Henley-in-Arden (East)

Circular Walk 17 (5.5 Miles)

Walk Overview

This circular starts from the 15th Century church of St John the Baptist in the centre of the lovely town of Henley in Arden, where there is lots to do and several places to eat (the White Swan is the nearest). Parking is usually available in Beaudesert Lane, on the main trail, but time restrictions vary. It has a couple of short steep climbs with resulting fine views. The MILLENNIUM WAY section is clearly waymarked with the distinctive black and white waymarkers.

Walk Details

  • Start: St John the Baptist Church, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5BA
  • Start Grid Ref: SP151 660
  • Parking: On street or preferably in the free Prince Harry Car Park - accessed from the Warwick Road A4189 ,   B95 5DD
  • Refreshments:
    • White Swan (01564 792623)
    • Nags Head (01564 793120)
    • Henley Ice Cream and Tearoom (01564 795192)
    • Black Swan (01564 660866)
  • Maps: OS Explorer 220 or OS Landranger 151
  • Distance: 5½ miles
  • Time: 2½ hours
  • Stiles: 20 (not all dog friendly)
  • Download: Walk GPS (GPS Exchange Format, GPX)
  • GPS and GPX explained
  • Find a mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Updated January 2024

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Walk Instructions

Section A

You start actually on the Millennium Way. From St John the Baptist Church go up Beaudesert Lane 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´ (no obvious ruins but this is the site of the Motte & Bailey castle built by Thurstan de Montfort, Lord of The Manor in the 12thcentury.)  As you ascend you have a fine view over the town and surrounding countryside. From the top of The Mount (by a wooden bench) descend some fairly steep steps then up an incline which levels off to continue initially downhill, then uphill eventually passing under overhead lines and reaching a welcome wooden bench, dedicated to "Harry Griffin - a true gentleman". 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 look for and take a very short path through trees to waymarked stile on your right and go diagonally a quarter left to reach a stile in hedge at field edge.

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Henley in Arden
High Street

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Descending "The Mount

Section B

Do not cross this stile, instead, stay in field to go left keeping hedge right to reach a corner stile. Take stile, then another stile just ahead on the left. Go forward, keeping hedge left, to come to ridge with fine views. From the ridge go diagonally right, downhill to find stile between two corner metal gates at bottom corner of field. Take stile ( or gate to the left, if open )  and go across field centre to take stile adjacent to gate leading to fenced path alongside gate entrance and then parallel to the lane to find fence gap. Take gap and go right on lane for about ¼ mile passing Buckley Green farm on your right.

Section C

At the `T`junction take the road right and after 25 paces take kissing gate right. Continue up field keeping wooden fence on right to corner field kissing gate. Take wooden kissing gate ( a tight squeeze ) and go straight up steep hill to take corner kissing gate then following Millennium Waymarker go through copse and exit by gap to field ( damaged stile & waymarker are lying in the hedge.)  Continue ahead straight across field to find corner kissing gate. Take gate then ahead with hedge right to follow around field edge to take metal kissing gate right. Go left to take next gate-in-gate just ahead and turn right across field corner to tree line, then go left with trees right. Watch for farm building right and come to driveway. Go right 10 paces on driveway and immediately left gently uphill along grassy path signed Millennium Way. After some 150 paces (by double power posts) veer slightly left to find field edge. Go up field edge keeping to left of metal barn to pass under power cables and at top right field corner by the copse go right to find hedge gap to Ireland´s Farm driveway. Turn right towards the farm. At this point you are leaving the Millennium Way.

Section D

Continue down farm track to go under the power lines, eventually coming to Ireland´s Farm. Just before farm gate turn left to descend down rough track continuing ahead through an old metal gate, cross field then over a stream and stile. Bear right of telegraph wires up field with wire fence right, then cross a stile and turn right onto farm driveway, ignoring footpath left, to proceed over dismantled railway line. Continue along driveway in a southerly direction (you are on the Heart of England Way) until you reach the road. Turn right at road, crossing the bridge and continue along lane for approximately 300 yards to reach Malt House Farm on the left.

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Leaving Buckley Green

Section E

Immediately after Malt House Farm take the signed footpath left through metal gate-in-gate. Continue ahead through gap and proceed gently uphill on well marked path with hedge left. Go over corner stile then half right across field continuing with hedge and trees over on right, towards far corner of field. Take stile, then immediately right to take further stile right. Continue ahead on grassy path between hedges with paddock on left. Go through metal kissing gate & turn immediately left, then take next gate into field, continuing ahead with hedge left. Keep ahead through narrow gated gap and a further metal gate to proceed towards Preston Bagot church. (This is an ideal spot for a short break - there is a bench in the churchyard - and do visit the church itself which was originally built in the late 11th or 12th Centuries on Anglo-Saxon foundations and most of the original structure survives).

Section F

(With your back to the church entrance door, exit the churchyard by the gate and turn immediately right). Take the wooden kissing gate nestling under a large oak tree and descend the narrow track down to take wooden kissing gate to the road, then cross into field opposite via metal gate. Continue through next two metal kissing gates and go up field keeping hedge right. 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 right for 100 yds where you will find a corner kissing gate to exit into a small wood of young trees. Continue ahead with tall hedge right and exit by corner wooden stile keeping ahead on a gently rising path with hedge right and exiting field by wooden stile. Go directly across centre next field and exit via stile turning right to walk through small copse ( sometimes very boggy after heavy rain ) exiting by wooden stile. Continue ahead with hedge to right going through a metal gate followed by two further stiles and continuing with hedge right then over stile to emerge onto a lane.

Section 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 Henley School playing area taking the small metal gate onto a tarmac track down to road. Go straight across road, between bungalows, following green metal fence left by side of another school play area. At the corner go across wooden plank bridge then through damaged kissing gate to go left along path keeping hedge left to eventually reach a metal gate on your left, which you took at the start of the walk.  Take gate into Beaudesert Lane and retrace steps to arrive back in Henley.

Points of Interest - What to know and what to see...

by Andy Botherway
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Guild House
Henley in Arden

Henley-in-Arden

Henley’s mile-long High Street is a conservation area with several interesting buildings. The White Swan is the nearest pub/hotel from the end of this circular, with the famous Henley Ice Cream parlour / Tearoom only 200 yards away to the left.

Next to St. John the Baptist church is the 15th Century timber-framed Guildhall. Its collection of civic relics includes furniture, pewter plate (1677), maces, manorial rolls and the 1449 charter that granted privileges to Henley. The Guildhall and its walled garden can be viewed on application to the custodian at the Guild Cottage.

The Norman Beaudesert Church of St. Nicholas, just before The Mount has a beautiful doorway. Stand inside the church and look at the altar. Notice that the chancel arch is offset. This was because the north wall of the church was built over a spring and had to be rebuilt further south.

Beaudesert Castle

Once an imposing Norman motte and bailey castle on The Mount, it was in ruins by 1547 and entirely gone by 1656, the stone probably being reused to repair Warwick Castle. A Time Team dig in 2001 revealed much about the structure. A video of the dig can be seen at the interesting  Henley Heritage Centre, next to the famous Henley ice-cream shop.

Buckley Green Farm is a 17th century timber-framed farmhouse, grade II listed.

Ireland’s Farm was formerly Lapworth Hall, the manor house for Lapworth, and in the 17th and 18th centuries the house of the Mander family (of paint and varnish fame) of Wolverhampton.

All Saints Preston Bagot

All Saints Church in Preston Bagot has one of the best panoramas of any church in Warwickshire. Dating from the 12th century, it fell into ruin when the church at Beaudesert took over the parish. In 1878 the architect J. Chatwin decided to save it and it was almost entirely rebuilt and enlarged. Chatwin employed the then fashionable Pre-Raphaelite artists William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones to create the stained glass windows. The distinctive bell-turret was added in 1879 to hold the bells which had formerly hung in a yew tree at the west end of the church.

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All Saints
Preston Bagot

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