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The Boyne Arms and Burwarton Park

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The Boyne Arms and Burwarton Park
Author: Claire, Published: 07 Jun 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Shropshire, Burwarton
Walk Type: Garden or park
The Boyne Arms and Burwarton Park
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3 mile pub walk from the Boyne Arms in Burwarton, Shropshire. The Boyne Arms is a classic country pub and restaurant, the perfect place for refreshments after your walk. The walking route visits the ruins of the village church before climbing up into Burwarton Park, the family home of Viscount Boyne, and then back down along the same route. The view point within the park gives you chance to see Burwarton House, the parkland and the surrounding hills and valleys.

The walk follows mostly a wide tarmac track with two short sections across grass pastures which can get quite muddy after rain and in winter. The walk climbs steadily to the viewpoint with the return leg following the equivalent descent. There are several simple gates along the way but no stiles or steps. One field you cross (on both the way up and down) is likely to be holding cattle and the pasture at the top of the route will be holding sheep so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

Burwarton is located about half way between Ludlow and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, on the edge of the Shropshire Hills. The walk starts and finishes from the Boyne Arms pub, on the main B4364 through the village. The pub has its own car park. Approximate post code WV16 6QH.

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Walk Sections

Start to Church Ruins
Start to Church Ruins

Start point: 52.4626 lat, -2.564 long
End point: 52.461 lat, -2.5634 long

Start the trail at the front of the pub where you will be able to see the Boyne family’s elaborate coat of arms. The title Viscount Boyne was created in 1717 for a military commander, Gustavus Hamilton. In 1850 his great-grandson, the seventh Viscount, assumed the additional surname of Russell (that of his father-in-law). The current Viscount Boyne, the eleventh, is Gustavus Michael Stucley Hamilton-Russell, born 1965. The family arms are supported each side by a pair of mermaids and above this are two crests; a goat and an oak tree. The escallop shell adorning the side of the goat represents the Russell surname, whilst the frame saw across the oak’s trunk represents the Hamilton surname. The Latin motto, Nec Timeo Nec Sperno, translates as ‘I neither fear nor despise’.

Standing with your back to the pub, cross over the main road with care and turn left along the pavement. Where the road bends left, turn right down the small access lane. Follow this concrete track down between cottages and farm buildings. Immediately after the last barn on the right, just before you reach the ford ahead, turn right up the grass track with the stream running on the left. Keep ahead alongside a wooden gate and you will emerge into an old church yard.

In the centre you will see some overgrown stone ruins. The ruins are of a Norman church from the 11th century and are Grade II listed. A replacement village church, dedicated to St Laurence, was built in 1876 by Viscount Boyne, to serve the local estate workers. This was later deconsecrated and remains just next door (to the left), now a private residence.

Church Ruins to Track Fork
Church Ruins to Track Fork

Start point: 52.461 lat, -2.5634 long
End point: 52.4686 lat, -2.5716 long

Keep ahead along the left-hand edge of the church yard and pass through the metal gate at the top. This next section of the footpath leads you along the left-hand edge of the grounds of a private residence, with the stream still to the left. The residence is the Dower House, a common component within family estates, for use by the widow of the estate’s owner. The widow, often known as the dowager, usually moves into the Dower House from the larger family house on the death of her husband to make way for the heir.

Pass through the metal gate at the top and you will emerge to a T-junction with the village road. Cross over with care where you will see one of the private entrance gates into Burwarton Park. Do NOT go through these, instead turn right along the pavement which will lead you back to the Boyne Arms.

Immediately after the pub, turn left into the pub car park and pass through the small alley with the pub on the left and the stable bar on the right. You will emerge out at the back of the pub to a T-junction with a tarmac access lane. Turn left along this and, where it begins to swing left, keep ahead, leaving the lane to reach a wooden gate into a field.

Pass through this gate (note: the field is likely to be holding cattle), and turn left along the left-hand boundary climbing steadily. The path soon becomes a tarmac access lane which continues in the same direction. Keep ahead across the cattle grid (there is a gate to the right if you prefer or if you have a dog with you). The lane continues climbing between fenced horse paddocks and sheep pastures. Ignore the first tarmac lane off to the left, the private access lane to some of the estate’s buildings. A little further up you will come to a fork in the track, with a grass triangle at the centre of the junction.

Track Fork to Top View Point
Track Fork to Top View Point

Start point: 52.4686 lat, -2.5716 long
End point: 52.4603 lat, -2.579 long

Turn sharp left, following the track still climbing and then swinging right. Soon a metal fence and rhododendron hedge will begin on the left. A little way along this you will see a gate on the left. Take a moment to glance through this to see the pretty Bridge Pool, one of several pools created in the 1800s to serve as fire pools for the house. The area was planted in memory of the 10th Viscount Boyne who died in 1995.

Continue along the access lane which swings hard left, with the hillside sheep pastures sloping up the right. Just a little further along the views open up down to the left where, at about 10 o’clock, you will have the best view of the main estate residence, Burwarton House.

This land was acquired by the Holland family in the late 1400s. In the late 1700s the heiress, Harriett, married the sixth Viscount Boyne. The current Burwarton House was built in the 1830s in the Italianate taste to designs by Anthony Salvin. It was enlarged by the same architect in the 1870s and then enlarged again in the 1920s before being greatly reduced in size in the 1950s. The main garden, defined by clipped yew hedges, comprises a series of terraces with steps and gravel walks which fall away south of the house. The manicured lawns around the house are not fenced, instead they are surrounded by a ha-ha (a small ditch) which prevents animals straying into the gardens without spoiling the views. The estate is still one of the largest privately owned estates in Shropshire.

You can turn round and head back now or, if you’d prefer, you can continue a little further up the hill for better views of the valley. Stay on the main lane, passing the access drives for two estate properties (The Parks and 2 The Parks) on the left. Further along, go through the gate alongside the cattle grid ahead to enter the open hillside sheep pastures. Continue just a little further along and you will be rewarded with splendid views across the valley to the east.

Top View Point to End
Top View Point to End

Start point: 52.4603 lat, -2.579 long
End point: 52.4628 lat, -2.5637 long

When you have finished admiring the views you need to re-trace your steps back to the pub. To do this, follow the access lane down the hill and swinging sharp right past Bridge Pool. At the next junction, turn sharp right again and follow the lane downhill between pastures and horse paddocks. You will pass the back of the buildings of the Burwarton Estate.

Keep ahead across the cattle grid and you will pass first a set of white wooden gates on the right and then a set of white metal gates also on the right. At this point, the footpath leaves the drive (which swings left) and continues straight ahead along the right-hand edge of the pasture. Ignore the metal gate on the right and turn right through the next gate, a wide wooden gate. Keep straight ahead along the track and then through the small alley to reach the Boyne Arms for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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