Another bright, chilly start with a mix of sunshine and cloud throughout the day.
Our route initially follows the Heart of England Way, through the pretty village of Drayton Bassett and soon after we see signs of HS2 construction – boarded up houses, road closures and later tree planting to mitigate those lost. There are plans to plant 7 million trees in total, they have planted 700,000 to date.
Our route crosses the HS2 route several times, but to our relief we are not diverted. The sheer scale of the HS2 construction is brought home to us.
We stop at the cathedral city of Lichfield, the birth place of Dr Johnson, famous English writer (neither of us had heard of him – shameful!). We are both stopped in our tracks as we round a corner to be confronted by the spectacular front elevation of the cathedral, a real ‘wow’ moment. It is magnificent and contains a statue of King Charles II (of the Monarchs Way), he donated funds to repair the cathedral after the civil war.
After leaving Lichfield we leave The Heart of England Way and follow a cycle path, then something labelled a footpath but which resembled an obstacle course, overgrown from above and below. Hopefully not the sign of things to come in Staffordshire.
We finally join the Trent and Mersey canal after recrossing HS2 works, for our final leg to the lovely village of Alrewas, where we are spending the night with friends Oz & Margaret.