A haven from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lickey Hills - just 11 miles south of Birmingham city centre - is an iconic country park area, offering beautiful views and a rich tapestry of history along it's walking trails. I'm here today to find some zen and discover what makes this place so special.
Living in the middle of a large conurbation can often leave us stressed in ways we're not even aware of. Urban life disconnects us from the much needed tranquility of a natural environment, and for our mental and physical health, nothing beats a good scenic walk in the countryside.
Located just over ten miles in south west of Birmingham, the Lickey Hills Country Park is a haven for people wishing to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. The vast panoramic views of the urban sprawl contrast with the majesty of the natural environment.
The Visitor Centre offers a variety of marked walking trails across the park - with the circular walk being amongst the most popular. The first stop from the visitor centre is the Beacon View. It is 975 ft above sea level, this is the highest point on the Lickey Hills, with this particularly beautiful toposcope, first installed in 1907 and restored in 1988, showing us exactly what makes up the beautiful view around us.
The walk then brings up around to Bilberry Hill - supporting the largest track of bilberry heathland across the wider region which is where it got it's name from - which local people have historically used to make jams and preserves from. The Quartzite on Cofton Hill is around 570 million years old, with the village it overlooks having been a settlement dating back until at least 780AD.
Lickey Hills has approximately 5000 meters of bridle track to stroll through, used by the rangers and forest workers who maintain the area to it's impeccable standards.
There's so much history here, everything from folklore tales of the devil and his accomplice Harry-ca-nab hunting wild boar here. The first records of people in the area date back to the stone age, with evidence of Roman and Norman occupation bringing great changes to the area.
Lord of the Rings author Tolkein also lived just down the road in Rednal, and these hills became part of the inspiration for the mythical shires where the hobbits lived.
Walking through the field's, warren's and woodlands, it's easy to see why this peaceful patch not far from the city attracts over half a million visitors each year.
As we wrap up our journey through the enchanting Lickey Hills, it's clear that this tranquil oasis provides the peect escape from the urban grind.
With its rich history, breathtaking views, and diverse landscapes, this country park has something for everyone. Whether you're seeking solace in nature or exploring the footsteps of legendary figures like Tolkien, the Lickey Hills will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.