Hockley Heath

Circular Walk 5 (4 Miles)

Walk Overview

This easy 4 mile walk passes two interesting landmarks, namely Packwood House and St. Giles Church which are both worthy of a visit. There are no difficult sections on this walk although there is a muddy waterlogged bit at the end of Section B.

Walk Details

  • Start: Wharf Tavern, Hockley Heath B94 6QT
  • Start Grid Ref: SP 152 725
  • Parking: Wharf Tavern carpark is £1 per hour. Otherwise carpark 40 yards down Old Warwick Road.
  • Refreshments:
    • Packwood House at halfway
    • Wharf Tavern ( 01564 782075)
    • Miller & Carter (01564 784137)
    • Marsin Bakery / Cafe
  • Maps: OS Explorer 220 or OS Landranger 139
  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: about 2 hours
  • Stiles: 2 (not 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 June 2022


Walk Instructions

Section A

Starting from the park carpark opposite the Wharf Tavern in Hockley Heath, go to the A3400 road and cross it using the pedestrian crossing. You are then already on The Millennium Way, where you will see our distinctive black and white waymarkers. Go left towards the Wharf Tavern and then right through their car park to take a small bridge left, leading to the canal. Go left along towpath keeping the canal on your right. Pass a drawbridge (26), then under road bridge (27) -  there is a picnic table in a few yards here, on the towpath - and eventually reach a second drawbridge (28). Here we leave The Millennium Way by turning left down a short wide track to the main road.


Wharf Tavern
Hockley Heath


Quiet Canal Side

Section B

Go left on narrow grass verge for 80 paces and then cross road to take stile next to metal gate, into field. Go ahead with hedge and trees left, past where field bottlenecks and eventually exit field through unmarked far hedge gap into next field. Continue ahead now with hedge right to eventually pass under low voltage power lines to take corner stile. Go with hedge left to reach surfaced drive by entrance to large country house (Malt House Farm). Go right along footpath to the side of drive, to reach the road. Cross road and take metal kissing gate into 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 distance. Don't miss taking the metal kissing gate on the right into large field and go along edge of field keeping trees and fence left. After 250 yards, just past the corner, take metal gate left to cross wooden plank bridge then through gap ahead by metal gate. Continue on sometimes very muddy/waterlogged path between fence & Pratt's Pit Wood to exit by gap to road.

Section C

Turn left on road to pass the National Trust Packwood House (gardens and house left, Tea Shop right), where we rejoin The Millennium Way. Then continue along the road for 400 yards, passing Grove Lane on the left and after a further 120 paces take the kissing gate left into field, following the Millennium Way waymarker, to go over centre of field to gap under power lines. From this gap go ahead with hedge left for 60 paces to another gap, then follow waymarker to go half right to power pole in corner by trees, to take kissing gate leading into St. Giles churchyard. Face the front door of church then go left on pathway to exit churchyard via double wooden gate / kissing gate to car park. Go left here along church access driveway to reach the road. Turn right at road and continue along to the T-junction.


Packwood House


St Giles Church

Section D

Go left at T-junction and then continue on to meet A4023 road coming in from right. Go straight ahead uphill signposted Hockley Heath, following road round left bend to then meet the main A3400 Stratford Road by Miller and Carter. Turn left here to walk along road past a convenience store back to the park carpark. Alternatively use the pedestrian crossing to go past a Fish & Chip shop and a Co-op to arrive back at The Wharf Tavern on your right. The lovely Marsin bakery is just over the bridge if you fancy coffee and cake to finish your walk.

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

by Andy Botherway

Church of St Giles Packwood

The earliest record of Packwood, southeast of Solihull, is in a deed dated 1190 witnessed by Walter, chaplain of Packwood and is evidence that there was a priest and no doubt a 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 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. See the notes on our Packwood Circular for more details.

Packwood Hall to the west of the church is a moated house with a 17th Century timber framed wing.

Packwood House

Packwood 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.

It 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.

The clipped yews are supposed to represent "The Sermon on the Mount". In 1941, Ash donated the house and gardens to the National Trust.


Sermon on the Mount
Packwood House


St Giles Church

Hockley Heath

The village was formed as a horse changing point on the 25 mile journey between Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon. Miller and Carter stands in the place where the stables are thought to have once stood. The Wharf Tavern, built in 1849, served the coal barges that pulled up at the local wharf. The back garden of the pub was the coalyard. A local story is that someone committed suicide by shooting themselves in the pub cellar in the 1960’s!

Accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, 400 yards up the Stratford Road towards Birmingham and at Rose Cottage Bed and Breakfast, 400 yards towards Stratford upon Avon.

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