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BAGINTON WALKERS

Illustration of hikers on a walk

On the second Tuesday of every month a group of Baginton residents and friends assemble at one of the many village public houses in local Warwickshire at 9.45am for a start at 10 am. Our routes vary between 4 and 5 miles (2 hours easy walking – we don’t rush) and we then normally have a pub lunch together.  This is not compulsory! – But it is always a happy social occasion.  Members take turns to research the next walk.

There is no problem bringing your dog.  We are regularly accompanied by our four-legged friends with whom we sometimes have fun when we come to stiles.  Luckily most of these have now been replaced with kissing gates, making for easier walking for us all. 

If you have no transport to the starting point, one of us will be happy to provide this.

We would of course welcome new walkers.  Please contact Brenda Brown, who acts as co-ordinator, if you need a lift or would like to know more – phone 02476 305509.

Why not come with us to enjoy some fresh air and healthy exercise, exploring the local countryside?

Next Walk

Our next walk will be on Tuesday 11th June when we will meet at 9.45am at The Falcon, Birmingham Road, Hatton, CV35 7HA.

May 2024 Walk

Following a very wet start to the year, which resulted in the postponement of several of our planned walks, this month was only the second time we had walked in 2024. Ten walkers and two small dogs set off in a light shower which thankfully soon passed over. We walked down through two paddocks and crossed the river and continued through the village of Long Itchington. The walk continued on the Millennium Way crossing more fields beside the River Itchen. This area was extremely muddy when we first researched this walk in late March, thankfully much drier now.
Walking past fields of curly horned sheep and their lambs, we then continued on through a wooded area to reach the Lias Line greenway which is part of the National Cycle Network Route 41. The greenway connects Rugby, Long Itchington and Leamington Spa. This completely traffic-free path with a tarmacked surface, follows the branch line of the old Lias Line railway was opened in 2022.
The route is designed to be a haven for rare species of plants, animals and insects, with one area planted with wildflowers especially to attract butterflies. We followed the greenway until the path met the Grand Union Canal where we walked along the towpath to return to our starting point where we enjoyed our lunch in the canalside Two Boats Inn.
 

April 2024 Walk

So as usual prior to “Walkers Day” our walk plans for April were checked against the weather forecast and guess what? Another downpour was predicted so we postponed this walk to May.

March 2024 Walk

March, and our first organised walk of the year! January was cancelled due to path closures, February due to rain as was our original date in March, but we managed to find a rain free morning a couple of days later.

For our first walk, and being kind to everyone after the extended Christmas break, we opted for a shortish and level walk around the Southwest side of Kenilworth Castle. 

From the main car park where English Heritage were working hard on improving the path and steps to the route around the castle, we headed off on the footpath parallel to Inchford Brook, but fortunately higher up on the ridge to miss most, but not all, of the wet muddy ground. Progress was good with great views of the castle behind us, except around the kissing gates, which seemed to have a pool of deep water around each one. Negotiating these without problem, our only incident of the morning occurred when one of the group slid down a muddy bank, thankfully without injury, but with a very muddy back.

Crossing a rickety bridge, we headed towards Rouncil Lane and the Inchford Brook Ford, which was fortunately clear, and back across more fields passing a large caravan storage area and paddocks with both Llama and sheep, back to our starting point at Kenilworth Castle car park. Divesting ourselves of the by now very muddy footwear, we headed off to the Clarendon Arms for well-deserved refreshments.

February 2024 Walk

The day that the rains came down! So there we were, gathered near the Queen and Castle pub, anticipating an enjoyable local walk when the heavens opened with little promise of their closing. The consensus was to forgo the walk and a drenching, but to return later for a sociable lunch.

January 2024 Walk

Finding new local walks for December and January which would not involve trudging across rain sodden fields has become challenging, but we hoped that Draycote Reservoir would provide the solution. However we were thwarted by a serious delay in completion of major works affecting the paths so cancellation of the January walk was sadly necessary.

December 2023 Walk

We have not planned a walk for December as many of us will be busy in the run up to Christmas.

 

November 2023 Walk

In November eleven of us set off from The Bell pub in Shottery, passing Anne Hathaway’s picturesque cottage then down a narrow lane beside a group of pretty thatched cottages. This led to Shottery Brook which meandered through a residential area and wooded parkland. Once past a children’s play area, a footbridge over the brook took us through a commercial and housing area to arrive at Timothy Bridge.

Here we descended to the canal towpath turning left towards Stratford. For the next mile, we enjoyed an easy walk along the towpath decorated by bushes of orange and red pyracantha berries. No chugging narrow boats today as they were all safely moored to the bank. We had to negotiate a few steep slopes where the towpath descended below low bridges and crossed to the other side of the canal continuing past an attractive canal side housing development.

We eventually arrived at the busy Stratford canal basin and the recreation area near the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where we crossed over the river to enjoy our coffee break on benches as we watched the swans paddling along the river.

Once refreshed, we set off along the river bank turning south to enjoy the view of the theatre, the picturesque Holy Trinity Church and the pounding weirs pouring into the river. When we had checked the walk a week ago this area was totally flooded, so we were relieved that the floods had receded. We crossed the river at a footbridge to walk alongside a pleasant housing development. The path followed the track of a former railway line and ran alongside Stratford Racecourse. The route turned right towards Shottery and we met up again with Shottery Brook as it wove its way towards the village. We passed the picturesque timber framed village school, noisy with children preparing for a coach trip, and arrived back at The Bell for a tasty lunch.

October 2023 Walk

With weather conditions more favourable this month, parking was alongside Warwick racecourse on what was at first a misty autumn morning.  As expected, when the sun found a way through it was quite warm.  We have walked in many different areas over the years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find somewhere new to explore but this, we think, was a "first".  Our opening leg was across the racecourse, past the golf driving range and through woods to the Birmingham Road and the Saltisford arm of the canal.  A long stretch along the Grand Union Canal followed, stopping en route for a late elevenses.  Eventually reaching the remarkable viaduct taking the canal over the River Avon, we descended the steep, substantial staircase to join the riverside path.  This led to St. Nicholas Park, giving two happy and energetic accompanying dogs a good run around and leaving us a stroll through the town centre to our starting point.  Total distance 5 miles.  Repositioning our cars, we dined in style at the Old Fourpenny Shop, a venue new to most. 

September 2023 Walk

Baginton Walkers what have we done?

This month the rain and last month the sun

Spoiled our plans for a morning of fun,

Enjoying the exercise, the views and the chat

Topped off with tasty lunch from the pub we were at.

Well that was almost true as in August we did enjoy a tasty lunch at the White Hart, Ufton having decided that in view of the exceptional heat, discretion was the better part of valour, and we would forgo the exercise but retain the sociable meal.

However the September experience was very different: pouring rain obscuring the lovely cross country view from the pub car park. So this walk was postponed for another month.

August 2023 Walk

The August walk took us into new territory even for our seasoned walkers, to the village of Barby on the Warwickshire / Northamptonshire border.

Leaving from the Arnold Arms we headed down a wooded lane, past a spot marked by a bench remembering the sad death of a man and his dog in a caravan fire. The lane continued over a field to another path with magnificent views over open countryside beyond the Oxford canal and into South Warwickshire. Passing over the canal towards the Dunchurch Pools Marina we headed along the tow path, past a flock of Canada Geese at their Summer vacation grounds and various narrow boats moored up for the day or even longer. With the 3 HMP premises at Onley in the distance we paused for our coffee break by one of the many farm access bridges along this stretch of canal.

At the next bridge, number 81, we left the tow path and headed towards the fishing lakes which were well populated with keen fishermen and their collection of amazing rods and other equipment. At this point the marked track was blocked by a barbed wire fence but a short detour via a farm gate got us back on track towards the next waypoint, high in a solitary oak tree in the middle of a field. Now directed towards the gate in the corner of the field we completed our walk up a short uphill section of road which took us back to our starting point, the Arnold Arms, where drinks and food were ready waiting for us. Just as we arrived so did the rain which had fortunately stopped by the time we were ready to return home.

July 2023 Walk

We have not planned a walk for July as many of us will be on holiday.

 

June 2023 Walk

Our June walk was scheduled to start from The White Hart at Ufton,  however on the day it was exceptionally hot, so discretion being “the better part of valour” we decided to meet up there for a delicious lunch and forgo the exercise.

May 2023 Walk

By popular request, the leaders for this walk were asked to repeat the walk they lead last May, as not all members had been able to join us last year. On a bright morning, a group of seven walkers set off following a rather muddy wooded footpath through the Kenilworth Road Spinney, a narrow belt of trees lining the road on both sides for nearly two miles.The footpath led us into Wainbody Wood, a mixed woodland of 70 acres, where we took a circular path through the bluebells.

 

A steady climb through more woodland took us up to Gibbet Hill Road. Gibbet Hill, at the junction of Kenilworth and Stoneleigh Roads, gets its name from an incident in 1765. A farmer and his two friends, returning from Coventry market, were attacked by three armed men and robbed and left senseless.The main clue (a piece of pistol) led to the arrest of two soldiers and a weaver. They were tried, convicted and hanged and their corpses suspended in chains on the spot of the murder.The gibbets were not removed until 1810 and for years afterwards, the superstition remained that the chains could be heard rattling during stormy weather.

 

The walk continued into the University of Warwick campus.  Again we were treated to a spectacular bluebell display in Tocil Wood. We took our break on benches overlooking the lake, where we were visited by four adult geese and a total of fifteen goslings. 

The walk continued through the Millennium Wood, planted to celebrate links between the University and the local community.  We continued into Tutbury Avenue open space, where Coventry City Park Rangers had recently planted 800 trees. After crossing the A45 we walked through Canley Ford nature reserve, which is situated between Hearsall Golf Course and Stivichall Common. It forms part of the Millennium Green Local Nature Reserve. We crossed Kenilworth Road to make our way back to our starting point, where we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the Burnt Post.

 

April 2023 Walk

Weren’t we lucky? – a thoroughly wet day 24 hours before and rain forecast from lunchtime onwards on the day. Clear and mostly blue skies for us in the morning, so we were indeed fortunate for our 5 mile walk across fields and along little used country lanes. Setting out from The Falcon Inn at Hatton, our route steered us towards Little Shrewley, then via Hatton Green (Holy Trinity) in the direction of Beausale and finally back to Haseley (St. Mary the Virgin).

After an extensive muddy field of oil seed rape, it was time for elevenses resting on a conveniently placed large, felled tree which provided ideal seating. Guinea fowl, lots of primroses, a particularly soggy meadow, a broken bridge, strange brick structures (Severn Trent Water) – an interesting ramble in mostly unspoiled countryside, followed by a most enjoyable meal back at The Falcon.


March 2023 Walk

March’s walk started from the Olde Saracens Head on the fringes of Balsall Common and completes the figure of 8 from one of our previous walks from Barston to Hampton in Arden. The weather on the day was sunny and warm in contrast to the previous week’s snow and rain.

Leaving the Saracens Head, we headed off down Magpie Lane past the attractive Jessamine Cottage and Balsall Farmhouse, to pick up the Millienium Way as we headed towards Balsall Street and Barston. Diverting around flooded parts of the path we came across the well eaten remains of a small deer only recognised by the two legs complete with hooves!. Crossing the road we headed towards Barston Church the tower of which could be clearly seen in the distance. As we reached the middle of the path it became evident that the River Blythe had broken its banks and spread over the adjoining fields preventing us from crossing the bridge towards Barston. Fortunately we had seen this before and headed across the fields to intercept the walk but missing out our planned stop to admire St Swithin’s Church, the snowdrops and crocus in the churchyard and our coffee break at Barston.

 

Heading back to the Saracens Head and picking up the Millenium away once again, we came on a small flock of rare breed Zwartbles sheep and lambs, distinguishable by their dark brown coat white socks and white tipped tails. Passing through fields containing more common sheep and lambs we arrived at our destination for a well-earned drink and excellent lunch.

February 2023 Walk

Choosing a route to avoid a mud bath was the key factor for this month’s walk. So we met at The Greyhound Inn, Hawkesbury Junction, Sutton Stop, Longford and set off along the towpath of the Oxford Canal. This was unusually quiet; no craft chugging along and little wildlife to see. At Tusses Bridge, where Aldermans Green Road crossed the canal, we climbed up to the road to find the entrance of the Wyken Slough Nature reserve. The path shadowed a short length of the M6 before turning into the peaceful setting of Wyken Pool and today was blessed by a huge gathering of swans enjoying its delights.
 
From here we made our way to Longford Park, which is a green oasis in the middle of a substantial built up area. No mud or other challenges as we traversed the bridge over the River Sowe to reach our coffee stop. Once refreshed we faced the challenge of crossing the busy Longford Road to join the Sowe Valley Way, which meandered through a small wilderness area below the Coventry Canal. After a small diversion we made our way up to Bridge 9 to join the towpath. At bridge 10 we paused to admire the ironwork collage of a large swan in flight accompanied by a fish and 2 kingfishers: the only wildlife to be seen apart from the pairs of mallards paddling along, maybe to scout for a suitable nesting site. So we continued along the towpath to reach the junction of the Oxford and Coventry canals and our welcome lunch at the very popular Greyhound Inn.


January 2023 Walk

In January we were less blessed as there had been so much rain that on our reconnoitre our planned route was extremely muddy and on the basis that discretion is the better part of valour we decided to forgo the walk. However eleven of us still met up at The Orange Tree, Chadwick End where we enjoyed a delicious lunch and will reconvene at The Orange Tree later this year.

​Earlier Walks can be found using the following links: -

2022 Walks

2020/2021 Walks

2019 Walks

2018 Walks

2017 Walks

2016 Walks

2015 Walks

2014 Walks

2013 Walks

2012 Walks

2010/2011 Walks

 

 

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