Lapworth and Kingswood

Circular Walk 35  (8 Miles)

Walk Overview

This walk starts at The Boot Inn Lapworth on the B4439 south east of Hockley Heath, a welcoming old established country inn. Initially the route follows the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, leaving this at Drawbridge Farm to follow a delightful section of the Millennium Way where you will be guided by the distinctive black and white waymarkers.

Walk Details

  • Start: Boot Inn, Lapworth B94 6JU
  • Start Grid Ref: SP181 712
  • Parking: Boot Inn
  • Refreshments:
    • The Boot Inn (01564 782464)
  • Maps: OS Explorer 220 or OS Landranger 139
  • Distance: 8 Miles
  • Time: 3½ hours
  • Stiles: 10 (mostly 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 February 2023

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Walk Instructions

Section A

Our walk starts from the car park of The Boot Inn. There is a canalside cafe behind the pub. Exit to rear of the car park via the track which leads to the canal towpath. Go over Bridge 33, then turn left along the towpath keeping canal on left. Continue gently uphill past a flight of locks to reach a small cottage. Go left over Bridge 32 and stay on towpath, now with canal right. When you reach Bridge 30, cross bridge to reach towpath on the other side and stay with canal left again passing several canal side dwellings. Stay ahead under Bridge 29 until you reach Drawbridge 28. Here you are joining The Millennium Way.

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Lapworth Church

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Friendly Idlife

Section B

Turn left over the drawbridge, go through gate and  down track into Drawbridge Farm. Pass in front of farm buildings to take kissing gate just to left of right hand gate. Go with fence and hedge left to take far corner gate to next field then continue downhill to take far left corner gate. Go ahead through narrow field to find and take another corner gate, past dew pond and continue with hedge left to take gated bridge over stream into field. Go up field towards tower of St. Mary's Church, Lapworth. Exit field by stile adjacent to metal gate and go ahead towards church taking stile to road. Turn right on road and, after 120 paces (just before Green Acres), go left down block paved drive, passing Rose Cottage, then through gate on left to follow block paved driveway past greenhouses to end, to find ground staff buildings with gated courtyard. Turn left here onto gravelled drive and go ahead 70 paces with hedge right then take hedge gap right (with two wayposts) to continue same line down towards motorway, now with hedge left and fence right. Take stile to track and continue over M40 motorway bridge.

Section C

After crossing bridge, take stile immediately left and go down steep steps keeping to line of fence at bottom of steps (do not veer right to footbridge). At the end of fencing take bridge or gap to field staying ahead across centre of field to pass through gate in gate then under power lines to further gate within a gate to exit. Head across narrow part of field and take kissing gate through scrub into another field. Stay ahead with hedge left to exit by far left corner kissing gate to rough vehicle way. Go right on vehicle way down to lane. Cross lane to take bridge and stile, turning immediately left through kissing gate to field. Go across field to far corner kissing gate. Take gate and bridge to go through short scrub into field then go left with hedge left. After the large gap left, go 30 paces to take stile on left and go slightly left keeping hedge left to take hidden corner stile to road (alternatively avoid tricky stile by going diagonally right to gate in gate further along road).  Go right on road for 500 yards (lovely blackberries in season) to reach staggered crossroads. Go directly over, past the post box and continue along Ireland's Lane.

Section D

After approximately 3/4 mile go left down farm track towards Ireland's Farm. Here we leave The Millennium Way, so ignore footpath immediately on right and continue down track passing under power lines. Just before the entrance to the farmhouse go left down wide grassy track. At the end of the track take metal gate and cross a short section of field to take further metal gate and stile across stream. Proceed ahead up field keeping wire fence right to take stile adjacent to wide metal gate to farm track. Turn right for 10 paces then go left through gate signed "Heart of England Way". Go initially with hedge/trees right following the line of the hidden dismantled railway. The path then swings left towards a double metal gate. Here we leave the Heart of England Way to take the gate and continue forward to walk uphill on bridleway with trees left. Where the track levels off you will find a commemorative bench on which to take a well earned breather and enjoy the spectacular view. Continue along track past a pine wood right to take wooden gate and narrow fenced track behind dwelling. Stay on access lane to reach road.

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Lock Keeper's Cottage

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Rolling Countryside

Section E

Turn right on road to reach T-junction then turn L in the direction of Lapworth. Continue past High Chimneys Farm and just before you reach the overhead power cables turn right and go through kissing gate. Go ahead past buildings with wire fence left and after 170 yards, just as the track starts to swing left, look out for concealed kissing gate in hedge on right. Take kissing gate and wooden plank bridge into field and go left with hedge left towards the motorway. At the field corner take kissing gate into next field and go left for a few paces to then turn right by the way post (effectively this is straight on) proceeding across field towards motorway. On reaching a way post at the far side, go left along field edge keeping wire fence and wood right, to find another waypost and slightly concealed path right which will take you onto the canal towpath via metal gate. Cross Bridge 39b directly ahead of you, then go left on towpath to walk underneath the motorway. As we leave the motorway behind us we are soon back into a delightfully tranquil section of the Stratford Canal. Shortly we pass a wooden bench in memory of Doug Smith, the creator of Lockmaster Maps. There is another bench a bit further on in memory of Thomas and Irene Patrick.

At Bridge 39 there is an information board which is worth a look. Stay on towpath with canal left and on reaching Bridge 37a cross over to the opposite towpath and then stay with canal right. Shortly we pass Kingswood Junction where there is a link between the Grand Union Canal and the Stratford Canal. Proceed past the marina and under Bridge 35. On reaching Bridge 33, we leave the towpath to turn left back into the car park of The Boot Inn. Remember the canalside cafe.

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The Folly

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

by Andy Botherway
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Canal Bridge at Lock 18

Stratford canal

The walk begins with a lock flight on the Stratford canal. This canal was almost lost in the mid 20th Century! Built between 1793 and 1816, the canal was an important link from Birmingham to the River Avon but, with the coming of the railway, traffic declined until in 1958 Warwickshire County Council applied for an abandonment order.

This galvanised the Inland Waterways Association and National Trust into a restoration project, using prisoners from Winson Green. Reopened in 1964, it is now hugely popular.

St. Mary's Church

Dating from 1100 and augmented over 300 years, this beautiful church is a Grade 1 listed building. The interior is worth a look. There is a reliquary chapel, visited by pilgrims, above the West porch. As you explore, look at the reredos, depicting the Last Supper and note the little faces staring down.

The M40 is crossed twice on this walk. After the first crossing the Millennium Way enters the Tapster Valley. On a hilltop to the south-west is Tapster Mill, the site of a former windmill. Try to imagine this valley before the motorway arrived. It was an oasis of calm in rural Warwickshire. Now traffic noise accompanies your footsteps for a while.

Lapworth

The Catesby family of Gunpowder Plot fame were resident in this area. The manor house was probably at Lapworth Hall, today Ireland's Farm, and in the 17th and 18th centuries the house of the Mander family of paint and varnish fame from Wolverhampton.

More recent Lapworth notables include Bob Davis aka Jasper Carrott, Andy Townsend ex-footballer and TV pundit and Tony Iommi, the guitarist and founding member of Black Sabbath.

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Kingswood Junction
Information on site

Kingswood

Here the Stratford and Grand Union canals are connected and the marina and sideponds provide an attractive sight as the walk ends. Kingswood received a railway station on the Birmingham and Oxford railway in 1852. Railway workers joined the canal workers in the village. By the 1900’s the rich businessmen of Birmingham were building villas here, to enjoy the rural life, and commuting to the city. The station was renamed Lapworth in 1913!

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