A Figure of Eight (about 3 miles)

A 'figure of eight' walk around roads and fields between Balsall Common and Temple Balsall, with good views.

Recommended for most of the year, this route sticks to high ground and will be passable except at the wettest times. It is suitable for older children but the route involves significant lengths of Balsall Street, where there is an excellent verge to walk on but traffic is fast and heavy, and Fen End Road, where there is no verge and, although light, some traffic goes faster than expected.

The start is from a layby about halfway between Temple Balsall and the Olde Saracens Head, on the southern side, formed from a length of road bypassed by improvements.

There are alternative start points for those keen on post walk refreshment:

- it can also be walked from the Car Park at Temple Balsall from which it is a short walk up Fen End Road to join the route in the third stage below. Then tea and cakes are available at Temple Balsall on Sunday afternoons from Easter to end September.

- or those with a prerence for something stronger can start and finish near the Saracens Head and stroll down to Magpie Lane to join there.

 
Map

 
START POINT: LAYBY, BALSALL STREET
DISTANCE: 3 MILES
ROUTE:
Stile in Magpie Lane

From the layby in Balsall Street, join the road and proceed along its wide verge up the hill towards Balsall Common. On reaching the cross roads, turn right into Magpie Lane. A timbered building comes into view at the top of the hill and a stile to a footpath on the left has been passed, when a stile to the right beside a farm gate is seen (pictured).

Cross this stile and follow the path, which keeps the hedge to your right.

Path Across Field

When the hedge runs out, part way down the hill, a distinct path can be seen crossing straight over the field ahead (pictured). Follow this to the bottom of the hill and cross a stile in the hedge..

Go over several more fields. The path (being the Millennium Way) is very clearly marked, and going up the hill you keep the hedge on your immediate left. On passing the pylon there is another stile and field to cross before reaching the 'crossroads'.

Stile at 'Crossroads'

This crossroads (pictured) sees two paths cross in the corner of four fields. Pass straight across and you are now on the left hand side of the hedge to traverse the edge of one more long field before reaching Fen End Road. You will see a good view of the Temple Balsall rooftops ahead and slightly right.

On reaching Fen End Road, turn left and follow it for about half a mile to the a cluster of houses.

Pootpath Sign, Fen End Road

Shortly after passing the track to Balsall Lodge Farm on your right, you will come to a gap in the hedge on your left, signposted as a footpath (pictured). Follow this narrow overhung path between a fence and a small brook for a short distance to the fields beyond.

Continue straight on along the edge of the field with the hedge on your right. Pass through a gap in the hedge (pictured) to further fields. Continue keeping the hedge to your right.

Crossing Field on Return to 'Crossroads'

You will see isolated trees and pylons on your horizon (pictured) and you continue straight keeping to the immediate left of the hedge. Before passing under the electric cables you will pass through the 'crossroads' again. Then you continue straight on, still to the left of the hedge, down the hill, along the edge of a single field to reach Balsall Street.

There you turn right for the short distance back to the layby.