Another day; another walk. This time we are in Birmingham, in the beautiful Lickey Hills. These hills are located South West of the centre of Birmingham and is an extremely popular country park over looking much of the picturesque Birmingham countryside.
Originally belonging to the Manor of Bromsgrove and were a hunting reserve; free public access was granted in 1888 when Rednall hill was bought by the Birmingham Society for the Preservation of Open Space. The society presented it to Birmingham City. By 1923 Birmingham City council owned all the hills in the area after being presented them for free access to the public.
Interestingly, lore suggests that the Devil and his accomplice; Harry-ca-nab used to hunt Wild Boar on the hills, upon white Bulls.
The range of hills run parallel with a valley in between, which is 525 acres in size. The lower ridge; known as Lickey Ridge consists of three quartzite hilltops: Rednall hill, Bilberry Hill & Cofton Hill. The higher range consists of the remaining three hills: Rose Hill, Beacon Hill & Stock Hill.
When we first pulled up in the car park; we were on Beacon Hill, so named for the Beacon on it’s peak. This was one of many used across the country to communicate during wars. The earliest time historians know this beacon was used was 1588 during the Spanish Armada, when it was sewn onto a tapestry. During the Second World War Army engineers built a range of buildings on the hill (only the beacon stands today) used by a range of people during the war. Now stands a Toposcope built by the Cadbury family to commemorate 100 years of the land.
As above we parked on the free car park of Beacon Hill and quickly saw that this was extremely popular for dog walkers. After looking at the map we determined our path and meandered through the huge numbers of dogs playing on the plateau of the hill. When making our decent down the hill we very quickly decided that the previous weather conditions were not right to try and get down this hill. The weather had recently snowed and thawed leaving a lot of water and mud; making the surface incredibly slippy. We decided to walk back to the car and drive to the lower hills in hope that would be easier.
So after moving to the lower part of the hills we were very surprised; there was a wonderful little cafe and picnic area. The walk was a lot easier and made it a lot more enjoyable. Living in England means that our weather over the last few months has been very wet; I like to convey this in my walk posts so that you can choose the best time to go on these walks for the best experience. So we half blindly followed the signposts for the squirrel walk and very quickly found the signposts stopped.
The squirrel walk is one of three walks on the hills; this being the shortest one with the Woodpecker trail being the largest. The walks are very pretty and will provide so many views that are breathtaking.
The image below shows ‘something’ that neither me or my parents could work out what it is, does anyone know what this is? Drop a comment below if you have any idea, Unfortunately I couldn’t step back enough to fit the whole thing into the frame 🙁
After our walk we stopped off at the cafe. Outside include a picnic area, ping pong tables and a field in which people can use for picnics or games. They make a good coffee and and even better piece of cake. However; what intrigued me more was the educational pieces they had in there; skulls and bones etc that they have found on the hills of some of the previous residents. They offer a lovely book; on the walks of the Lickey Hills if you love walking this book might be the one for you. Only costing a small £5, it’s a great way to support the hills and enjoy them at the same time.
Do you like to visit the hills, if so which walk do you take our next one will be the woodpecker walk?