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Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House

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Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House
Author: Millennium Way, Published: 27 Jan 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide star1 Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide star1 Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide star1 Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide star0 Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide
West Midlands, Solihull
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide boot Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide
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18 °C, Overcast, Wind: 0 mph N
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A 4 mile circular walk from the village of Hockley Heath, near Solihull in the West Midlands. This fairly easy walk would be very suitable for a short Sunday morning ramble, taking in a short stretch of the canal towpath and also passing two interesting landmarks, namely Packwood House and St. Giles Church, which are both worth a visit. There are no difficult sections on this walk and it is a very pleasant introduction to The Millennium Way. During the walk, you will enjoy a short section of the Millennium Way, the route being clearly marked by the distinctive black waymarkers.

The route is relatively flat with just a few gentle gradients. You will need to negotiate a few kissing gates plus 4 stiles (all of which should be suitable for most dogs to manage). Whilst most of the fields are arable, you may come across livestock in a couple of the fields. There are a few sections of road walking, so take particular care of traffic. Allow 2 hours.

The Millennium Way is a beautiful 100 mile walk in the heart of England, from Pershore in Worcestershire to Middleton Cheney in Northamptonshire. The route was created by the 41 Club as a community project, with something to offer every walker or rambler across Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. This is one of 44 circular walks, each of which incorporates a section of the Millennium Way and is published in partnership with 41 Club.

Hockley Heath is located about 6 miles south of Solihull and is accessed from Jn 16 of the M40 or Jn 4 of the M42. The walk starts and finishes outside The Wharf Tavern on the A3400. The pub has a car park if you are having refreshments there, otherwise roadside parking is available. Approximate post code B94 6QT.

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Walk Sections

Start to Old Warwick Road
Start to Old Warwick Road

Start point: 52.3507 lat, -1.7775 long
End point: 52.3447 lat, -1.7623 long

The walk starts from the Wharf Tavern in Hockley Heath. Built in 1849, the pub served the coal barges that pulled up at the local wharf. The back garden of the pub was the coalyard. Make your way through the pub car park to find a bridge left leading to the canal. You are now on The Millennium Way. Go along the towpath, keeping the canal on your right.

Pass a drawbridge (Number 26), staying ahead to go under a road bridge (Number 27) – there is an attractive picnic table in a few yards here, on the towpath. Eventually you will reach a second drawbridge (Number 28). Here we exit The Millennium Way for a short while, leaving the canal towpath by turning left down a short wide track to the road, Old Warwick Road.

Old Warwick Road to Packwood House
Old Warwick Road to Packwood House

Start point: 52.3447 lat, -1.7623 long
End point: 52.3481 lat, -1.746 long

Go left on the road for approximately 80 paces and then take the stile right (next to a wide metal gate), into a field. Go ahead with a hedge and trees on your left. Continue ahead where the field bottlenecks and eventually exit the field through an unmarked far hedge gap into the next field. Continue ahead, now with a hedge on your right, to eventually pass under low voltage power lines and take the corner stile. Go with a hedge on your left to reach the surfaced drive by the entrance to a large country house (Malt House Farm).

Go right along the drive to reach the road. Cross the road and take the metal kissing gate into the Packwood House Estate. Go ahead following the National Trust Waymarker posts, noticing the glorious views to your left, with the lake and Packwood House in the far distance. Take the metal kissing gate ahead into a large field and go along the edge of the field, keeping the trees and fence on your left. After a short while, take a metal gate left to cross a wooden plank bridge and then go through a gap ahead by a metal gate. Continue between a wooden fence and the woodland to exit by a gap to reach the road. Turn left on the road until you reach Packwood House where we have now rejoined The Millennium Way.

The house began as a modest timber-framed farmhouse constructed for John Fetherston between 1556 and 1560. Its interiors were extensively restored between the First and Second World Wars by Graham Baron Ash to create a fascinating 20th-century evocation of domestic Tudor architecture. Packwood House contains a fine collection of 16th-century textiles and furniture, and the gardens have renowned herbaceous borders. The famous Yew Garden containing over 100 trees was laid out in the mid-17th century by John Fetherston, the lawyer. In 1941, Ash donated the house and gardens to the National Trust.

Packwood House to St Giles Church
Packwood House to St Giles Church

Start point: 52.3481 lat, -1.746 long
End point: 52.353 lat, -1.7519 long

Continue past Packwood House along the lane for approximately 0.25 miles, passing Grove Lane which enters from the left. After a further 100 paces, take the kissing gate left into a field. Follow the black Millennium Way waymarker to go over the centre of the field to reach a kissing gate under power lines. From this kissing gate, go ahead with a hedge on your left for approximately 40 paces then follow the waymarker to go diagonally right to reach the power pole in the corner by the trees. Take the kissing gate leading into the churchyard of St. Giles Church.

The present church of St Giles dates from the latter part of the 13th century (1270-80) and stands secluded and peaceful in fields, with Church Farm and Packwood Hall as its nearest neighbours. It was at St Giles Church on a June morning in 1706 that a Lichfield bookseller, Michael Johnson, came to marry Sara Ford. Their son, born in 1709, grew up to become Dr Samuel Johnson of literary fame. The registers actually date back to 1668 and are kept in the church safe.

St Giles Church to End
St Giles Church to End

Start point: 52.353 lat, -1.7519 long
End point: 52.351 lat, -1.7774 long

Face the front door of the church and go left along the pathway to exit the churchyard via a gate into the car park. Go left here, along the church access driveway to reach the road. Turn right along the road and continue to the T-junction. Go left at the T-junction and continue on to meet the main road. Go ahead along the main road (signposted Hockley Heath) following the road round to meet the main Stratford Road. Turn left here to walk along this main road, arriving back at The Wharf Tavern on your right, where the walk began.

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network Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author 41club and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 comments for "Millennium Way: Hockley Heath and Packwood House"

Lovely walk. Next time though we would cut off the road walking and rejoin the canal (as in your shorter 3 mile walk from packwwod house) to come back into hocklwy Heath.

By katenorthpho on 21 May 2017

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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