A Warwickshire country pub walk through idyllic countryside in the Heart of England
This gentle 4¼ mile circular pub walk on the Heart of England Way takes you through some glorious meadowland, alongside a wood and past a beautiful lake. Suitable for all ages, it involves climbing over several stiles. The walk itself starts right outside this pub.Download PDF Guide
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Turn right as you come out of the pub and cross over Coventry Road to head along Meriden Road. After about 500 yards, you’ll see a farm lane on your right which forms part of the 100 mile Heart of England Way running from the Cotswolds to Cannock.
“Follow it up to Blind Hall Farm…”
…a superbly preserved Grade II listed brick and timber building. Pass the farm and continue until you reach a farm gate, cross the stile beside it and bear left, following the edge of the field to its left corner.
Here, you’ll find a pair of stiles – cross them and continue along the footpath as it weaves in and out of the hedge. You’ll soon go through a larger gap and then pass a small pond before reaching some houses at Four Oaks. Keep the buildings to your right and traverse the field on a diagonal line to the road.
To the right of Wilmot Cottage on the road’s opposite side is a gateway leading back out into rolling farmland. The path runs alongside the right-hand side of a hedge, giving nice views across to Home Farm on your left. After about 650 yards you’ll reach Mercote Hall Lane. Turn left and follow the lane, passing Park Farm Complex on your left, until you reach a large, enclosed sand and gravel pit. At its far end, follow the footpath left over some footbridges and up to the approach to Marsh Farm. Just beyond it, turn left and the track will lead you toward Sixteen Acre Wood. Cross the stile and continue along the wood’s edge, passing through a strip of trees and out into open pastureland.
“To your left will be a beautiful view of Berkswell Hall Lake…”
The original part of Berkswell Hall was built in the late 1600s before being substantially rebuilt in 1815. Now it is private apartments, though the surrounding land is still part of the Berkswell Estate.
Follow the path to a kissing gate, at which point you’re back on the Heart of England Way. Cross the stile on to a planked area and continue up to the village crossroads – where a warm welcome awaits in the Bear Inn!
During the summer, many of the fields you’ll pass through should be swaying with ripening corn. At two points, the walk joins the Heart of England Way – a 100 mile route through the very centre of the nation.
Point of Interest
The village stocks were, rumour has it, built for a trio of drinking companions, including an ex-soldier with one leg – hence the five leg holes...
Outside the Bear Inn stands a relic from the Crimean War – a cannon captured from the Russians at Kerch in 1855. When fired in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the blast broke windows all over the village!
The historic Bear Inn occupies a prominent position on the main crossroads of the leafy hamlet of Berkswell. Boasting thatched cottages, leafy lanes, an old church, a small green and quaint five-legged stocks, Berkswell is the picture-perfect English setting.
The dining area of the pub is known as Cromwell’s Room, marking the period when Cromwell’s troops lodged in the village before the Battle of Kenilworth.Indeed, recent renovations revealed a Cromwellian helmet and boot embedded in an interior wall.
By the 19th century the inn was prospering. It was described in 1874 as “a large house, well fitted up with every convenience, and much resorted to by pleasure parties from Birmingham and Coventry.”
For centuries, the inn hosted the annual October Stattis Fair, where workers and servants gathered from the surrounding countryside seeking to be hired by local farmers for the coming year. The pub and restaurant area features ancient oak beams, log fires and nooks and crannies – making it the ideal place to enjoy traditional meals, contemporary classics or a Sunday roast, along with fine wines and cask ales.
Why not reserve a table for the day of your walk?Reserve your table
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