Meriden

Circular Walk 40  (9 Miles)

Walk Overview

Our walk, which is a little under 9 miles, starts from the medieval stone cross on the village green in Meriden, which reputedly marks the centre of England. There is a small cafe and convenience store nearby. Meriden is also the mid point of our 100 mile, long distance National Trail from Pershore up to Meriden then down to Middleton Cheney. This circular walk incorporates the most northerly part of the Millennium Way, joined by a short link through the delightful village of Berkswell, with its lovely cafe. You start off on the Millennium Way with its distinctive black and white waymarkers. It is amazing to be on such lovely countryside only a few miles from the West Midlands conurbation. HS2 is encountered for a short section.

Note: 22 November 2023 - HS2 have reopened the footpath in Section C, very close to our original route, between sixteen acre wood and HS2.

Walk Details

  • Start: Standing Cross on The Green, Meriden CV7 7LN
  • Start Grid Ref: SP373 685
  • Parking: Roadside
  • Refreshments:
    • Bull’s Head, Meriden (01676 523798)
    • Shops and Cafes on The Green
  • Maps: OS Explorer 221 or OS Landranger 139/140
  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Time: 3 - 4 hours
  • Stiles: 8 (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 April 2024

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Walk Instructions

Section A

From the medieval stone cross move across the road and go right to the roundabout. You are already on the Millennium Way on which you will stay for all of this circular apart from a section through Berkswell. Turn left down Hampton Lane and after 200 paces (at Cobblers Corner) take footpath left to a passageway and stile. Take the path left and left again 50 yds after stile to concrete track. Take kissing gate opposite and go ahead along top edge of field to reach a large kissing gate. Do not go through kissing gate but stay in same field to go right with hedge left to take a wooden kissing gate. Go ahead with wall and interesting building to your left. At the end of wall go ¼ right up the hill to find a mid fence metal gate. Take the gate and go quarter left across the field corner to take a mid fence stile. Go ahead over the stile to fence corner, and ahead keeping fence on your right to come to kissing gate leading to road.

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Ancient Standing Cross
Meriden

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St.Laurence Church
Meriden

Cross road with care and take kissing gate into field. Go 1/2 left to cross field and find corner kissing gate. Take gate and go right with hedge right to exit field by kissing gate. Go ahead keeping the hedge on your right. Halfway along field look for gap in the hedge on your right, take the gap and then go left keeping the hedge to your left towards the copse and overhead power lines. Here you will have a nice view of St Laurence Church. Continue on with copse left to find a waymarked grassy exit track on left. Take the track and exit to road via gap next to large metal gate. Go right on road, passing the church. Continue on, going past the public footpath sign, for a further 75 paces passing Moat House Farm to find Fentham House on right at road corner. Take the short grassy vehicle track to left of Fentham House to find a kissing gate. Go through gate to take permissive path and go right following field edges to reach far corner gate.

Go ahead on track keeping hedge on left and wire fence on right. Continue ahead on a track with hedge left to find old metal gate on left. Take gate and follow direction of waymark to walk around left edge of field to reach edge of Millison's Wood ahead. On reaching edge of wood (ignore gap at corner) go right keeping wood on your left. Halfway along wood you will come to a solitary way post  pointing to a path right across field. Go across field to pass to left of lone oak to corner of wood. (This apparent doubling back is to avoid walking across field with crops). Go ahead for 50 paces with wood right to find kissing gate at corner. Take kissing gate then over bridge into field. Go right for 25 paces then turn left up field centre to skyline hedge gap. Through gap and continue ahead with hedge on your left. Follow track around corner then past barn on right and take kissing gate to road.

Section B

Go left on road passing Shirley Lane and entrance to a farm shop, continue under power lines and take kissing gate on right, opposite Oak Farm. Proceed across the field parallel to the main overhead power lines to reach far left corner kissing gate. Go through kissing gate and continue down field to far left corner gate. Through gate and continue ahead along short track to take kissing gate to road. Go right and after some 250 paces pass two cottages on left. Face last cottage, the footpath is across the front garden, keeping hedge right, continue past cottage left and hedge right then up back garden to exit by fence gap to find hidden passage. Take passage to reach kissing gate and continue along narrow grassy track eventually to reach further kissing gate.

Take kissing gate and go left with hedge left to take field corner kissing gate. Go right, passing a small bench, to hedge gap, continuing ahead under overhead cables to the next hedge gap by metal way post. Go through gap and continue ahead with hedge left to field corner stile ( damaged,) through collecting paddock and over stile to the road. Here we turn left on the road and after some 40 paces take driveway right. Just before Sunnyview Cottage take the hidden waymarked passage left then through gap into field and go right for 45 paces to find gate leaving The Millennium Way. With your back to the gate go diagonally 1/2 right towards trees and a kissing gate. Take kissing gate and continue directly ahead across field towards gap in far hedge. Take kissing gate and continue directly ahead, to walk between two small clumps of trees in the middle of the field. Continue on same heading to find a kissing gate in the field corner. Take kissing gate then go through a short passageway to the road. Turn left towards the crossroads past The Bear Inn, a delightful 16th Century pub in the village of Berkswell.

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Berkswell Village

Section C

Go directly over the crossroads into Lavender Hall Lane (you can also start this circular from the car park on right), then after 100 paces, bear right by the Store and Stove cafe, up Church Lane towards the attractive 12th Century Norman church of St. John Baptist (visit the crypt if you have time). Berkswell takes its name from Bercul, a Saxon landowner and the 16 foot square stone-walled well near the church is said to have been used for baptisms by immersion.

Continue ahead through the churchyard and two gates, then through a small wood and another gate and on to a long section of boarded walkway, with views of Berkswell Hall ( built c.1815 ) to your rightCross the bridge over a stream, continue to a kissing gate and turn immediately right rejoining the Millennium Way. Pass through one small wood and follow the wide well defined path up the large field heading for the corner at edge of another small wood. You have more lovely views of the lake & hall to your right.

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Enjoy quiet lanes

Take wooden kissing gate and go through the small wood, then continue slightly uphill along wire fenced path keeping the tall hedge to your right to reach HS2 footpath diversion signage. Follow this signage, staying ahead between temporary metal fences, which is very close to the original footpath, alongside Sixteen Acre Wood, eventually to go through a wooden kissing gate. Then right to follow around edge of the wood passing a small pond on right and continuing along the uneven fenced pedestrian route, eventually reaching a junction of paths with wooden kissing gate on right, and Marsh Farm over to your left. HS2 will be in a deep cutting at this point.

Go right through this wooden kissing gate and head down to cross a waymarked bridge over stream. Then go ahead across small field and between a fenced gap towards stile. Go over stile and then along path at edge of quarry on right. Take gap next to large metal gate to go right along surfaced track around two bends eventually passing through a wooden gate next to a large metal gate. After another 250 paces you will come to a metal gate-in-gate on left.

Section D

Go through this waymarked gate and take fenced footpath with quarry workings to your far left. Stay on path with fence to your left until you reach the road. Turn right onto road and after 50 paces, just before entrance to Cornets End Farm, turn left at kissing gate up along path with quarry workings on left. Continue over footbridge, the path turning right. Follow path around with quarry workings left, shortly to join a rising fenced path. Continue up rising path between fences and keep a sharp lookout for large metal kissing gate on right ( partly obscured by a small tree). Go through kissing gate and go diagonally half left across large field ( following the direction of the Millennium Way waymark ) then downhill to metal gate. Cross corner of field to metal gate and wooden bridge.  Go diagonally 1/2 right across field (keeping to right of right hand solitary sweet chestnut tree) to reach a large kissing gate. Here you see the outward Millennium Way to your right - ignore this and go ahead along short passageway to reach driveway to Meriden Hall.  Turn left up driveway to reach road opposite the Bulls Head pub.  Turn left and complete your walk at the stone cross, noting on the right beforehand, the Cyclist's Memorial, commemorating all the cyclists who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars. There is a fish and chip shop, cafe and convenience store for refreshments.

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

by Andy Botherway

Meriden

The village claims to be the very centre of England and a sandstone pillar-shaped monument to that effect stands in the village green. This medieval village cross is a Grade II listed artefact. A second larger memorial to all cyclists who died in the World Wars is just a few yards away.

Meriden was home to the Triumph motorcycles plant from 1941 to 1983. A plaque commemorating the site stands outside Bonneville Close.

The parish church is dedicated to St. Laurence and was apparently founded by Lady Godiva. It has a Norman chancel with a squint, gargoyles on its roof and a golden weathercock. In fields south-west of the church is St. Laurence’s well where tradition says he baptised his converts. The well in later times was believed to have healing properties, especially for sore eyes and sore legs.

Moat House Farm

A beautiful timber-framed farmhouse with interesting chimney-stacks. It bears the date 1610 but may be 16th-century; listed Grade II. Around the house and farm-buildings is a moat, mostly dry.

Berkswell

An interesting village with a lot of history. For detailed notes on the features and history of the village, see the ‘points of interest’ notes for Walk East from Berkswell.

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Moat House Farm

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Hall & Lake
Berkswell

Berkswell Hall - the Lake and Hall

19th century country house, now converted into residential apartments. Grade II* listed.

A manor house has existed since 1556 but the present house dates from 1815. Between 1815 and 1860 it was a school, but restored as a house and sold to Joshua Wheatley in 1888. In 1984 the estate was sold for redevelopment but the surrounding land is still owned by the Wheatley family.

The extensive gravel pits at Cornet’s End, from which lacustrine sands and fluvioglacial gravels have been extracted for many years are now being landscaped and converted into sites for industrial development. However, extraction continues in adjacent pits.

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