Walk Two: Henley-in-Arden Circular
This pleasant circular walk starts from the historic village of Henley-in-Arden famed for its Henley ice cream. The route includes a short section of the Millennium Way long distance trail and maybe the walk will encourage you to complete the whole route. The Millennium Way is clearly waymarked with the distinctive black Millennium Way circular waymarkers. The walk begins from the 15th century church of St John the Baptist, situated on the corner of the High Street and Beaudesert Lane in Henley-in-Arden.
County/Area – Warwickshire
Author – Millennium Way
Length – 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent – 300 feet / 91 metres
Grade – easy/mod
Walk Route Description
A – From St John the Baptist church go up adjacent Beaudesert Lane, over the bridge and past the Norman church of St Nicholas on your left to find a kissing gate giving access to footpath leading up the hill to what is known as “The Mount”. You will not find any obvious ruins but this is the site of the Motte & Bailey castle built by Thurstan de Montfort, Lord of The Manor in the 12th century. As you ascend you have a fine view over the town and surrounding countryside. From the top of The Mount descend some fairly steep steps then continue uphill on the highest path eventually reaching a welcome wooden bench and passing beneath small overhead powerlines. Ignore stile on your right and continue ahead following the Millennium Way waymarker. Here we continue along the ridge with hedge right and glorious panoramic views to your left. Continue ahead on a narrow path then take the waymarked stile on your R and go half L to stile at field edge.
B – Cross the stile turning left into small wooded area. At junction of paths go ahead remaining in wooded area – the path weaves through to exit by a stile on the left. Go slightly left, keeping hedge on your left, to come to ridge with fine views. Go half right carefully downhill to find a stile between two corner metal gates. Take stile and go left across field centre to find stile adjacent to gate leading to path alongside gate entrance and then parallel to the lane to find stile. Take stile and go right on lane passing Buckley Green farm on your right.
C – At the ‘T’ junction take the road R and after 15 paces take a kissing gate R. Continue up field keeping wooden fence on R, through an isolated kissing gate, and onwards to corner field kissing gate. Take wooden kissing gate and go straight up steep hill to take corner stile then following Millennium Waymarker to go through copse and exit by stile to field. Continue ahead straight across field to find corner kissing gate. Take gate then ahead with hedge right to follow round field edge to take metal kissing gate R. Go L to take next gate just ahead and turn right across field corner to tree line, then go L with trees R. Watch for farm building R and come to driveway. Go R 10 paces on driveway and immediately L gently uphill along grassy path signed MILLENNIUM WAY. After some 80 paces (by double power posts) veer slightly L to find field edge. Go up field edge keeping to L of metal barn to pass under power cables and at top R field corner by the copse go R to find hedge gap to Ireland’s Farm driveway. At this point you are leaving the Millennium Way. Turn R down driveway towards Ireland’s Farm.
D – Continue down farm track to go under the power lines, eventually coming to Ireland’s Farm. Before farm gate turn left and descend down grassy track continuing ahead through a metal gate, cross field then over a stream and stile. Bear slightly right of telegraph wires up field, then cross a stile and turn right onto farm driveway to proceed over dismantled railway line ignoring footpath left. Continue along driveway in a southerly direction until you reach the road. Turn right at road, crossing the bridge and continue ahead for 50 yards taking the path left through wooden gate. Continue ahead with hedge right. Go through wooden gate turning left along the lane.
E – Immediately after Malt House Farm take the signed footpath left through large wooden gate. Continue ahead through smaller wooden gate and proceed gently uphill with hedge left. Go over corner stile then half right across field continuing with hedge and trees right towards corner of field. Take stile, turn right then over further stile. Continue ahead on grassy path with hedge right and paddock on left. Go through metal gate and turn immediately left then over stile into field, continuing ahead with hedge left, over further stile to metal gate and ahead proceeding towards Preston Bagot church, an ideal spot for a short break and some refreshment. The original church was built in the late 11th or 12th Centuries on Anglo-Saxon foundations and most of the original structure survives.
F – With your back to the church entrance door, go forward to exit the churchyard by the gate, then turn immediately R and walk along to take the wooden kissing gate nestling under a large oak tree and descend the narrow track down to the road to cross into field opposite via a metal gate. Continue through next two metal kissing gates and go up field keeping hedge R. Take the next kissing gate and go directly across centre of field to exit by further kissing gate 20 yards in from field corner. Ignore the kissing gate immediately to your right and continue ahead with hedge on R for 100 yds where you will find a corner kissing gate to exit into a small wood of young trees. Continue ahead with hedge R and exit by corner wooden stile keeping ahead with hedge R and exiting field by wooden stile. Cross the next field via stile turning R to walk through small copse exiting by wooden stile. Continue ahead with hedge to R going through a metal gate followed by two further stiles and continuing with hedge R then over exit stile to emerge onto a lane.
G – Turn right onto lane and after 15 paces turn left across stile continuing ahead with hedge right taking the stile right in corner of field then immediately left over further stile descending steps through a wood. Emerging from wood we enter school playing area taking metal gate down to road. Go across road and along path, following wooden fence on left around side of school play area, cross end of cul-de-sac, and ahead on path to eventually emerge into Beaudesert Lane and back into Henley.