News Archive

Archived News Articles 2020 - 2023

Photo by Utsav Srestha on Unsplash

News Article Archive

This page has old news articles that were posted on the old website. They have been included to provide a historical look at events that have affected the Millennium Way over time.



Rachael Daniels has just completed the whole Millennium Way over the Bank Holiday weekend 27/29 May. She said "I completed my trek on the Millennium Way over the weekend. I did about 15 hours per day for 3 days. My feet are swollen, but I did it all. Some parts were harder than others due to no clear path through crops or nettle growth but the GPS system was amazing keeping me in the right direction". The LDWA 48 hour challenge to walk 100 miles in 48 hours also took place at the same time and took in the Millennium Way west of Berkswell. Our Chairman Barry met many brave souls on their second day. Well done to them.

Balfour Beatty BBV, who are building HS2 near Berkswell, donated 100 of our waymarkers to compensate us for having to change parts of our routes near Meriden, Berkswell and Balsall Common.

Pete Franklin, one of our Circular Walk Wardens, completed the whole Millennium Way East to West in 6 days in early May with 5 overnight stops. He got soaked through on the last day going through a field of 5 foot high rape after a heavy rain shower. Well done Pete.


We just discovered the brilliant "OS Locate" app on the Appstore. You just open the app and it gives you your precise grid reference. Every rambler should have it!

Our new website development is underway, so watch this space over the next couple of months


On Friday 10th March we hosted "An evening with the Millennium Way". This was at Earlswood Village Hall with supper and featured talks by The Ramblers, Rail Trails, HS2 and of course The Millennium Way. 80 people with an interest in walking and rambling attended, but 30 had to be refused as it sold out! Feedback was excellent.

We checked out the Long Itchington Circular which was in fine shape and were very surprised to see a smashing new Millennium Way wooden signpost where our trail crosses the new "Greenway" path along the old disused railway line to the cement works. Very impressed!


After a winter break we are back and the good news is that the Millennium Way and three circulars just west of Berkswell have reopened almost on the original route. This is on a small section shared by the  Heart of England Way  The footpath has been closed for three years by HS2 works but reopened this month. Our route instructions will be updated by the end of February. The line of the original footpath will have a footbridge over HS2 in the fullness of time. 



Alan Jones-Bratt completed a series of challenges to celebrate his 80th birthday this month. He did 80 ends of bowls, 81 holes of golf and 80 miles walking. His last 20 mile walk was on the Millennium Way between Henley and Coughton and back.  Alan Jones-Bratt press article gives the full details. Well done to Alan, who raised £6000 for charity on his challenge.

Simon and Annette from Cooks Explore have just completed the Millennium Way and we are loading their excellent videos onto the website. They said "we have really enjoyed the trail and hope that our publicising it in YouTube will help local ramblers in the Midlands decide to make the Millennium Way a trail they can also enjoy". Ed We certainly hope so! Planning your walk video has excellent advice.


Chipping Warden Circular has been changed to avoid it crossing HS2 in two places - it was not pretty. Unfortunately this means that we no longer visit Thorpe Mandeville with the lovely Three Conies pub, or Culworth with The Forge coffee shop and the Red Lion. It is still our longest circular at 10.3 miles and goes through the old village of Wardington, but like the old route has a short cut option of about 7 miles. The Millennium Way diversion will now be made permanent and added to OS maps in due course. The return northwards on the circular is all on the new Millennium Way route.

We have added a few videos made by CooksExplore onto the East to West route description. So if you want a really good idea of what the Millennium Way has in store for you just try watching them - here is an example  CooksExplore Video


Rachel W and her Mum just completed all our 44 circulars, being just the 27th and 28th ladies to do so. Overall 70 people have now achieved this and are on our Roll of Honour page.  Robert S and Ed W finished doing the full trail East to West over time, saying that "it was most enjoyable and well signposted - congratulations on a great trail".

All our footpaths are really dry following the very hot weather we are experiencing. Please be careful out there if the temperature goes above 24 degrees as you can easily get dehydrated. Best to walk early in the morning. Wear a hat and use sunscreen. Take a flask of fluid for every two miles of your walk. Our walks are being added to which is the UK arm of a French walking website. Please take a look at it.


After a couple of quiet months, we can report that the original footpath M216, which runs alongside the line of HS2 north west of Berkswell, has been reinstated by HS2. This affects three of our circulars -Meriden, Berkswell West and Balsall Common. We have updated all our instructions and gpx files to this effect.


What a lovely month weatherwise. It dried out all the muddy sections across our 267 miles of paths. We have had a fabulous reaction to us putting the OS maps onto all of our circulars. We are now posting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep the profile of our walks high.


We recently had a visit from Delphine of Visorando which is a French walking website that is expanding into England and Wales. All our circulars will soon be on that site, which will lift the profile of the Millennium Way. It was lovely to meet Delphine who walked the Kenilworth Circular with our Chairman Barry and County Warden Hilary.

Stuart and Vivian plus Paul and Jenny wrote to say they completed all our circulars. "We did our first walk on 14th June 2020. The idea came after bumping into one of our wardens who gave us a beer mat advertising the MillenniumWay (ed. that would be me). We thoroughly enjoyed doing the walks and celebrated the last one with lunch at the Bull's Head Meriden".

We now have got OS maps on ALL our 44 Circulars. It looks so much better. I hope you agree, if so please let us know. Circular 5 from Hockley Heath now has our first drone video showing the lovely Warwickshire countryside. There is also a new clearer information panel at the start of each walk under the map.


Emma wrote "having finished all your lovely circulars, we tried a couple of other websites and have found the walks difficult to follow. We miss the clear instructions found on your website. Ed - it gives us no pleasure to hear that, but we do think our instructions are "simply the best".

We are revamping the first page of each circular walk!  First of all we are going to be using OS maps rather than the quaint old handdrawn maps. This will mean ramblers don't have to take their own maps with them and it will show far more detail than the old maps. Secondly the information panel will be standardised for all circulars and will include the "what three words" reference of the start. Behind the scenes we will also be able to update the panel ourselves rather than having to pester our webmaster every time the number of stiles etc changes. We are starting with Walk 1 and hope to complete all 44 walks by Easter.


We have updated our logo, which is shown at the top of each page, to emphasise that we have 44 circular walks attached to our main 100 mile trail. It is clear from our research that far more people want short circular walks as opposed to the 100 mile trail. We hope our logo will help more ramblers realise about the circulars.

Lesley T wrote "My friend found your website and proposed we complete all 44 circulars within the year 2021. We did one walk most weeks finishing on a beautiful sunny afternoon on 31st December! I feel fitter and stronger and it helped me get through my first year as a widow. Your walk instructions are wonderful - so detailed and accurate. Thank you to everyone involved and for the excellent spreadsheet so we could track our progress."

Chairman Barry spoke to the Solihull U3A. Hilary wrote " I just wanted to say a very big thankyou for coming along today and giving such an interesting and entertaining presentation about all your walks. There was a lot more to it than we had previously realised".

Thanks to Maddie we discovered that you can now get through Cubbington using footpaths created by HS2 but we are leaving the Millennium Way diversion through Offchurch as it avoid walking between metal fences. You can see where HS2 disects Cubbington Wood from it or from Offchurch.



Greta K wrote on our facebook page to say "I have done all the circulars at least twice. Packwood 11 times in 2021. The Millennium Way has kept me sane this year. I have walked nearly 1000 miles of its paths this year alone"

Our Wardens have been busy in December updating 5 Circulars - Packwood, Hockley Heath, Inkberrow East, Kingswood/Lapworth and Hunningham. Obviously it's a bit wet out there in places!

Paula and Paul Molson and separately Maddie Novissimo have just completed all 44 circulars. Maddie said "Thank you for all the wonderful walks and the challenge. I've loved it". Our editor wants to know if there are any more ramblers getting near to completing all 44?

A lovely new cafe called "STORE AND STOVE" has just opened in the centre of Berkswell. It is at the start/end of the two Berkswell circulars and half way round both the Balsall Common and Meriden Circulars. We never realised 4 circulars went through Berkswell. It's because it is near the apex of our trail in Meriden. We have updated the instructions on those circulars this week, especially around the HS2 disruption.


Alan Jones is planning to do Coughton, Studley and Henley West circulars in an extended figure of 8 in September for his 80th birthday.  Good luch with the training! Did you realise that you can easily extend your walk by doing a figure of 8 anywhere along our route.  This is because where one circular leaves the main trail another one joins it. Clever eh?  EG Warwick and Leamington by starting underneath the arches near Victoria Park.

Martin Smith, Alan Pratt and Philip Wood have just completed all 44 circulars and wrote "We started back in November 2018 and must congratulate 41 Club and the Millennium Way team for the excellent instructions and website.

Kay wrote to us saying that her and Nigel had done the 100 miles in 10 days consecutively in October. They raised over £3000 for the Star and Garter carehome in Solihull, where her father had been before he died. They really enjoyed it apart from encountering a few cows. They even saw a snake and are really proud of their achievement.

Maddie wrote to say "My 9 year old daughter Emilia and I walked BOTH your Henley in Arden walks today for charity. We walked 11.5 miles and she has raised £300 for RNIB.  In total she has now completed 10 Circulars - well done Emilia.

We have this week developed and implemented a fully waymarked diversion to our main trail south of Chipping Warden. It avoids HS2 disruption along the stretch of our trail which duplicates the Battlefields Trail. We loaded it onto our GPX file. The distance is virtually unchanged so we still have 102 miles for you. The old route is also still described on our directions if you wish to do it and it is currently clear to walk - but for how long? We will also be amending our figure of 8 Chipping Warden Circular to take it away from HS2. Current plans will have it going through Wardington rather than Culworth.


On our Leamington Spa circular 4 pieces of Banksey stile artwork have appeared along the canal. They are very impressive and brighten up this 5 mile walk around the town environs. There is also a little newsagents in a row of shops near the Pump Rooms who do lovely hot sausage rolls and pasties.

We are pleased to be associated with many "Ramblers" groups across the Midlands. They use our Circulars and do fantastic work for all those who love rambling. Across the UK they will be launching a new vibrant image for 2022. Watch this space.

Chairman Barry gave a presentation about the history and challenges of setting up and running a Long Distance Trail to Arden U3A in Solihull on Monday 18th October.  Philip wrote: " I thought your talk today was lively, interesting, and well-presented and it has renewed my interest in exploring some of the circular walks. I already had your website as one of my favourites but I haven’t clicked on it for months! I’ve started clicking it again today".

If you would like Barry to speak to your group use our "contact us" page.

Emma just wrote to us - "Hello I just wanted to let you know that today my family and I completed all 44 circular walks. We celebrated with a delicious meal at The Plough Inn in Upper Boddington. We ve had some real highlights on our many rambles, including bumping into Ed Miliband on a canal towpath. We d love to be included on the roll of honour. My name is Emma, my husband is Steven and our children are Eleanor and Monica. The girls are nine years old; they were fantastic walking companions, never complaining and keeping the walks fun filled. Thank you so much for complying and maintaining the brilliant instructions, we have thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday walks creating many precious memories. We re going to have a rest next Sunday and then we're all off to the Lakes. Thank you again."  Thanks Emma - great to hear!!


Geoff contacted us with the good news that, on Circular Walk 37, the Masons Arms in Wadborough is now open again after a long gap. The new Landlady is Lydia and she has given up teaching to take on her village local! The kitchen and cellar have been renewed and the beer garden has reopened.  Apparently they are serving breakfasts and cakes from 10am and have real ale. As a result we have updated a number of changes to the list of pubs and accommodation on our "Pubs" page. Thanks for contacting us Geoff. We hope that our walkers will support this community pub. On the down side Auntie Ritas Tearoom in Flyford Flavell has now closed.

We have been through our detailed instructions for the main 100 mile trail with a fine toothcomb recently. Our Wardens have been out and about and, as a result, over 100 changes were made. We just want to keep you guys on track!  Does anyone know a long distance trail with better directions?

Both Sara Mortimer and Kevin Marshall have had a Millennium Way tattoo in memory of their 36 hour walk in late May - they must be mad!!


Our chairman Barry and his wife Rachel, who met Mary (below) at Hunningham completed the walk west to east in August. Last September they did it in the other direction in one lot of 10 days, but now did it in 3 lots of 3 days, averaging 12 miles per day. It was great underfoot and they only got wet one afternoon approaching Kenilworth. It was great to meet people along the route and publicise our trail. Barry always has a supply of brochures and beermats to give out!

Mary Carroll completed the 100 mile trail west to east in August - she found it quite a challenge, especially with the high nettles in places. She reported that accommodation along the route was at times thin on the ground but the Hollybush at Priors Marston got a special mention. In all she clocked 129 miles in the 10 days as she often had to walk off piste to accommodation. Another walker suggested she used the GPS facility on the website which was a first for Mary as she says she is a technophobe. Without it she might not have got to the end as sometimes waymarkers were hard to see.    Ed: we agree that nettle growth is a problem in some places and trousers are advised. There are also a lot of stiles which have not been replaced by gates. Walking the 100 miles is not as easy as some people might think!


Lynne and Geoff from Leeds contacted us to say "Hello, we visited the area last week for a short holiday and enjoyed Circular Walk 33. Congratulations on the directions, they were some of the best I have ever followed, really clear and sensible giving lots of tips so we didn't get confused or lost once!  Thank you.

To avoid HS2 we have updated 3 of our circular walks as follows:

  • CW28 Cubbington now becomes a new walk called OFFCHURCH WEST - 5 miles  ( anti-clockwise route - start point The Stag at Offchurch )
  • CW8 Hunningham is extensively modified - the route stays as HUNNINGHAM  - 6 miles  ( clockwise route - start point The Red Lion Hunningham )
  • CW27 - Offchurch is modified and now becomes OFFCHURCH EAST  -  8 miles   ( anti-clockwise route - start point The Stag at Offchurch )

In addition the main Millennium Way trail has been diverted away from Cubbington and now goes via Offchurch to Hunningham cutting a short amount off the total distance, which was nearer 102 than 100 miles in any case.


Sara Mortimer and Kevin Marshall completed the whole Millennium Way in 36 hours and 32 minutes as part of the non-stop Long Distance Walking Association's annual "100 miles in 48 hours challenge". They found the going tough with residual mud from the rain in May and the sheer number of stiles encountered. It appears our fields are smaller than those in East Anglia. Our Chairman Barry and his wife Rachel together with Wardens from the team acted as theit support party, as they come from Bury St Edmunds. They finished at Middleton Cheney church as dusk fell and the illuminated church looked wonderful.

Another set of diversions have had to be put in place affecting the Meriden, Balsall Common and Berkswell West circulars. As at 25 June these are not yet live on our website nor GPS, so walkers should avoid these for a week or two until we advise.

Further disruption due to HS2. We have amended our Burton Green circular and the main Millennium Way trail near Waste Lane, Balsall Common. The new route descriptions and GPS files are now updated.


Sadly our Cubbington circular has had to be closed because of HS2 works. We have substitued a lovely new circular which we have called Offchurch West. Hunningham and Offchurch East circulars have also been amended. We have been in contact with HS2 contractors to find compromises and solutions. Please print out the most up to date webpage and notes.

Mike and grandaughter Sophie completed their 100 mile challenge in May and raised £2500 for The Brain Tumour Charity. They met Sara and Kevin, who were setting off on their 48 hour 100 mile challenge - see later post above. Photo opportunity taken!

Maddie N wrote saying she has been scuppered by lockdowns, homeschooling, floods and mud, but has done 26 Circulars. Her 8 year old daughter did 8 circulars as a challenge and Maddie got her a Millennium Way t-shirt as her prize (see our merchandise page). She actually lives on the Millennium Way in Cubbington and walks her daughter to school on it every day!

Philippa M wrote saying"the directions you provide are just brilliant - we have just discovered the Millennium Way and are hooked. Thank you to all the team".

Dan wants to know where on the Millennium Way is there wild garlic - does anyone know?  If so "contact us".

We had 4991 hits on our website in April - a new record for April and second highest ever.  Keeep clicking and Keeeep walking.

Ange and Pete, friends of our Chairman Barry, have reported that they have just reached the halfway point of our 44 Circular Walks. Most unusually they are walking them in numerical order. This means each one is a bit longer than the previous one, working up to 10 miles on Circular 44. They usually take their son's dog so we get to know of any particular problems related to dogs.

Justin wrote "Just wanted to say thank you for this site and the walks. I use this site every other week to take my 3 boys out on a walk and we have had some funny adventures so far! Plan to do all 44 once the little ones legs are long enough!


We welcome new Circular Walk Warden Claire Short. Claire actually lives on the Millennium Way in Hockley Heath and has been walking the Hockley Heath Circular from her home already. Does anyone else actually live on the main trail or a circular? We have a team of 44 (yes 44) Circular Walk Wardens and 5 County Wardens who are constantly out and about checking our brilliant directions, clearing overgrowth and reporting dangerous stiles etc. We have just two vacancies over towards Leamington Spa if you would like to join our organisation.

We have a brand new "2 Fold" brochure extolling the virtues of the Millennium Way and its 44 Circulars. It mirror images our home page. If you are a walking group and would like a few for your members please "contact us" and we will see if we can mail a few out to you

We had 4823 hits on our website in March. This is treble the last two years and our second highest ever. May 2020, at the peak of the virus it was an unbelievable 6269. We must be doing something right! Boris says we can go our rambling once again with friends - at last!

Just discovered that an important bridge over the A435 on our Alcester circular has been vandalised and is closed, so we had to come up with a diversion. Thanks to the Monarch's Way for their help as that Long Distance Trail also uses that bridge.

Our 5 County Wardens have confirmed that all 44 Circulars are open, clear of obstruction and much drier now. The weather is better and Boris is allowing groups of ramblers. Happy Days.

Sara and Kevin Mortimer have chosen to do the Millennium Way as part of the Long Distance Walking Association Annual 100 mile Challenge ( It's on 29/30 May.  We wish them well with their preparations. Don't tell them it's 102 miles!

Pippa Heenan and Guy Ledger together with their dogs Georgie and Tessa wrote to say they just completed the 100 mile trail in just 6 days. They sent in some lovely pictures.


We had 3525 hits on our website in December - a record for December. Boris says we can walk with our family or one other person, so no excuses! We cannot do much, but we can still get out in the countryside. It can really improve your wellbeing - see what Chris says:

What with lockdown and the heavy rains we are staying local at the moment - we advise you to do the same - it's muddy out there!



Chris Smith just managed to complete all our Circulars in 2020. He wrote:  I just wanted to say that I have just completed all 44 circular walks in 2020. The target to do this was set as part of a New Years Resolution with no knowledge at the time of what the year would turn out to be like. I am a headteacher of a large high school, so this year has been a particular challenge. However, the structure provided by your fantastic website has given me the motivation to get out into the countryside and get some much needed balance into my life. At various times I have been joined by my partner, friends or family members, but I have also completed many of the walks on my own. This is something I would never have contemplated doing before but the solitude has brought a certain mindfulness to the walking.

I grew up in Worcestershire so I knew this part of the countryside well. Now I live in Knowle, the Millennium Way has been the perfect opportunity to get to know Warwickshire which has been great. In a slightly melancholic way, it has also opened my eyes to the impact of HS2 on this part of the country. A particularly poignant moment was seeing the ancient Cubbington pear tree a few weeks before its felling; a very sad state of affairs in my view.

So, I just wanted to say thank you for the work you do on the Millennium Way and the website. I have set myself the new challenge of the Heart of England Way for 2021; wish me luck.

We have received reports that the countryside is waterlogged and very muddy in some places - nothing we can do about that. It's down to our lovely British weather. Try our Leamington Spa and Warwick Circulars - they are fine. Alternatively Stockton, Cropredy and Alcester are also OK!

We feature on page 14 of the Ramblers magazine "Walk"  Ramblers need walks and the Millennium Way needs ramblers - it's a marriage made in heaven! We have reconnoitred every inch of our 267 miles for walk leaders and our directions are so good that you don't even need a map - that's a big promise!

Boris said we could walk in lockdown - Catch Our Very Informative Directions!

We surged past 150000 hits on our website during December and we are running at around treble the number of hits compared to last year!


Over recent weeks we have seen quite a few people out working on HS2, but doing environmental work. Bats near Berkswell, Owls near Chipping Warden and archiologists near Offchurch.

We just heard that Adam Bennett has completed all 44 Circulars 4 times and is now half way through his fifth circuit. Now that is dedication. It was all inspired by starting a new job and working from home in new circumstances. Adam writes as follows:  I completed my fourth cycle through the 44 walks on 21 September and hoping to have completed the fifth cycle by the end of the year. I think I'm on around 1,200 miles, 370 hours and 2.5 million steps, so it's been great way to spend some time in the last two years and a great way to lose a bit of weight! Thanks for pulling the website together and keeping up with the HS2 changes!

Our Chairman Barry has just completed all 44 Circulars for the second time - mostly done in 2020 lockdown.

We have just received Ruth Harris' article about her walk of the Millennium Way this summer. Its on the 100 mile trail page.


We have now launched our 10 Day Millennium Way Challenge, complete with suggested overnight accommodation and lunch stops. We know the 5 Day Challenge is really tough - this is much less tough, but still a challenge, especially if you take everything you need on your backs! Take a look on our Challenge page.

We have just added the number of stiles on each Circular Walk to our home page. We know that some people find stiles tricky and don't want a walk that resembles a hurdle course. Some quite long walks have very few or even no stiles at all, whereas others have quite a lot

We have just added David White to our Roll of Honour - he did our trail in sections a while ago, but we never knew!


Well done Steven Fisher who completed his last circular in late September - your certificate is on its way.

Our Chairman Barry, his wife Rachel and friend Sarah have completed the new 10-Day challenge. The weather was perfect. Barry and the team were welcomed into Leamington Spa by Mayor Susan Rasmussen and greeted at the end in Pershore by friends and family. Well done Barry, Rachel and Sarah. We just heard that they appeared on page 15 in the Pershore Times www.pershoretimes.

Andy Ventress, having completed the 44 circulars a month ago, has now completed the 5 day challenge, walking 20 miles on average each day. He reported signage to be excellent and said the weather was warmer than he had expected for September, with not a spot of rain.

A team of 3 walkers are doing the linear west to east in 10 days - one lady is from Solihull Ramblers and her two friends are from Lancaster. We have still not yet heard whether they made it!


At the end of August, Ruth Harris and her friend Sally Mc Gurk completed the linear trail in 13 bites. Ruth has been doing a blog and some fabulous sketches of scenes along the way, which we hope to publish soon.

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