Walk 1614 - printer friendly version
Berkswell from Meriden using the Millennium Way Walk
Author - Millennium Way
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 250 feet / 76 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SP238822
Lat 52.437259 + Long -1.651332
Postcode CV7 7JQ (approx. location only)
Our walk starts from the mediaeval stone cross situated on the village green in Meriden and which reputedly marks the centre of England. Meriden is also the fulcrum of the 100 mile long distance walking path known as The Millennium Way, a delightful walk which runs from Pershore to Meriden then down to Middleton Cheney. Our circular walk incorporates the two northern sections of the Millennium Way, joined by a short link through the delightful village of Berkswell.
A - From the mediaeval stone cross walk due east down the road, passing the Cyclists Memorial (commemorating all the cyclists who gave their lives in the First & Second World Wars ) at the Bulls Head pub cross the road, and take the driveway into Meriden Hall. At the end of the metal railings take a signed passageway right. At the end of the passage way take a large kissing gate and go left with hedge left to take a wooden kissing gate adjacent to a metal gate. Go ahead with wall and interesting building to your left. At the end of wall go ahead up the hill to find a mid fence metal gate. Take the gate and go half L across the field corner to take a mid fence stile. Go ahead over the stile to wire fence, and ahead with fence on your R to come to stile leading to road. Cross road with care and take kissing gate into field.
Go half left to cross field and find corner kissing gate. Take gate and go right with hedge right to exit field by kissing gate. Go ahead keeping the hedge on your right. Halfway along field look for waymarked gap in the hedge, take the gap and then go left keeping the hedge to your left towards the copse. Here you will have the first view of St Laurence Church. Continue on with copse to left to find a waymarked grassy exit track. Take the track to gate onto road and go ahead, passing St Laurence Church . Continue on going past the public footpath sign for a further 75 yards passing Moat House Farm to find Fentham House on right at road corner. Take the grassy vehicle track to left of house to find stile by a gate. Cross this stile and go half right across field to exit by far right corner gate.
Go ahead on track keeping hedge on left and fence on right. Continue ahead on a track with hedge left and go through kissing gate on left. Go half right to cross field to reach edge of Millison's Wood. Go right with wood left and make your way to the field corner at the end of the wood. STOP - turn your back to wood then go ahead half right back across the field you are already in to find stile at left corner of wood opposite (Spring Wood) This apparent doubling back is to ensure public rights of way are followed. At the field corner cross stile to enter wood and take short path to bridge stile into field.
Go right for 25 paces then turn left up field centre to skyline hedge gap. Through gap and continue ahead with hedge on your left. Follow track round past barn on right to road.
B - Go left on road passing Shirley Lane and then a farm shop, continue under pylons and take stile right opposite Oak Farm. Go 1/2 left to top far corner stile. Cross stile and continue down field to far left corner gate. Through gate and continue ahead through scrub to stile on to road. Go right and after some 250 paces pass two cottages on left. Face last cottage and take path to right of cottage passing through the rear garden with cottage to the left to reach fence gap exit to find hidden passage. Take passage to reach stile leading into overgrown field.
Make your way through the field with hedge right and far pylons right to reach far right corner stile. Take stile and go left with hedge left to come to field corner stile. Take stile and go right to hedge gap, continuing ahead under pylons to the next hedge gap. Go through gap and continue ahead with hedge to your left to field corner stile, through collecting paddock and over stile to the road.
Here we turn left on the road and after some 40 paces take driveway right. At this point we leave The Millennium Way for a little while. Go to the far end of the driveway and take stile or gate into field continuing half right towards trees and another stile. Cross the stile and continue directly ahead across field towards gap in far hedge. Cross stile and continue directly ahead, ignoring the path to the right. Continue across field in a north-westerly direction towards trees and take a kissing gate in the far right field corner then through a short passageway to the road. Turn left towards the crossroads where you will find the Bear Inn, a delightful old village pub which dates back to the 16th century and was used by Cromwell's troops in the civil war.
C - Go directly over the crossroads into Lavender Hall Lane, then after a few yards turn diagonally right up Church Lane towards the attractive 12th century Norman church of St. John Baptist. The village of Berkswell takes its name from Bercul, a Saxon landowner and the 16 ft square stone-walled well near the church is said to have been used for baptisms by immersion.
Continue ahead through the churchyard to a gate, then through a small wood and on to a long section of boarded walkway through a field, with views of Berkswell Hall ( built c.1815 ) to your right. Cross the bridge over a stream, continue to a metal kissing gate and turn immediately right, waymarked The Millennium Way. Pass through a small wood and follow the well defined path through the field heading for the corner kissing gate at edge of wood. You have lovely views of the lake & hall to your right.
Go through a kissing gate at the corner of the field into a small wood, then continue around field keeping the hedge to your right, the path soon arriving at the edge of a pine forest. When you reach the wooden kissing gate turn right and follow edge of field with hedge to your right for 200 paces to wooden kissing gate. Turn right through kissing gate into wood. Turn left along edge of wood keeping to right of pond. Continue ahead along attractive woodland path and over wooden stile keeping hedge to left . As path approaches farm turn right at gatepost and go with high broken hedge on left.
Head gently downhill and go through kissing gate in corner of field, crossing bridge over stream and then through metal gate. Head across field towards stile. Go over stile, bear left along path at edge of field then turn right at road. Continue along surfaced road with high bank on left due to quarry workings. After approximately half a mile, during which the surfaced road changes direction a couple of times, come to stile on left by Park Farm.
D - Cross the stile by Park Farm and take fenced footpath with quarry workings to your left. Stay on path with fence to your left until you reach the road.
Turn right onto road and after 50 paces just before house, turn left through slightly concealed kissing gate along path with quarry workings on left. Continue over footbridge, the path turning right and then left at fence. This part of the path is usually waterlogged. Continue along rising fenced path and at the top go through kissing gate on right. Go diagonally left across field and downhill to metal gate. Cross corner of field to metal gate and wooden bridge. Go diagonally left up field to furthest corner then through large metal kissing gate on to road. Go right on road and after some 60 paces take waymarked hedge gap on left and follow path round for 80 paces to find hidden stile right in hedgerow. Take the stile and go down passageway to find road. Go right on road to roundabout then turn right and you have arrived back in Meriden.
Apart from a one mile section from Benton Green and through the village of Berkswell to the lake at Berkswell Hall, the route is clearly waymarked by the distinctive black Millennium Way circular waymarkers.