Eight awesome autumn walks!
Love the outdoors? Us too, so we’re thrilled to be launching our first ever Muddy Walk Week! Grab your friends or family and try our pick of the prettiest walks in Warwickshire and beyond - all with dog-friendly pubs nearby.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Feel like stretching your legs over the next two weeks? Us too! Making the most of your precious free time and getting out and about with family and besties is what we love to do on Muddy, so we’ve come up with eight brilliant Autumn walks (with pubs en route or nearby obvs) so you can really enjoy your down-time.
We’re proud to say that our Autumn Walks are part of Joules’ Charity Month – 31 days of fantastic fundraising for their five charity partners. If you want to make a small justgiving donation to take part (a quid is great, and doable even for little people) click here. And please do instagram your beautiful walk or gorgeous pub (yes, you can be in it!) and hashtag with #joulesautumnwalks #mymuddywalks, because we’ll use the best images in our round-up feature.
Details of our favourite walks across all 22 Muddy counties are here so even if you’re going away you can stride out. Plus you can enter our Reader Treat and three lucky subscribers and their families can step out in £500 of Joules coats and wellies.
What else do you want, crisp dry days and blue skies? Don’t worry, I’m working on it.
Circular walk around Kenilworth Castle
Distance and difficulty: 6.5 miles over relatively easy terrain with a few inclines, stiles and kissing gates. Allow 3 hours. Map and directions here.
Good for: Stretchy-leggers; families with older children
Why we love it: Not only does the route take in the impressive English Heritage site, Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, it also traverses open farmland with quintessential country views. The odd grazing alpaca is a nice touch. Dogs will need to be on leads during the parts of the walk that pass livestock.
Everyone loves a walk ending with a pub meal…but a Michelin-starred one is a true treat! Chef Director Adam Bennet blends his experience of working in fine dining with The Cross, Kenilworth‘s relaxed, accessible feel; creating A La Carte and Tasting Menus that are revered across the county.
The Cross, 16 New St, Kenilworth CV8 2EZ, Tel. 01926 853840.
Heritage walk near Farnborough Hall
Distance and difficulty: 5.5 miles; approximately 3-4 hours over easy terrain with a few stiles. More information and map here.
Good for: Stretchy leggers; families seeking a spot of heritage with their hike
Why we love it: A perfect mix of beautiful countryside, parkland, quaint villages and the opportunity to explore the National Trust’s handsome Farnborough Hall, an Italianate 18th mansion, surrounded by historic parkland with a 5.5mile circular walk.
There are a few walks nearby Farnborough Hall, but this circuit takes you to Avon Dassett and passes back through Farnborough village, giving the chance to reward your efforts in stylish gastro delight The Kitchen, Farnborough owned by husband-and-wife team Jo and Anthony Robinson, who trained classically at The Savoy and The Dorchester in London. Food is seasonal and rustic with veg grown in the Kitchen garden, and the couple champion local producers including award-winning Leamington Spa-based Aubrey Allen Butchers and Warwickshire’s Cotswolds Distillery in Shipston-on-Stour. The pub’s own website also lists some alternative walks.
The Kitchen, Main Street, Farnborough, Nr. Banbury, OX17 1DZ. Tel: 01295 690615
Short walk around Welford-on-Avon and Dorsington
Distance and difficulty: Easy 3.5 mile walk; approximately 1hr 45min. Info courtesy of the Ramblers here.
Good for: Loafers and half-hearted stretchy leggers; families
Why we love it: A circular walk passes through pretty village landscapes including churches and a 65ft maypole, one of the tallest in the country, along with incorporating some riverside strolling.
The Bell Inn, Welford-on-Avon – named Warwickshire’s best dining pub in the Good Food Guide for five years in a row – offers honest pub food using locally-sourced ingredients in the open gallery rooms with low beams and solid oak flooring. This snug, cosy pub has a varied menu including hearty brunches, a Ploughman’s Lunch with ‘Bell Roasted’ Ham, Chicken Liver Pate & Warwickshire Truckle Cheese (£9.95) and mains such as Breaded Garlic Chicken Breast stuffed with Arden Smoked Cheddar on Sweet Potato Mash & Wilted Spinach (£16.95).
The Bell, Binton Road, Welford-on-Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 8EB. Tel: 01789 750353.
Countryside circular from Preston Bagot, near Henley-In-Arden
Distance and difficulty: 3.5 miles over moderate terrain; a few steady inclines but nothing too steep. Can be boggy after periods of wet weather (boot recommended!). Info here.
Good for: Loafers and amblers; anyone hankering after a brief breath of fresh air and some lovely sights.
Why we love it: Varied scenery and terrain, encompassing canals, towpaths, a ford and a lot of wildlife-spotting opportunities. The end part passes through a pretty village with an imposing church and there are beautiful houses to admire along the way.
Former old cider mill The Crabmill, Preston Bagot has undergone a stylish revamp but still retains every bit of character from its tiny leaded windows, weathered half-timbered exterior and crooked beams to its flagstone floors. It is the ideal start and end point and offers a menu of British classics with the odd twist.
The Crabmill, Preston Bagot, Claverdon, Henley-in-Arden B95 5EE, Tel: 01926 843342.
Canalside walk around Hatton Locks, near Warwick
Distance and difficulty: Three different canalside walks begin from this perfectly situated pub, ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 miles.
Why we love it: The choice of three walks means the duration can be adapted to the weather and mood on the day! Every walk includes a potential diversion to Hatton Adventure World, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Reward your efforts back at the perfectly situated Hatton Arms with fabulous views. Make the most of a crisp, sunny autumn day and sip hot chocolate on the large refurbished terrace overlooking the gardens leading down to Hatton Locks. Alternatively, curl up by the fire inside.
The Hatton Arms, Birmingham Rd, Hatton, Warwick CV35 7JJ. Tel: 01926 492427.
Heritage walk around Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton
Distance and difficulty: This 5 mile trek over moderate terrain should take around 2.5 hours. Expect some steps, stiles and kissing gates. Field paths may be marshy following wet weather. Parking is available at both National Trust properties and at the pub. View walk here.
Good for: Leisurely strollers; families and heritage lovers.
Why we love it: Great to have the chance to call into two National Trust properties; or at least admire them from the outside and enjoy their picturesque grounds. Baddesley Clinton is a secluded estate nestled in the Forest of Arden, with a pretty walled garden, 150 acres of parkland and a lake. There are also alternative walks around the property suggested on their website. Packwood House is a Tudor manor with a striking topiary garden.
Once you’ve finished your circuit, drive to highly-rated The Boot, Lapworth for upmarket gastro fayre and all-weather al-fresco dining in the giant garden tepee; or, take a slight detour during the route as you pass through Lapworth and call into the pub mid-way on your walk. Worth noting that livestock are present en route, meaning dogs need to be on leads (and won’t be allowed inside the National Trust properties).
The Boot, Lapworth, Old Warwick Rd, Lapworth, Solihull B94 6JU. Tel: 01564 782464.
Countryside walk around Offchurch
Distance and difficulty: Just over 6 miles over easy terrain should take you around 3-4 hours at a leisurely pace. There are a few stiles and kissing gates. Map and directions here.
Good for: Stretchy leggers; dog walkers
Why we love it: The walk takes in the gorgeous views (and handy signposting) of the Millennium Way and includes a tranquil stretch by the River Leam.
Start and end at thatched village country pub The Stag at Offchurch. Fuel up with a coffee before you set out and replenish with a delicious lunch on your return. The seasonal menu features meat from award-winning Leamington butcher Aubrey Allen and imaginative vegetarian/vegan choices. I recently had the Curried cauliflower, new potato and garden pea tagine with spiced lentils.
The Stag at Offchurch, Welsh Rd, Offchurch, Leamington Spa CV33 9AQ, Tel: 01926 425801.
Waterside Walk around Draycote Water Reservoir
Distance and difficulty: Easy-going on a level path, but a fair distance of approximately 5 miles. More information and map available to download here. Allow around 2 hours at a fairly brisk pace.
Good for: Families with older children (or those in pushchairs); adults wanting to build up a hearty appetite; dog walkers
Why we love it: The waterside setting is super-relaxing and the well-maintained tarmac path is great for all. While it’s gentle in terms of terrain, the walk’s duration means you’ll be well and truly refreshed (and your legs might feel it) by the end. Draycote Water also offers cycling, watersports, fishing and a playground, giving potential for a full family day out.
Once you’ve blown the cobwebs away, hop back in the car for a short 3-mile drive to the The Boat Inn, Birdingbury. If the sun is out you can enjoy canal-side seating at this unpretentious, lively country pub and there’s a children’s play area. The food is locally sourced wherever possible, with meat supplied by Onley Grounds Farm in Willoughby from grass-fed cattle. It was awarded best pub in the 2017 Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Awards.
The Boat Inn, Birdingbury Wharf, Rugby Road, Birdingbury, Southam, Warwickshire CV23 8HQ. Tel: 01926 812657
Draycote Water, Kites Hardwick, Warwickshire, CV23 8AB.