Googlemap & Directions to reach Great Alne are here - Scroll down for suggestions for many local walks, some brief some longer. Some changes here allow better ( but yet far from ideal ) use with smartphones. Try walking / cycling with free to instal map.me ( first downloaded at home, or in the Hall from eg "Google Play" ) Go to - https://maps.me/download/ HERE This gives excellent maps ( & very few, if any ad's ) with GPS indication & with a minimum battery use. Enjoy the walks and Spring wild flowers independently over the Long Weekend: or visit this lovely area at a time of your choice.
Great Alne Memorial Hall: B49 6HLcauses a bend in the B4089 - It's set behind its own small, pleasant green. Opposite its drive-in (on Henley Road leading to Henley in Arden) note the Old Station (now a House: no rail line).
Map. The Memorial Hall is indicated. (This also shows the stop for a very limited local Bus service. Stopping the other side of the hedge, beside the Hall.)
The bus details ( scroll down ) now need your individual research in order to update them.
Route Directions to Great Alne Memorial Hall The best approach from M40 and A46. Turn off A46 (at old tollhouse) turn to Haselor. Wind through Haselor village on the lane: past stocks: past its school - Then ahead over the crossroads. You arrive (view map above) opposite the hall along Pelham Lane.
From Studley & A465 from Birmingham. You can arrive along Spernal Lane. Delightful, direct route. The ancient "Salt Road" from Droitwich. A problem may occur after heavy rain (very near to its crossroad access at Studley) - This route may then retain a deep flood on either side of the small bridge over the river Arrow.
(As happens at a ford near Coughton on THAT direct route: arriving along Coughton Fields Lane.)
From Alcester. This historic town with its timber framed buildings is 2.5 miles away (along B4089). [It's name - it is also on the River Alne - was originally Alne-cester] ***
Feel free to get in touch for directions or advice on public transport/lifts.
Public Transport. This challenge is successfully met by a few arrivals who have planned well to attend the long Weekend. Do research your route as thoroughly as possible, before departure. (Before you resort to travelling this way, please first try to get a lift.)
For the Long Weekend / walking in the area / general travel: A helpful trip planning link: Click on Transport Direct.
Rail can bring you to Stratford-upon-Avon. (However, Chiltern rail to main-line Warwick Station - then taking Stagecoach bus 16 to Stratford can be quicker. Click on Chiltern rail. Click on Bus 16 to Stratford timetable. Bus 16 to Stratford is the first part also of the route from Coventry and the University of Warwick.)
From Stratford, catch the (even at least busy times, it's hourly) Stagecoach 26 to Great Alne. Expect to alight at the Huff Cap. You've been driven past The Hall. It is back just around two corners. **
Bus26 FROM Redditch (TO Stratford) allows arrival (to Great Alne) via Alcester.
For the "Bus Stop" from Alcester / to Stratford. NO bus on Sundays. NO EVENING BUSES, after about 8pm. (Magnify Googlemap above - bus stop is directly through the trees at the end of the hall). This stop's description SHOULD be "on grass by the metal stile at end of Appleby Close". (They call it "Spernal Lane adj Arden Cottage".) (Please feel free to enquire; you may likely obtain an end of evening lift after part attending the Long Weekend.) However, you may need the bus to Stratford - especially if independently following some of the walks below - First magnify Googlemap. For a picture of where this stop is (ie where to wait on the grass - no "bus stop" sign) - Click - first onto stop B - then onto "street view" in this link. To find when the next timetabled bus may be arriving: use your mobile to text this bus-stop's code - w a r d g j w a to - http://mobile.transportdirect.info/ ***
The Hall which we use was built as a lasting Memorial to those from the villages of Great Alne and Kinwarton who lost their lives in 1914-18.
The River Alne is the origin of the village name - another village (upstream) is named Little Alne, and a couple of miles downstream is Alcester [Alne-cester].
A potted history of Great Alne is offered here CLICK. Also, a more detailed history of the buildings of the village here cLICK ***
Very short strolls: 1. Mill Lane (see map above) is a quiet route leading to apartments within what until the 1980's had been a working water mill on the River Alne, producing flour.
2. Where "Great Alne" is written on the map above is the small, interesting Village Church. Well detailed - Click on Wikipedia about Great Alne.
1. Walking uphill along the lane behind the church, and following a footpath leading off left gives access into small woods with many spring woodland flowers, and the cowslip verged lanes of the Alne Hills.
Walking from beside Great Alne Church.
2. The Dovecote at nearby Kinwarton [locally pronounced as "Kinner-tun"] makes a pleasant local exploration. A large key available from the nearby farmhouse allows a fascinating access. View the many alcoves inside the dovecote. Also the smoothly rotating access ladder with which the squabs could be accessed and removed for food. They frequently ended being baked in "pigeon pie".
The closing of Great Alne Station and demise of this rural connecting branch was but a hint of what was to follow.
It predated over two thousand similar (mainly rural) Station closures, extensive track dismantling, vast loss of many routes and sections - all further to prune expenditure on the UK rail network following the Government required report from Dr Beeching in 1963. (Many miles of Dr Beeching's own rail commute into London [where he had carried out his investigation] are now a Sustrans cycle/walking route called "Forest Way". The initial mile or so where that rail line had run from East Grinstead Station; was instead used to cut a wide road for the A22. Aptly that is named the "Beeching Way" )
3. Haselor. This is a particularly beautiful nearby village - 10 to 15 mins walk from the Hall. It still has its stocks. It has many delightful buildings including its lovely hilltop church - take path from near to the stocks.
Circular Longer walk:
Should you wish to visit here in advance, or wish to make a 6.5 mile (about 2.5 hour) tour, then try this link for a circular route that takes in the Dovecote, Haselor Church and the old Watermill. Click on circular walk.
A short car ride away, (cycle there, or make it a full afternoon's walk) - 1. Oversley Wood has a small car park. Several areas are profuse with Spring flowers. As well as interesting less common wild flowers; are spectacular carpets of wood anemone (late March- early April) then replaced with the scent and haze of bluebells by the usual late April timing of the long weekend.
2. Alcester is a delightful small town with dozens of historic buildings.
3. Coughton Court is a nearby NT property: its family associated with the gunpowder plot of 1605. Proceed past Gt Alne towards Alcester. Turn right along the delightful, tiny Coughton Fields Lane. Caution after rain - the ford near Coughton can have very impressive floods!
A slightly longer (10min) car ride - 1. Ragley Hall - the house, its formal gardens and grounds are opened for the public by its longheld family who are still in residence.
2. Driving past Ragley Hall entrance - also on the right is a Garden Centre. Parking here; stroll beyond its own café and gardens to a small, peaceful, delightfully effective - wildlife viewing hide.
** Useful links -cLICK on the WEBSITE LINKS repeated BELOW
Information on many types of Dancing throughout the UK - (You can ask to be informed by email fortnightly, of any dance events in your own Region) - cLICKonAre you Dancing
In Moseley, Birmingham UK. A lively welcoming group. Meet most Friday evenings. Varied kinds of Dancing. Just arrive & take part. No need to bring a partner. To check dates/location- cLICKonFriday Folk
In London UK, for those wishing to try out, or to begin International Dancing. A small, lively group - Friday Feet particularly welcomes newcomers. At Cecil Sharp House (nearest tube Camden Town). Anne Leach our vivaceous main 2011International Dance teacher frequently shows these dances. Just arrive to take part on most Friday Evenings. No need to bring along a partner - cLICKonFriday Feet
In Alcester UK. "American style" Contra Dancing. Great if you take a partner, but not a requirement. As in USA, there's lots of dance partners there. It's quite usual to change partner after each dance. It's nice if you take-in there just a little food (that's easy to pick-up by hand) for others to share. There's a dance on an occasional Friday most months (not August). Dates and details at website - cLICKon Alcester Contras