Walk 1614 - printer friendly version
Meriden & Berkswell Circular 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)
This Warwickshire walk starts from the medieval stone cross situated in Meriden, 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, which runs from Pershore to Meriden then down to Middleton Cheney. This 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 medieval stone cross move across the road and go right to the roundabout. Turn left down Hampton Lane and after some 200 paces (at Cobblers Corner) take footpath left to a passageway and stile. Take the path left with hedge left to concrete track. Take kissing gate opposite and go ahead along top edge of field to reach a large kissing gate. Do not go through kissing gate but continue ahead with hedge left to take a wooden kissing gate. Go ahead with wall and interesting building to your left. At the end of wall go ¼ right up the hill to find a mid-fence metal gate. Take the gate and go half left across the field corner to take a mid-fence stile. Go ahead over the stile to wire fence, and ahead with fence on your right to come to (damaged) 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 gap in the hedge on your right, take the gap and then go left keeping the hedge to your left towards the copse and overhead power lines. Here you will have a nice view of St Laurence Church. Continue on with copse left to find a waymarked grassy exit track on left. Take the track and exit to road via gap next to large metal gate. Go right on road, passing the church. Continue on, going past the public footpath sign, for a further 75 paces passing Moat House Farm to find Fentham House on right at road corner. Take the short grassy vehicle track to left of Fentham House to find a kissing gate. Go through gate to take permissive path and go half right across field to exit by far-right corner gate.
Go ahead on track keeping hedge on left and wire fence on right. Continue ahead on a track with hedge left to find old metal kissing gate on left. Take kissing gate and follow direction of waymark to walk around left edge of field to reach edge of Millison's Wood ahead. On reaching edge of wood (ignore gap at corner) go right keeping wood on your left. Halfway along wood you will come to a solitary way post pointing to a path right across field. Go across field to pass to left of lone oak to corner of wood. (This apparent doubling back is to ensure public rights of way are followed). Go ahead for 50 paces with wood right to find kissing gate at corner. Take kissing gate then over bridge 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 around corner then past barn on right and take kissing gate to road.
B - Go left on road passing Shirley Lane and entrance to a farm shop, continue under power lines and take kissing gate on right, opposite Oak Farm. Proceed across the field parallel to the main overhead power lines to reach far left corner kissing gate. Go through kissing gate and continue down field to far left corner gate. Through gate and continue ahead along short track to take kissing gate to road. Go right and after some 250 paces pass two cottages on left. Face last cottage, the footpath is across the front garden, keeping hedge right, continue pass cottage left and hedge right then up back garden to exit by fence gap to find hidden passage. Take passage to reach kissing gate and continue along narrow grassy track eventually to reach further kissing gate.
Take kissing gate and go left with hedge left to take field corner kissing gate. Go right, passing a small bench, to hedge gap, continuing ahead under overhead cables to the next hedge gap by metal way post. Go through gap and continue ahead with hedge left to field corner stile (damaged,) through collecting paddock and over stile to the road. Here we turn left on the road and after some 40 paces take driveway right. Just before Sunnyview Cottage take the hidden waymarked passage left then over step stile into field and go right for 45 paces to find gate (here we leave The Millennium Way). With your back to the gate go diagonally half right towards trees and a kissing gate. Take kissing gate and continue directly ahead across field towards gap in far hedge. Take kissing gate and continue directly ahead, to walk between two small clumps of trees in the middle of the field. Continue on same heading to find a kissing gate in the field corner. Take kissing gate then go through a short passageway to the road. Turn left towards the crossroads past The Bear Inn, a delightful old pub in the village of Berkswell, dating back to the 16th century which was used by Cromwell's troops in the civil war.
C - Go directly over the crossroads into Lavender Hall Lane (you can start this circular from the carpark on right), then after 100 paces, bear right up Church Lane towards the attractive 12th Century Norman church of St. John Baptist (visit the crypt if you have time). Berkswell takes its name from Bercul, a Saxon landowner and the 16-foot square stone-walled well near the church is said to have been used for baptisms by immersion.
Continue ahead through the churchyard and two gates, then through a small wood and another gate and on to a long section of boarded walkway, with views of Berkswell Hall (built c.1815) to your right. Cross the bridge over a stream, continue to a kissing gate and turn immediately right. Pass through a small wood and follow the well-defined path up 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 broken kissing gate//gap at the top corner of the field into a small wood, then continue along wire fenced path keeping the hedge to your right, (shortly you will meet the diverted Millennium Way joining on left) - WARNING 15 JUNE THIS IS CLOSED - DIVERT BY GOING ACROSS HS2 AND UP A452 TO CROSS BY MARSH FARM AND BACK TO GO OVER BRIDGE OVER STREAM - stay ahead with hedge right, the path eventually passing a wood on your right, to arrive at a wooden kissing gate. Take the kissing gate and turn right to follow edge of field past two ponds with hedge right for 200 paces to take another wooden 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 into field. Here you will encounter a slight diversion due to HS2 work. Cross the field to go through fenced gap with our way markers and arrive at a kissing gate in far corner of field.
Go through this kissing gate turning right as you do), then ahead to cross bridge over stream. Then go ahead across small field between another fenced gap towards stile, where the HS2 diversion terminates. Go over stile and bear left along path at edge of quarry works on right. Take gap next to large metal gate to go right along surfaced track around two bends eventually passing through a wooden gate next to a large metal gate. Stay ahead to reach a metal gate-in-gate on left.
D - Go through this waymarked gate and take fenced footpath with quarry workings to your far left. Stay on path with fence to your left until you reach the road. Turn right onto road and after 50 paces, just before entrance to Cornets End Farm, turn left through concealed kissing gate up along path with quarry workings on left. Continue over footbridge, the path turning right. Follow path around with quarry workings left, shortly to join a rising fenced path. Continue up rising path between fences and keep a sharp lookout for large metal kissing gate on right (partly obscured by a small tree). Go through kissing gate and go diagonally half left across large field (following the direction of the Millennium Way waymark) then downhill to metal gate. Cross corner of field to metal gate and wooden bridge. Go diagonally 1/2 right across field (keeping to right of solitary sweet chestnut tree) to reach a large kissing gate. Go ahead along short passageway to reach driveway to Meriden Hall. Turn left up driveway to reach road opposite the Bulls Head pub. Turn left and complete your walk at the stone cross, noting on the right beforehand, the Cyclist's Memorial (commemorating all the cyclists who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars.) There is a nice fish and chip shop and convenience store for refreshments.