Grand Union Canal Loops (from 0.75 to 7.5 miles)

A series of five circular loops that can be combined into walks of differing lengths, from three quarters of a mile to seven and a half miles, with delightful return strolls along the footpath of the Grand Union Canal.

Recommended for most of the year, at its best from Easter to end September. A few of the fields can be very wet under foot in places during winter. More significantly seeing leisure activity on the canal, the movement of boats, canoeing and angling, adds to these walks when tackled 'in season'.

This is also a walk for seeing wildlife, a fair chance of seeing pheasant and/or rabbits, and wild flowers in season.

There are various start points. These are

  • at the Herons Nest and at the Black Boy, both just outside Knowle,
  • in Bakers Lane,
  • in Chapel Lane at Chessetts Wood
  • and in Rising Lane near Baddesley Clinton.

Those keen on post walk refreshment will want to use one the two watering holes mentioned above as a start and finish point or the Navigation Inn, passed during the final loop.

 

 
LOOP ONE - START POINT: THE HERONS NEST, WARWICK ROAD, HERONFIELD
DISTANCE: 0.7 MILES
ROUTE:
Dorridge Village Hall

From the Car Park of the The Herons Nest or other suitable parking place at Heronfield, walk along the Warwick Road on a good footway along its southern side, past the Ivy House Guest House, immediately beyond which is a gate and stile (pictured) by a sign reading 'Heronfield Cottages'.

Proceed over the stile, up the track beyond and into the field at the end. Turn right along the side of the field.

Footbridge From Park

Then follow the reasonably distinct track which turns left along a second edge of the field.

Part way along this side of the field is a stile (pictured). This marks the start of a path, fenced on both sides and set between overhanging trees that runs along between the fields, following a very old route and pitted with a network of animal burrows.

Stile Beyond windmill Lane

After crossing a further stile half way, this path ends in the kitchens of the Black Boy!! After passing through the gate into the yard of the Black Boy, the right of way turns left through the door to the yard and into the Car Park.

Proceed to the other side of the Black Boy and the bridge over the Canal. To complete just this loop go to the right of the bridge and turn right onto the towpath to return to the Herons Nest. Otherwise proceed to Loop Two.

LOOP TWO - START POINT: THE BLACK BOY, WARWICK ROAD.
DISTANCE: 1.0 MILE
ROUTE:
View to Grange Road

Proceed over the Canal bridge to the left hand side of the Black Boy. You will see a locked gate in front of you, as the track veers away to the right. Look left and you will see a stile in the corner (pictured) giving access to the field on your canal bank.

Cross this stile and turn right along the edge of this field. As you will see, this particular loop of the walk follows the edges of just this one huge field.

Stile from Grange Road

Continue following the edge of field, this will mean turning left at the corner and then almost doubling back having turned around the end of a narrow pointed field which projects into this one.

After this you will get a view (pictured) to the farm at which the path meets Bakers Lane. A vehicle track comes from the right and the path joins this, a fence now separating the field from this track.

Footbridge

This track leads to double farm gates which in turn lead to Bakers Lane.

To close the loop turn left onto Bakers Lane and walk a couple of hundred yards to the Canal Bridge. Cross it, turn right down onto the towpath, turn right under the bridge and follow the towpath back to the Black Boy (pictured).

To proceed to the next loop, turn right on Bakers Lane for a short distance.

LOOP THREE- START POINT: BAKERS LANE.
DISTANCE: 1.2 MILES
ROUTE:
Pathway between Hedges

Bakers Lane is accessed from the Warwick Road, between Heronfield and Chadwick End, or from Norton Green Lane at Darley Green. There is parking near the Canal Bridge on the canal side.

Walk for a few hundred yards west from the canal, past the farm where Loop Two emerges and the pond in front of the cottage on the opposite side. On approaching the next cottage on the right, a stile (pictured) can be found on the left. If you reach Oak Cottage, you have gone too far.

View Towards Box trees

Cross this stile and follow the distinct path to the left of the field. At the end of this field, to the left is a stile with footbridge (pictured) into the adjacent field. Cross this stile and turn right, continue to follow the path along the edge of the field, keeping the hedge now on your right.

At the end of this field, turn left along a further edge of this field for about half of its width.

About half way along you will come across another double stile with footbridge (pictured). This leads into a further short field of which you follow the right hand edge. At the far side, the path splits, to left and straight ahead.

Cross the stile to follow the straight ahead option, into a small wood. The path proceeds between a high fence and a brook. It continues with the grounds of a large house to the left and a 'lift, open a bit and squeeze through' gate.

The path emerges into a track that gives access to cottages from Chapel Lane. Follow this track until emerge beside the Old Chapel itself (pictured).

To close the loop turn left onto Chapel Lane and walk to the corner. A footpath sign on a wooden gate, to the left of Greenacres and opposite The Haven, indicates a farm entrance track that leads to a bridge over the canal. The towpath crosses this bridge and so should you, to turn left and follow it back to Bakers Lane.

LOOP FOUR- START POINT: CHAPEL LANE.
DISTANCE: 1.6 MILES
ROUTE:
Stile After Yew Tree Cottage

Find a suitable parking place in Chapel Lane, accessed by turning along the canal from Bakers Lane at the canal bridge or from Chessetts Wood Road at the other end.

Opposite the Old Chapel is Valley Lane (pictured) which you walk down, keeping to the left where it forks.

At its very end is Valley Farm.

Pathway Between Fields

Just before the white gates of the farm, a stile can be found in the hedge on the left (pictured). Cross this, turn right and proceed along the path along the edge of the field.

Cross a further stile into the next field and continue, keeping the hedge on your right. At the end of this field you will find a double stile with a footbridge between to cross a brook.

At this point you enter a new field (pictured), walking in the same direction, but this time with the hedge on your immediate left.

At the end of this field is a further double stile with footbridge between. You then enter a field with a huge shed on its right hand side, you continue to walk along the left hand edge.

A series of shorter fields, or paddocks, takes you across more single and double stiles. All this time you continue keeping the hedges or fences to your left. As you do so, you see you are approaching houses on the road ahead (pictured).

About 50 yards short of Rising Lane, you will see a stile on your left hand side. This leads down a short and sometimes overgrown path under the trees to the Rising Lane itself. Turn left onto the road and walk to the Canal Bridge.

To close the loop, turn right down onto the towpath, before crossing the bridge, and then turn left under the bridge and follow the towpath back to Chapel Lane. If continuing to the Black Boy you follow the towpath over the next bridge (pictured). Otherwise turn left at this bridge and follow the track back to Chapel Lane.

To proceed to the next loop, continue along the road, up the hill, past the entrance to Baddesley Clinton House and on to the right turn to Mousley End.

LOOP FIVE- START POINT: RISING LANE
DISTANCE: 3.0 MILES
ROUTE:

Find a suitable parking place on Rising Lane. Proceed to the junction with the road that leads to Mousley End and Hay Wood. About a couple of hundred yards down this lane is a high quality galvanised gate (pictured) set in the hedge to the right of the entrance to Brome's Park.

Proceed through this gate and then a second onto a path that leads down between Brome's Park and the adjacent field. This turns left to cross a brook and continues down the hill.

This delightful path, another pitted with animal burrows, flattens out and then reaches a stile to the drive of Baddesley Clinton House.

Turn half left to cross the drive at an angle to another stile (which can be seen in the picture). Cross this and continue into the field beyond.

You will see the path crossing the field at an angle towards a pylon on the horizon beyond (just about visible in the picture).

This path reaches the corner of the immediate grounds of the house and turns left around it to follow the hedge.

The house itself can be seen through trees along this section of the walk.

At the end of the field (pictured) a signpost facing those coming the other way announces that, by crossing a stile beside it, you are leaving the National Trust property.

Continue in the same direction, slightly uphill for a bit, with the hedge on your left.

Cross a further stile with the hedge still on your left. You can look right across the valley to the houses near Lapworth Station on the hillside opposite.

As you approach the B4439 you come to a farmhouse. Cross the stile, turn right and walk down to the farmyard, with the fence on your right. Enter the farmyard through a gate, proceed trough it, turning left to the gate on the other side. Follow the drive to the B4439.

At the B4439, turn right, down the hill to the Navigation Inn.

Opposite the Inn, steps lead down to the towpath on the far side of the bridge. Turn left to go under the bridge and continue up the towpath to the next bridge (pictured)

Leave at this bridge for Rising Lane or continue along the towpath for other finishing points.