waters of the canal, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture of a canal with traffic lights in the reflection before.

2015-10. Top Lock cottages.

          Looking again in the direction I was about to start walking, I could see the “Top Lock Cottages” as mentioned on the information board and more landscaping on the other side of the canal.  Somebody had gone to a lot of effort to make this a pleasant place to take a break.

2015-10. Broad street from Top lock.

          As I passed the cottages, it was surprisingly easy to forget the noise from the traffic behind me, to forget the vibrating ground as the trains passed over the bridges above the canal and to not smell the heavy city laden air but to feel the calmness rising from the still waters and the pull of the tow path ahead.

2015-10. Little Lane bridge.

          Little Bridge, or Little S Lane Bridge as it reads on the name sign, is also mentioned on the notice board, and they weren’t kidding when the note said “mind your head”.  I’ve not found out what the “s” is for, I asked Mr Google but this is one of the rare occasions he failed me.  If anyone knows, then I’d be glad to find out, thanks.

2015-10. Lock 2.

          The canal travels quite steeply down hill and there are 21 locks before you get to the end.  Looking back at lock two, the busy traffic is hidden from view and only the large building to your right gives you the hint of the terrain you are passing through.

2015-10. lock 3.

          I’ve often said that although the camera never lies, however it very easily omits the truth, it would appear the notice board had not told us about the railway line which crosses above the canal just after lock number three…

2015-10. Graffiti bridge.

… and again, the graffiti caught my eye.

2015-10. Lock 4.

          Lock four, which is on the notice board appears as you emerge from the bridge, graffiti becoming an ongoing theme, and I guess, as I wandered alongside the peaceful waters I started to realise that it was all part of the canal’s character.

2015-10. Lock 4 & train.

          As with the trains, they added to the character of this city canal, and most of the time I even forgot to hear the odd rumble as they passed, but not this time though, I caught it with the camera.

          I’ll continue with my wander along the Birmingham main line canal in a day or two, but for now I hope anyone who is visiting from afar has enjoyed this little piece, with a taster of a lot more “character” to come.

           More from before : Wandering in “Wolverhampton

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21 thoughts on “Walktober in Wolverhampton

  1. What a charming little oasis you found! I think the history of the canal system in England fascinating. Hundreds of miles dug by hand and animal power. I read a novel about them once, but sorry, I can’t remember the title or author!

  2. Another beautiful walk, Sallyann. I enjoy walking along towpaths and canals. I was thinking as I followed along that this isn’t much different than the walk along the towpath and canal in Akron, Ohio (near where I used to live).

    • Thanks Robin, I think what I like best about canal walks is that no matter where they are, or how stressful life is, stepping onto a tow path is like stepping into a time warp and the pace of life around you suddenly slows down. 🙂

    • Small world. I had family in Walsall a long time ago, Lichfield Road. I remember a visit to the arboretum one evening to see the lights. The weather changed for the worse and while my Dad looked after my Mum, who was frightened of the thunder, we little all ones held hands in two lines and with my very much larger than life Aunt in the middle we ran home in pouring rain like an arrow of little ducks flying south…and puddle jumped all the way. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Walktober 2015: The round-up | breezes at dawn

  4. How lovely to walk along the canal! I’ve walked a bit of a tow path somewhere..have distant memories but I can’t remember where it was. Now I’ll keep my eyes peeled for an opportunity when we travel. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for sharing your interesting canal path and the wonderful photos. I love finding the places that are in city areas, but seem so quiet and remote. There are some places like that in Philadelphia.

    • Thanks for stopping by, it was a really good find, hopefully I’ll get chance to wander a bit further through my photos on the weekend, maybe some of the more characterful shots. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful walk you had. I agree with you, the graffiti belongs in your pictures.
    In Montreal, we have the Lachine Canal with a most wonderful towpath as well. Last summer, my husband and I decided to bike it from home all the way to the other end (we don’t have 21 locks though! We only have 5! (14.5 km along the canal, plus the 15-20 km from home to the start). You’ve given me an idea for next year… 😉

    • There’s a part of the Oxford canal I walk along as often as I get chance. I’ve worked out where most of the “watering holes” are to be found just off the beaten track too.
      Its quite easy to take a day to walk along a few hours of towpath. 😊

      • Ooohhh… my kind of walk! (one including the watering holes!)
        It is indeed quite easy. I am lucky that I am a caterer from home so I can pretty much take a walk whenever I like…

  7. Pingback: Walktober : York memories | Photographic Memories

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