As we were in no hurry to return to Kidderminster we decided to go for a longish (~6 miles ) walk before breakfast. The route was to take us via the Hyde, through Chase Wood, past Stourton Hall Farm, through the woods in Hampton valley to Gothersley farm and back along the tpwpath. We have done this before, but in the opposite direction.
All went well until we were walking up the track to Stourton Hall Farm. Two men stopped us and said “This is private property”. I showed them the footpath marked on the OS map, but they were having none of it and wouldn’t let us through. So we backtracked, through Chase Wood again, where there was a splendid carpet of snowdrops, took the footpath across the fields by the entrance to Stourton Hall and made our way to Gothersley via the country lane.

The Devils Hole Near Stourton Hall Farm

On our way up to Stourton Hall Farm I noticed some ‘caves’ dug out of the soft sandstone. These are quite common in this part of the country. Another is the “Devil’s Hole” near the Stour aquaduct which has recently been boarded up by British Waterways.
After the walk we had a well earned, hearty cooked breakfast and then made our way down to just above Wolverly Court lock. The engine was misbehaving again. I think we will need it serviced to get rid of the crud that seems to be getting into the fuel.

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