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Baginton Walkers


Baginton Walkers LogoOn 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 to take a walk of less than 5 miles. We will assemble at 9.45am for a start at 10 am. The walk will terminate at the pub for a well earned midday meal for those that wish to stay. Members take turns to research the next walk.

Obviously, if the weather is seriously inclement, the walk may be cancelled or deferred to the following week. Lifts can always be arranged for anyone without transport. For further details contact Brenda (02476 305509). New walkers are always most welcome.

August 2017 Walk

For the walk on Tuesday 8th August we will meet at 9.45 am at The Golden Lion, Main St, Easenhall.

July 2017 Walk

Our July walk will be on Tuesday 11th July when we will meet at 9.45 am at The Red Lion at Hunningham.

June 2017 Walk

Close encounters: in June, fourteen of us plus three dogs started out from The King’s Head in Cubbington. Heading down New Street we passed St Marys church and continued along the track past the site of England’s oldest pear tree which is threatened by the HS2 line, but sadly we were unable to find it. Having skirted Cubbington Wood we followed the path downhill giving us lovely views over the Warwickshire countryside.

Crossing a few more fields and negotiating numerous dog friendly kissing gates, we eventually reached the banks of the River Leam which we followed, noting a number of fishing points along the way, but strangely very little wildlife. Approaching Hunningham Church, we finally came across a family of swans with four or five fluffy cygnets. Luckily they were on the other side of the river so we avoided any encounters with angry parents!

Passing St Margaret’s church with its unusual wooden steeple, we were joined in our walk by a mixed herd of cattle that seemed very keen to see us, and the dogs, removed from “their” field: finally bidding us goodbye by herding us through the gate. We did walk rather more quickly across this field! By now we were ready for our coffee break just opposite the Red Lion pub – our half way point.

Setting off for the second half we crossed the Leam and joined the Millennium Way over fields with sheep and cows, which we carefully avoided with the dogs, and through some good looking corn fields with good views of St Michael’s at Weston-under-Wetherley. We paused for a short while to watch a huge flock of rooks which circled overhead before moving off to several large trees. After another encounter with livestock – this time a horse who seemed more interested in us and the dogs than doing what its rider wanted - we entered South Cubbington woods following the main path through to return to Cubbington village, where we enjoyed welcome lunch time refreshments at the Kings Head.

May 2017 Walk

Twelve walkers and 2 dogs assembled in the car park of Hartshill Hayes Country Park which is set on the top of a ridge north of Nuneaton. The park is an attractive mix of woodland and open space from which on a clear day it is alleged that 40 churches (and 4 counties) can be counted! So once booted we set off along the ridge and down through the woods where we were met by our first views of acres of beautiful English bluebells: a real delight to see and to enjoy the scent, which was to be repeated along much of our outgoing route.

We emerged from the woodland to follow the path through a meadow and then steeply downhill, with glimpses across the fields of narrowboats on the Coventry Canal and an occasional train. A brief pause near Quarry Farm enabled us to regroup and turn left on to the road alongside Purley Park and disused quarry. This was a gradual climb uphill accompanied by more acres of intense blue for us to admire along the way until we reached Purley Chase. Here we turned right onto a shady path which ran alongside Purley Chase hotel, through Upper Coal Spinney and crossed a golf course to arrive at a kissing gate where we enjoyed our coffee stop.

Once refreshed we walked a short distance along the road to  climb a stile and travel downhill across a golf course where a group of suspicious golfers eyed our progression in their direction. However we avoided them by turning left and climbing a stile into a ploughed field where one of our keen eyed walkers spotted the distant signpost directing us to towards the track which led through Mancetter Hill Farm.  Our route took us across a road and into Oldbury Farm where we found a collection of outbuildings housing all manner of small enterprises including moulding sculptures and masking metal frameworks with green succulents, including a full sized, partially covered green horse!  The track ran past a small pond and opened up views of the working quarry as we progressed along the well-marked path towards the road to Oldbury. After a short stretch along a narrow lane and past Oldbury Grange we returned to Hartshill Hayes and its wonderful bluebells and magnificent views across distant countryside.

April 2017 Walk

Our April walk started at Newbold Comyn Park, weather great not a cloud in the sky, the buds with their green leaves were bursting and the birds singing. We set off along the track towards Offchurch, across fields of yellow oil seed rape, eventually reaching remnants of a stone structure controlling the waters of the River Leam from which the town of Leamington takes its name.

We proceeded over a bridge following the route of the footpath through The Johnson Estate, which according to the various structures was used for croos country horse events. We reach the track leading to Offchurch village, over a stile and into the village. Continuing past The Stag Inn, we then pick up the track and cross the Radford Semele road and down to the dismantled railway track, which we followed until we reached The Grand Union Canal. Along the canal bank we cautiously passed a swan’s nest with the occupant sitting on its eggs; we then left the footpath at the second bridge and had a short walk to the crossing and back to Newbold Comyn Park.
Although we had limited support for the walk due to holidays, dentist appointment and other commitments, those that took part had a nice walk.

March 2017 Walk

Our March walk, led and reported by Chris Goodwin of Baginton Oak fame, started at The Red Lion in Hellidon, just over the Northants border by Daventry. The Licensee opened the doors early to take our lunch order and allow access to the “facilities” for the older walkers who can go less time between comfort breaks. 11 people and 2 collies set off at 10am sharp on a very quiet road passing Hellidon Lakes Golf Club and Hotel which really should be called Hellidon Hills, as I have played this course often and there are a lot more hills than lakes. Once we’d passed the Golf Course we left the road on a footpath, with wonderful views over the Warwickshire countryside, in the direction of Southam and Leamington, descending to the Millennium Way footpath and onto the village of Priors Marston, taking the compulsory coffee stop just before the village.

We had difficulties with stiles at this point, both with the people and dogs, with one stile having a gate on it to add an extra element of difficulty.  The dogs had to be manhandled over them which they didn’t like, with Jasper eventually deciding to jump a particularly difficult one which, at 12 years of age and suffering from arthritis, was an amazing feat especially considering that access to the car sometimes needs assistance.

The village itself is particularly wonderful; well kept with an amazing array of picturesque cottages and houses, a war memorial for the 11 dead from World War 1 and the venue for Roger’s annual family get together, which Rheba was very excited about when she recognised where we were. After the village we trudged through muddy fields and woodland to cross the golf course low down, leaving a steep climb back to the village with more beautiful houses. Here we cut through the churchyard where Roger spent what seemed like an eternity reminiscing with the workmen who had once passed through our village.

The lunch was very good but the licensee told us that at the end of the month he was leaving after 81/2 years and the pub would close; it is sad that another village loses its pub - especially a good one like The Red Lion.

One a final note - “big” Roger bashed his head on a beam in the pub, which I thought was probably a first for someone as vertically challenged, but he informed us that since he’d been losing his hair it happened all the time!

February 2017 Walk

On February 14th thirteen of us met up at the National Trust property, Baddesley Clinton. The weather was dry but underfoot was very February – both issues entirely out of our leader’s control. We took the route from the car park across open parkland, through an equestrian centre and out on to the Birmingham Road on the edge of Lapworth. Here we joined the Grand Union Canal towpath for a short distance before taking the link from the Grand Union to the Stratford/Birmingham Canal at the Lapworth Junction. We then followed this canal, passing the Lapworth locks. At the point where the canal re-crosses the Birmingham Road we left the tow path, taking the lane up to another National Trust property, Packwood House. Anybody trying this walk could break their journey here and use the new catering facilities at Packwood. Most of us were carrying our own refreshments and so we rested on brick steps overlooking the House.
From Packwood, we followed the avenue running due east and then crossing the lane at the end we cut through a farmyard, crossed the farmhouse lawn and followed the path back to the Baddesley road. We could have cut across more fields but these appeared to be muddier than those we had already experienced – so we decided to stay on the road and returned down the drive to Baddesley Clinton and the car park, having completed about five miles. Non-members are not allowed into the restaurant at the House so lunch had been arranged at the Fleur de Lys Public House in Lowsonford, renowned for its various pies.

January 2017 Walk

Fifteen bodies and 34 legs set out on our latest expedition into the Warwickshire countryside – work that one out**!  Wary of the criticism of Roger’s dodgy route-finding in the last edition of this publication, the leader of this walk (not wanting to be picked on in the same way) took great care to keep at the front and issue clear directions, though Chris and his passengers took a very circuitous route to the start at St. John’s, Westwood Heath, where we had sought permission to park in preference to The Varsity pub.

Our first path, cinder then grassy, brought memories of school cross country running to one of our number, though we then struck out on a different heading through gates and across fields via two farms to eventually reach a secluded path alongside conifers that led to The Greenway. This follows the line of the old railway, opened in 1884, between Berkswell and Kenilworth, closed to passenger services in 1965 and to its last goods trains in 1969. Elevenses were enjoyed at the entrance to Crackley Woods, followed by a not too muddy circuit of the woods before we re-joined the excellent Greenway track, open to walkers since the 1970’s.

In sight of the new houses on the outskirts of Kenilworth, we next took the wide and attractive path, provided with informative notice boards and shared with cyclists, back to and through the well-kept grounds of Warwick University. Some very mature students then ate well at our reserved table at The Varsity, a new venue to nearly everybody.  We felt, after probably just a little over 5 miles on our feet, we were entitled to forget, at least temporarily, any New Year’s resolutions concerning diets.  We had again been lucky with the weather and it was good to have stretched our legs after perhaps we had been (Chris and Gayle excepted) a bit lazy over Christmas.  **Yes, this included Jasper and Ash, on parole from The Oak.  Thanks, C and G, for the entertainment they provided.  Chasing and returning sticks not always expertly thrown, Ash must have covered nearer 20 miles. We trust Chris found a more direct way home.

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