12 of the best spring walks near you
It's National Walking Month! What better way to celebrate than striking out on one of these lovely lockdown-friendly circular walks across Warwickshire.
We’ve kept things relatively easy and lock-down friendly in length (hikers we are not), which makes this round-up perfect for families wanting to enjoy a little socially distanced stroll.
Coughton Court to Kinwarton Dovecote. Easy, 12.8km
Coughton Court may remain closed but you can still take a gentle walk from outside the property through the Warwickshire countryside to Kinwarton Dovecote, a rare survival of a 14th-century dovecote. Route here.
The Rollright Stones Circular, Long Compton, nr Shipston-on-Stour. Moderate 10 km
Not quite on the scale of Stonehenge but a popular landmark, Rollright consists of three Neolithic Bronze Age sites standing on the Warwickshire / Oxfordshire border – The King’s Men, the King Stone and the Whispering Knights. Legends claims that a king and his army were turned to stone by a witch. To extend your walking in the area you could head north and visit the pretty Whichford Wood. There’s a circular route from Route here.
Chesterton Windmill (CV33 9LB), nr Harbury. Easy, I km
Much loved by local photographers and artists, this beautiful Grade I listed 17th century windmill stands on a hilltop overlooking the Roman Fosse Way three miles from Warwick and Leamington Spa, near Harbury. This striking local landmark is the earliest tower mill in England to retain any of its working parts. You can start the walk from the roadside parking close the mill on Windmill Hill Lane to the west of Harbury. You can directly access a footpath leading up to the windmill – a half mile walk there and back. There’s also views to a Roman settlement in the adjacent field. Route here.
Hunningham Circular, nr Leamington Spa. Easy 6.5km
Starting out at 2019’s Muddy award-winning destination pub The Red Lion in Hunningham across a medieval grade II listed bridge to Cunningham along the MIllennium Way through open countryside with a lovely view of St. Michael’s church at Weston under Weatherley through part of South Cubbington Wood, a beautiful ancient woodland – part of which is due to be destroyed to make way for the HS2 rail line and where eco campaigners have been camped out high in the trees for months. TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham is continuing his legal battle against the construction of HS2. Route here.
Leamington Spa to Warwick circular. Easy, 13.7km
A heritage circular walk along tree-lined rivers and canals linking Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick – two historic towns with lots of interesting sights including pretty parks and historic buildings. It has impressive views towards Warwick Castle, passing the town’s historic St Mary’s Church. Start and end: Newbold Comyn Park. Route here.
Napton on the Hill Windmill circular. Easy, 8.1 km
A 5-mile circular walk offering wonderful views of the Warwickshire countryside and along the Oxford Canal. The route passes through the peaceful village of Napton on the Hill with its windmill, following the towpath past The Folly pub – currently closed. It also passes the huge crater where once clay was quarried to make bricks. You climb to a height of 500ft provides distant views across the wide vista of seven counties. The windmill at the top occupies a scenic position. It’s a short distance back down to the village green. Route here.
Villages of Illmington and Hidcote, nr Shipston-on-Stour, 11.9km
This 10-mile walk explores the lovely Warwickshire countryside around the beautiful honey-stone village of Ilmington with its 400-year-old award-winning country pub with rooms, The Howard Arms (temporarily closed). Thatched roof cottages and open fields offer glimpses to the surrounding hills. The route provides extensive views into the Cotswolds, passes the famous National Trust run gardens created by American horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnson at Hidcote – also currently closed. An idyllic walk for spring and summer months. Route here.
Riverside walk along the River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon. Easy, 2.8km
A stunning easy stroll taking in key sites on both sides of the river. Start from the bandstand on the easy side of the river near Stratford Butterfly Farm with outstanding views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and further up, Holy Trinity Church, on the opposite bank, canal locks and walk back through Bancroft Gardens. Cross at Mill Bridge and walk back through Bancroft Gardens and Memorial Theatre Gardens at the back of the RSC. On a sunny day sit on the grass, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a light picnic lunch. Route here.
Circular panoramic Ley line walk from Upton House car park taking in famous civil war battle site. Moderate, 8.8km
Circle Alfred Watkins’ Cotswold ley line and enjoy panoramic vistas, big skies, pretty Ratley Village and the scenes of the historic Battle of Edgehill. Route here.
Ashlawn Cutting, Rugby & Leam Valley, Leamington Spa. Easy child-friendly/dog-friendly nature trails, 1 mile
Two of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s ‘measured mile trails’ – great for getting the kids out- and-about enjoying nature. Each trail is only 1-mile long with activities along the way, to keep littlies entertained including ‘Flap your wings like a butterfly’, ‘hop like a frog’ and ‘scurry like a beetle’ along the route. Ashlawn Cutting is a disused railway line surrounded by farmland and housing on the outskirts of Rugby with steep banks of grassland, scrub and some small pools. You may spot common blue and green hairstreak butterflies and dragonflies. Leam Valley is an attractive riverside nature reserve on the edge of Leamington. Routes here and here.
Kenilworth circular – Abbey Fields, Kenilworth Castle, Chase Woods, Abbey Fields. Easy, 7.9 km
An excellent walk starting out at Abbey Fields Car Park through the 68-acre park and passed the lake to the public footpaths surrounding scenic Kenilworth Castle to the woodlands at Chase Woods. Route here.
Ufton Fields. Easy, 2km
One of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s ‘wild walks’ with pools, marshes, grassland, woodland and a good picnic spot. It’s close to the village of Ufton between Southam and Leamingotn Spa. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) it’s the most northern place in the UK where the rare Man Orchid can be found and also important for wildflowers, fungi, butterflies, birds and a variety of water life including toads, newts, dragonflies and damselflies. A circular, way marked trail takes visitors around a two kilometre loop, taking up to an hour. Route here.