A Stroll Through History from Four Ashes (about 2.2 miles)

A pleasant family walk around the fields and ancient pathways of the area around Four Ashes, where the centuries old meets the modern day. See the remains of the old moat of Bentley Hall, stroll the old lane to the Cock Pit as many did in days past to watch a cock fight, see the ash trees of Four Ashes, the landmark where three parish boundaries met and pass the busy Junction 4 of the M42. Pass some of the very newest and a small number of the oldest houses in the area.

Recommended from late March to mid October, except after flash flood conditions, it can be very wet under foot in places during winter. (The route crosses twice that same stream which routinely floods Gate Lane after downpours.) Please note also that the route involves walking along a section of Gate Lane itself, which may not be suitable for younger children and that there is also a section of the route that passes along the edge of the Four Ashes Driving Range.

The start is in the heart of Four Ashes, at the junction of Four Ashes Road and Althorpe Drive, near the Drum and Monkey Public House, where those keen on post walk refreshment will choose to pay a call afterwards.

The history of the area covered on the walk is described in our History Pages.

 

 
START POINT: JUNCTION OF FOUR ASHES ROAD AND ALTHORPE DRIVE
DISTANCE: 2.2 MILES
ROUTE:
Path Behind Drum and Monkey

From this junction a path (pictured) can be seen leading across the grass and between hedges to pass behind the Drum and Monkey. Follow this as it leads between parts of the housing developments of the 1990s to Chadworth Avenue, straight across it and on to eventually join Conker Lane.

Conker Lane

Turn left on to Conker Lane and follow it, across Mill Lane and almost back to Four Ashes Road. Before reaching the main road, there are exits on both sides of Conker Lane onto roads of the new estates. Turn right and out into Buckminster Drive, where the route passes around to the right of a small pond, a remnant of the old moat of Bentley Hall, the former Manor House.

 

Access to Buckminster Drive

At the corner of Buckminster Drive, by the end of the pond, take the short footpath through the hedge back to Four Ashes Road and turn right along its pavement.

 

Entrance to Lane by Railway Bridge

Just before the railway bridge, cross the road and pass through the gate opposite (pictured) and proceed down the track, the former route to 'The Cock Pit'.

This eventually joins the road to the Riding Club. Continue to follow this until reaching the Riding Club Car Park, standing as it does on the site of the old Cock Pit itself.

Approaching the Old Cock Pit

At the junction (pictured) where the road proceeds straight on for Moat Manor and right into the Riding Club Car Park, bear right but continue in the same direction keeping the hedge on your left.

Continue on, with the Riding Club Arena on your right until you have passed it and cross an open area of ground. You will see a cottage off to your left.

Just Beyond Riding Club Arena

The footpath here is hard to discern but do not be tempted to veer left towards the cottage. Almost straight ahead, just beyond the area where vehicle movements have prevented the growth of grass, a short path leads into the 'shrubbery' (pictured) where a stile can be found.

 

Stile Beyond Riding Club

This stile (pictured) can be found just to the right of the hedge beyond which the path leads downhill into a wooded section of the route.

At the bottom of the slope a footbridge provides dry passage across the stream beyond.

View From Exit of Wood

Here the route leads slightly off to the left along the left edge of the field beyond the wood (pictured). It prceeds towards a hedge and through a gap in it by a tall tree, and then on into a larger field.

Here a distinct path leads straight on across this second field and a third beyond that.

Towards Junction 5

All the way, a distant small tree (pictured) marks the spot where, when sufficient height has been gained, the tops of the streetlamps of M42 Junction 4 will come into view. It also marks a line of trees and bushes in the final field. The path proceeds to the immediate left of these.

At the far hedge of the final field a stile takes you out onto the A3400 just up from the motorway junction. Turn left here.

Leaving Gate Lane

Then turn left again into Gate Lane at the traffic lights. Follow Gate Lane up to the first bend and then almost as far again.

Here you will see a footpath sign (pictured) and stile back into the fields.

 

Stile at end of Field

Cross the stile and proceed straight on down the edge of the field to the right of the hedge.

At the end of the hedge a further stile will be found (pictured) into the next field. The path continues across this second field. Halfway across it is a footbridge over a stream.

 

Aproaching Driving Range

This path brings you to the bottom of the Four Ashes Driving Range. You cross a stile and turn right just outside the high fence that protects you from a long drive with a range ball!!

At the end of the fence, follow the perimeter of the Driving Range grounds all the way back to its Car Park and up its drive, at the end of which, at the junction with Four Ashes Road, can be found the ash trees from which Four Ashes derived its name.

A short distance to the left along Four Ashes Road your walk is completed.