Section 4

The fourth section of the walk was a traverse through the Heart of England.
At Napton I joined the Grand Union Canal, which lead me through Leamington Spa and onto Warwick. Beyond Warwick I turned aside from the canal and followed a narrow strip of open country between the urban conurbations of Birmingham and Coventry, via Marsden and Kingsbury, before reaching my halfway point at Lichfield. My route then crossed Cannock Chase to Abbots Bromley and Uttoxeter, with the section ending at Ashbourne, on the southern edge of the Peak District.
The Heart of England is founded on a series of rocks collectively known as the New Red Sandstones. These deposits supported a forest of mighty oaks which in turn helped create the characteristic half-timbered, black and white villages of the region. The readily available supply of good quality timber meant the sandstone was rarely used for vernacular buildings in the area, but was preferred material for the region's ecclesiastical buildings, as exemplified in Lichfield Cathedral.

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