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Walk 3689 - printer friendly version

Balsall Common & Berkswell Circular Walk

Author - Millennium Way

Length - 5.6 miles / 9.1 km

Ascent - 300 feet / 91 metres

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference SP223777
Lat 52.3968670 + Long -1.6736950
Postcode CV7 7BT (approx. location only)

This gentle West Midlands circular walk starts from Ye Old Saracens Head pub (grid ref. SP223777), on the B4101 near Balsall Common, and meanders across mostly flat farmland and open countryside. Take time to explore Berkswell with its historic church, the fascinating underground crypt, and find the village green and the stocks. Park at Ye Old Saracens Head at Balsall Common where refreshment might be welcome after the walk. For the first part of the walk, you will enjoy the delights of The MILLENNIUM WAY where you will be guided by the distinctive black Millennium Way way markers. Please Note: the HS2 rail link is affecting the footpaths on this circular walk and the section in bold type is a waymarked diversion, not on OS maps.

A - We begin our walk from Ye Old Saracens Head (01676 533862). Turn left out of the pub car park walking parallel to the road then, after 250 yards, cross road at driveway of black and white house and go over stile. Here you see the first distinctive black Millennium Way waymarked. Go with hedge left to take damaged stile in corner and continue with hedge left. Go through narrow hedge gap and continue forward to cross bridge over stream in middle of field, then over stile ahead. Stay ahead to cross directly over next field keeping hedge on far right and go through wide mid hedge gap at top of field. Continue round with hedge left and then through corner gap taking footbridge and metal gate. Stay up next field with fence left to reach top left corner. Turn left through kissing gate and keeping fence on right, go through kissing gate at end to enter small paddock. Walk across to take wooden kissing gate into larger field and go along edge of field keeping hedge and trees on left to take stile into lane. Turn right into lane then after 50 yards cross stile on left into field. Follow edge of field with hedge right (do not take diagonal path) to top and go through hedge gap on right and follow track half right, keeping hedge on left, across railway line and field, until reaching stile onto A452 dual carriageway.

B - Turn left along dual carriageway for approx. 230 yards and just before Bancroft Guest House / New Mercote Farm on left, cross the dual carriageway when safe, using central sheltered area. Take gate next to metal gate on right. Follow track round and keep in same direction across HS2 route, then between fences reaching junction with further fenced path where we leave the Millennium Way which goes left. Go right slightly downhill to pass through a small wood and follow track across large field towards Berkswell. You will pass Berkswell Hall and its lake on far left, to go through a small wood to reach a gate. At the gate go left, then over footbridge crossing a small stream and take the long boardwalk. At the end of the boardwalk go through two kissing gates either end of coppice, then a further gate, to enter churchyard. Go past St John Baptist Church (the crypt is worth a visit) then turn right just past the school, going 40 paces to road. Cross road and find public footpath between two bungalows.

C - Go along the narrow passage, between fences, to take wooden kissing gate into field and stay ahead with hedge right. Take kissing gate into next field and then a further kissing gate into following field. Continue with hedge right and just before field corner take further kissing gate right, then go left with hedge left. At the corner follow field edge around right, then take kissing gate left to continue up field with trees & fence left under power lines towards farm buildings. At the top, take gap / kissing gate and go ahead between concrete barns and onto track past the remarkable Ram Hall Farm on your right (home of the famous Berkswell Cheese, made from Ewes' milk). This is a working farm and during busy times, for safety reasons, a permissive route round the back of the left barn may be in use, re-joining the track over a stile. Continue to the end of the farm track to reach a surfaced lane. Go right on lane and continue round left-hand bend past Bailey's Brook cottage and after a further 150 yards take footpath right through kissing gate to field. Stay with hedge left to take double stiled footbridge, then bear diagonally right between wooden posts/wire fencing towards hedge opposite to reach a group of tall conifers near the field corner. Take kissing gate in corner and go up narrow grassy path between hedges, to then pass to right of factory. Exit building area by right corner gap to reach steps to road.

D - Go left on road watching traffic to cross railway bridge, then cross over roundabout to take waymarked footpath through metal gate right. Go up then down steps into sports field through kissing gate and follow in the direction of the yellow way marker on gate, keeping around right edge of field to far side towards tall green mobile phone mast. On reaching far side of field walk left and take gate right onto a well-defined narrow footpath through some overgrowth. Take this narrow footpath keeping coppice left then go through a gate to reach the main road.

E - Go left on pavement to Sainsburys local petrol station, where you can get refreshments. Cross over main road into driveway of Premier Inn and after just 10 paces take waymarked footpath left (finger post). Continue along this narrow grassy path with fencing & tall hedging on your left at rear of houses to eventually emerge at a road. Turn right and go 150 yards to take kissing gate left. Stay ahead across centre of field to take footbridge and kissing gate to next field then go diagonally right across field to reach tall hedge / trees. Then go left, keeping hedge right. Follow hedge to corner of field then go left, keeping hedge right. Exactly alongside a lone tree, take gap on right into field to continue along right edge of field keeping hedge right, then cross stile keeping ahead with hedge right to take footbridge and kissing gate into next field. Continue gently up field with wire fence right to take kissing gate in corner and proceed up the field with hedge and fence right towards houses. Take kissing gate straight onto main road (no verge) and cross over, back to Ye Old Saracens Head.

Walk 3689 Route Map

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