Walk 2571 - printer friendly version
A Walk in Coventry's Ancient Arden Walk
Author - Peter Page
Length - 4.5 miles / 7.3 km
Ascent - 100 feet / 30 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference SP295834
Lat 52.44777 + Long -1.5673825
Postcode CV7 8AE (approx. location only)
This walk within the Coventry boundary is entirely in quiet countryside. The main route is mostly on paths through meadows and woods, with a few short stretches on country lanes or through small hamlets. The route follows public rights of way - the paths are mostly waymarked at stiles and gates, but often are not visible on the ground. For part of the route a path is visible, and some short sections can get muddy in wet weather.
The landscape of the present day parish of Allesley, which was brought into Coventry in 1974, has its origins dating back to at least the Anglo-Saxon period. This area, together with the adjoining Keresley parish, forms the largest extent of open countryside within the City boundary, and considering its close proximity to the built-up area, has a very strong rural character. The landscape is especially significant, as it forms part of the only remaining unspoilt area of ancient countryside left in the historic County of Warwickshire.
The walk starts from Pikers Lane, just north of Hawkes End. Park on the verge where the infant River Sherbourne flows under Pikers Lane, then walk 50m east; by bus, travel to the end of the 7 or 77 route (Brown's Lane / Hawkes Mill Lane junction), walk west c.600m along Hawkes Mill Lane, turn right into Ted Pitt's Lane, after 100m branch left, bear right then in 500m join Piker's Lane. Note: this last 500m is used as the final part of the main route.
Climb the stile, cross the meadow, then the second stile. Turn right and follow path north to a stile and Wall Hill Road. Cross the road, climb the stile and follow the path (one or two more stiles) for 800m to the end of the wood (photo a). Cross a double stile, then turn left, over another double stile and follow hedgerow (Warwickshire/Coventry boundary) crossing two more stiles; cross a small pond on the plank bridge, climb the (13th and last) stile and exit onto Wall Hill Road at junction with Stonehouse Lane. Cross the lane, follow Wall Hill Road for 100m, turn left into public footpath, through riding school (two gates). Follow meandering path in southerly direction to reach Tutbury Castle Farm.
For the shortest route, from here, take the path to the left of the farm, through the gate in the far hedge (photo c) follow it to Bridle Brook Lane, turn right, then take the next left into Pikers Lane and back to the start.
For the Full route, turn right, go through the gate and follow the path to Watery Lane. Keep straight on to the entrance to Elkin Wood (photo c) on the left. Enter the wood, in 50m turn right, follow path to the main ride, turn right and exit onto Clay Lane. Turn right, then turn left into the drive to Hollyberry Hall Farm, in 50m turn left down the footpath, then bear left again, and head diagonally across the field to the gate. Follow the footpath past Leys Farm ponds to Harvest Hill Lane. Turn left.
For a shorter route, follow Harvest Hill Lane to Oak Lane, turn left and follow Oak Lane to rejoin main route at the junction of Washbrook Lane and Bridle Brook Lane.
For the full route, in 15m turn right into signed path between two houses (note: the stretch of the path between the houses can get very wet). Go through the gate, then follow the path to Oak Lane. If it is springtime, from this point you may like to add a 600m diversion to Harvest Hill Daffodil Meadow and back. Cross the lane, walk 30m left and take the path on the right. Pass the pond (photo d) and go through the gates along the path to the north of Whitehouse Farm. Follow the path till it turns left then right through the hedge before passing more attractive ponds. 100m past the ponds, turn right through the gate, then bear left towards the corner of the meadow, through the gate, bear left and follow the hedge to join the drive from Alton Hall Farm. Turn right, then after 200m take the path to the left. Follow the path to Washbrook Lane. Follow the lane, past the junction with Hawkes Mill Lane, to the junction with Oak Lave and Bridle Brook Lane.
Go 5m into Bridle Brook Lane, bear right into L.A.Swans entrance, then left through a field gate, turn right and follow the path. Cross the River Sherbourne, then bear left, through a hidden gate. Bear slightly left, aiming for an electric pole at the other side of the meadow. Pass through two pairs of unusual gates (one an ordinary kissing gate, but with a second lifting gate on the exit) to arrive near Ted Pitt's Lane. If you came by bus, retrace you starting route to the bus stop.
Turn left along a farm track, and take the path back to Pikers Lane.
Note - The footpath between Hollyberry Hall Farm and Harvest Lane is closed until June 2020. Apart from a bridge that needs repairs, I think they may well be maintaining the path with kissing gates rather than stiles as all the stiles mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs in the walk description have been replaced by kissing gates.
Also, the footpath that should come out on Washbrook Lane has been overtaken by a house. Whilst the signs still say that the public have a right of way through the homeowner's drive, (a new sign is affixed to the wall to the rear of the property) he is clearly not happy about this and came out to tell me to "move on" with his large dog in tow, telling me it was "lucky the dog wasn't out or there could have been trouble".