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The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail

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The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 04 Apr 2019 Walk Rating:star0 The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walkstar0 The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walkstar0 The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walkstar0 The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walkstar0 The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walk
Warwickshire, Preston Bagot
Walk Type: River or lakeside
The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walk boot The Crabmill Canal and Country Trail Warwickshire Pub Walk
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NOTE: The Crabmill pub is closed for renovation and is due to reopen on Saturday 4 May 2019.

A 3.5 mile circular pub walk from The Crabmill in Preston Bagot, Warwickshire. The Crabmill makes the perfect spot for refreshments before or after your walk. The walking route joins a stretch of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal towpath with beautiful old narrow locks, canal boats and wildlife to enjoy. After crossing a small aqueduct, the route leads you through pastures and along tree-lined bridleways to reach a pretty old ford. The final stretch takes in the imposing hilltop Preston Bagot Church.

The route includes several steady gradients but there are no steep sections. Whilst many of the paths are firm, some bridleways can be churned, a couple of fields can be boggy and the ford-side path can flood after periods of heavy rain. With this in mind, good boots are a must (or wellies in the winter months). You will need to negotiate several gates and kissing gates plus one stile (this has a gap for small dogs but larger dogs will need to climb over or be lifted). You are likely to encounter sheep in a few of the pastures. There are a few short stretches of road walking along country lanes, but the traffic is normally very light. Allow 1.5 hours.

The Crabmill is located on the A4189, about 1.5 miles west of Claverdon and 1.5 miles east of Henley-in-Arden. The pub has its own car park. Approximate post code B95 5EE.

Walk Sections

Start to Canal Towpath
Start to Canal Towpath

Start point: 52.2863 lat, -1.7491 long
End point: 52.2873 lat, -1.7445 long

Standing in front of The Crabmill facing the road, turn left to join the pavement alongside the A4189. Ignore the first left-hand side road (signed to Preston Bagot), instead continue on the A4189 pavement and take the next left-hand side road.

This road leads you past Preston Bagot Manor on your left. Preston Bagot Manor House is thought to date from the 1550s and was once home to the Earl of Warwick. You will notice the building is constructed with a timber frame, with beautiful herringbone red-brick infilling.

Stay with the road as it leads you over the canal bridge and, just a few metres later, turn left through a kissing gate to reach the canal towpath at Preston Bagot Bottom Lock (Lock 38).

Canal Towpath to Bucket Lock
Canal Towpath to Bucket Lock

Start point: 52.2873 lat, -1.7445 long
End point: 52.2951 lat, -1.7318 long

Follow the canal towpath with the canal running on your left. The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal was built between 1793 and 1816 and is about 25 miles long. You will soon pass Lock 37 and then reach a small footbridge (Bridge 46). At this point the towpath swaps sides of the canal, so turn left over the bridge and then turn right to continue on the towpath, passing Lock 36 and continuing with the canal on your right. Continue on this same towpath for about 800 metres, passing Bridge 45 and Lock 35 and continuing on to reach Bridge 44, which sits alongside Bucket Lock (Lock 34) and Bucket Lock Cottage.

Bucket Lock to North Rookery
Bucket Lock to North Rookery

Start point: 52.2951 lat, -1.7318 long
End point: 52.3008 lat, -1.732 long

Pass Bucket Lock on your right and immediately afterwards the towpath leads you over Kingswood Brook via the small Yarningdale Aqueduct. You will have the canal on your right (held within the aqueduct channel structure) and the brook visible below to your left. The aqueduct was originally built from timber for the canal opening in 1816. The current cast iron aqueduct was built in 1834 to replace the original wooden structure which was washed away when the stream flooded that year.

Immediately after this small aqueduct, turn left down a flight of steps. Ignore a stile to your left, instead keep ahead on the field-edge path with an overgrown fence on your left. This path can become boggy – but it doesn’t last for long. Cross the stile ahead to enter a pasture (which may be holding sheep). Walk straight ahead following the left-hand boundary and climbing steadily. In the top left-hand corner exit via a small metal gate and turn right along a grass track to reach a farm gate ahead.

Pass through the small gate set within the farm gate to enter the next sheep pasture. With your back to the gate, cross the pasture at about 11 o’clock. Head for a point between an overgrown old brick shelter and a small timber and iron shelter. Exit the field via the small gate to reach the lane. Turn right along the lane, passing Middle Rookery on your right and then passing another large red brick property behind a hedge (North Rookery) on your left. Immediately after the house, turn left onto the entrance driveway for North Rookery (there is a grass triangle with a tree and waymarker post at this entrance drive).

North Rookery to Ford
North Rookery to Ford

Start point: 52.3008 lat, -1.732 long
End point: 52.3023 lat, -1.7411 long

Follow the driveway through the first gateway and then fork right to join a paved track which leads you towards a black gate. Do NOT go through the gate, instead fork right onto a grass path, staying directly alongside the hedge on your right. Stay with this bridleway path (which can be muddy in parts) as it leads you through a tunnel of trees. Pass through a gate ahead to enter a sheep pasture and walk ahead, still following a tree-lined path.

Exit via the next gate and continue on the enclosed tree-lined track. The track leads you ahead and then bends left, leading downhill and emerging to a junction with Henley Road. Turn left along the road for about 350 metres to reach a fork by a Ford sign, alongside Willowbrook Barn. Fork left to join the stone track (waymarked as an unclassified country road), passing the barn on your left. This pretty stone track leads you to a ford where a stream crosses your track.

Ford to Preston Bagot Church
Ford to Preston Bagot Church

Start point: 52.3023 lat, -1.7411 long
End point: 52.2922 lat, -1.7454 long

Cross the ford via the bridge and raised bank to your right. (When the water level is high, the final stretch of bank can be very muddy). Continue ahead on the main stone track, ignoring a stile on your left. Further along the stone track becomes a tarmac lane, passing Lilac Cottage on your left. Continue to the end of this access lane, to reach a T-junction with a country lane.

Bear right to join this lane and follow it as it bends right and then left. About 100 metres later, turn right onto the signed entrance drive for Preston Bagot Church. Ignore the kissing gate, instead cross the parking area (via two gates) to enter the churchyard.

Preston Bagot Church to End
Preston Bagot Church to End

Start point: 52.2922 lat, -1.7454 long
End point: 52.2864 lat, -1.7494 long

Preston Bagot Church dates from the early 1100s. Before the bell turret was added in 1879, the bells were mounted on a pole in the yew tree at the west end. Walk ahead through the churchyard, passing the church on your right. As you draw level with the porch, turn left through the kissing gate to enter the adjacent pasture. Turn right across a short piece of the pasture and exit via the kissing gate alongside a large oak tree.

Follow the pretty enclosed path leading you downhill and emerging via a kissing gate to a junction with a road. If you glance back to your right here you will be able to see the imposing red-brick Old Rectory, which today is a family home as well as a B&B. You can imagine that the path we just walked would once have been a pleasant route to work for the vicar. The barn within the grounds of the Old Rectory dates to the 1600s and is Grade II listed.

Turn left along the lane, which leads you between fields and through the village of Preston Bagot, for about 600 metres to reach the T-junction with the A4189. Turn right along the pavement to reach The Crabmill for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2019 by iFootpath and the author pubwalker 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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