Visit Alveschurch: Places to stay, things to do

You don't need to travel far from Birmingham to escape to the countryside. Nick Peers discovers rural tranquillity just a few miles south of the M42

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Why go there?
Alvechurch offers a good base with which to explore this picturesque north eastern corner of Worcestershire. The parish dates back to the time of Offa, and the village was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1087. Alvechurch itself features a number of historic buildings dating back to the 15th century when it was the site of a Bishop’s palace (now long gone), and the village centre is now a designated Conservation Area. The parish Church of St Laurence also dates back to the early 13th century, although it was extensively rebuilt in the 1860s.

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The village sits on the Birmingham and Worcester Canal, and Alvechurch Marina is easily accessible for those wishing to get on the water. The Village Society provides a couple of walks in downloadable PDF format for printing out.

For those wanting more strenuous exercise, the North Worcestershire Path passes close by, or you can visit the stunning Clent Hills  to the west of the M5, which is administered by the National Trust.

A number of Wildlife Trust reserves are also close by – Alvechurch isn’t too far from the Warwickshire border, so check out both Worcestershire Wildlife Trust  and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust  for places to visit.

Where to stay
Woodlands Bed and Breakfast is situated just outside Alvechurch. Set in extensive gardens with beautiful views of the local hills, prices are very competitive: just £42 per night for one guest, or £75 for two, including full English breakfast.

Where to eat
The Red Lion offers an extensive lunch and pub menu to cater for all tastes and budgets, and you can wash it down with a range of drinks, including a selection of real ales.

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Tell us a local secret
Half of the population died during the Black Death. Local tradition has it that they were buried on the outskirts of the village in Pestilence Lane, which is the current location of the Hopwood Services just off the M42. Don’t worry though – the legend was taken seriously enough for test pits to be dug and samples taken during the construction of the M42; these verified there were no contagious diseases lurking.