Walking The Worcester & Birmingham Canal
Tardebigge To Worcester (approximately 15 miles)
Witten By Robert Viney @RobertViney
In Part 1, I walked from the centre of Birmingham, where in the Gas Street Basin, the Worcester and Birmingham Canal starts to the 2576yds long Wast Hills Tunnel. In Part 2, I continued to walk the canal to Tardebigge Wharf and the Tradebigge Tunnel.
In part 3, I walked the final part of the canal down through 58 locks to reach the River Severn at Worcester. This video summarizes Part 3.
(The canal has an interesting history and you can read about this in Part 1)
For the first 13 miles, covered in parts 1 and 2, the canal amazingly follows the contours of the landscape and emerges from the Tardebigge Tunnel at Tardebigge Wharf at the same 428 feet elevation as Birmingham, where it starts.
But the 17 remaining miles from here to Worcester, sees the canal descend down to the River Severn by way of 58 locks. The first 30 locks, known as The Tardebigge Flight and thought to be one of the largest flights of canal locks in the country, are situated in a short 2.25 mile stretch.
Originally from 1810 to 1814, a boat lift was used to allow barges to negotiate the elevation but this was deemed to be unsuitable, so Lock 58, and the highest lock, was installed on the Worcester side of The Tardebigge Wharf.
The decline is not steep and the walker enjoys lush green countryside on either side of the canal, as the towpath navigates the 30 locks, with several being only a 100 yards or so apart.
Lock 29 is the final lock on The Tardebigge Flight.
The canal continues through the Worcestershire countryside, passing nice waterside pubs and cottages.
The canal goes close to Droitwich and is linked by the Droitwich Canal. This short spur allowed canal traffic to be taken into and from the town in the 19th century.
A few miles further on towards Worcester, the canal disappears into The Dunhampstead Tunnel - 230 yards long but unfortunately with no towpath inside, so the walker has to take a well sign-posted detour around and re-join the canal as it re-emerges from the side of a wooded hill.
After walking around the Dunhampstead Tunnel, you will hear the roar of traffic in the distance from the M5. You know now that you are nearing Worcester. Passing under the motorway and the busy A449, suburbia starts to replace the green countryside that has been the companion for most of the walk for Part 3.
The canal skirts the outer areas of the city of Worcester and passed through a large wharf and the Diglis Basin area with many colourful canal boats moored up.
Lock 1 is the last lock on the walk From Birmingham to Worcester along The Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
It forms the junction where the canal and The River Severn join, approximately half a mile south of the Worcester. As you look up the River, you can see the impressive city in the distance.
The cathedral city of Worcester is very impressive as it straddles the River Severn.
The next part of my walk took me on to the Severn Way for a day's walk to Tewkesbury through stunning countryside.
Read the next part of the walk here.
After a day recovering in Worcester, my Birmingham To Gloucester Challenge continued along the Severn Way that follows the beautiful River Severn.
The first leg was to Tewkesbury via Upton Upon Severn with the second leg Tewkesbury To Gloucester finishing in the impressively restored old docks.