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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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edgehill title artwork link to map key link to map link to previous ramble link to next ramble
Edge Hill is a continuation of the Cotswold Escarpment, where it crosses south Warwickshire. Although not the highest point in Warwickshire, as that honour goes to Ilmington Down, it forms a dramatic landscape as it stands at 700 feet, above the broad Avon vale. There are three attractive country pubs built of yellow Cotswold stone on this walk.
view from edgehill
View from the Edgehill escarpment with Arlescote at the foot and then across towards Kineton in the distance, with the site of the Battle of Edge Hill some 2-3 miles away. Photo © David Stowell
tysoe artwork
I recommend starting at Tysoe as this is where the No 270 bus stops, at least 4 times per day in both directions between Stratford on Avon and Banbury. The 269 runs just twice per day. The bus drops you at the Peacock in Tysoe, a large two bar pub with a range of ales, including Hook Norton Bitter and guest. There is a separate Chinese take away at one end of the building.

Tysoe is a large village that split into three, Upper, Middle and Lower Tysoe, although Upper and Middle Tysoe have now merged, whereas Lower Tysoe is still separate. The parish church is dedicated to St Mary. At the beginning of the 20th century a strong belief in witchcraft persisted here with cases of assaults in order to draw blood from suspected witches occurring. Aged women were reluctant to use the aid of a walking stick as that was one of the notorious signs of a witch.

From Upper Tysoe we follow the lane north, going straight on where the main road turns left to Lower Tysoe and then past the Natural Burial Ground until we come to the A 422, the road that climbs Sun Rising Hill. All the time we keep the escarpment to our right as we cross the A422 and enter a field with a hedgerow to our right. After successive fields we cross the bottom of King John’s Lane. We go through a gate between a cottage and a newer house and cross three more fields to approach Radway. The Castle atop Edge Hill can now be glimpsed between the trees.
view of footpath to radway
Footpath to Radway. Photo © Graham Horn
radway artwork
We walk into Radway between two walls, the one on the left comprised of old gravestones, that on the right more conventional. This leads us to West End in Radway between houses, one of then named Ferndale House. This is an idyllic Cotswold scene, with cottages, a duck pond and beyond that Radway Grange, which at one time belonged to the monks of Stoneleigh Abbey. From 1715 it was owned by the Miller family. In 1737 it was inherited by Sanderson Miller II . He remodelled the Grange in Gothic style and built the towers on the top of Edge Hill that later became the Castle Inn. We turn right here to follow the lane to its end and then climb Edge Hill, aiming for the Castle. Fortunately there is a bench at the top just before you enter woodland where you can gather your breath, look back at the climb you have just made and admire the extensive views. The Castle is reached by a winding uphill path through woodland.
view of radway tower
A view of Radway Tower, Edgehill, a folly and copy of Warwick Castle built in 1742 to commemorate the battle of Edgehill between King Charles 1 and Parliament in 1642. The Tower is now part of the Castle Inn. Photo © Janine Forbes
edgehill artwork
the castle inn at edgehillThe Castle Inn at Edgehill. photo © GF Luckett
The Castle is an unusual little inn at the top of Edge Hill. Originally it was composed of a gateway with one low tower, a bridge and the tower proper with machicolations and battlements. This group was built c1746-7 by Sanderson Miller, the owner of Radway Grange, as a banqueting suite from which he could view his estate whilst entertaining. The interior of the top floor of the tower is decorated with armorial shields high on the wall and would have been the banqueting room.
the castle inn
The Castle Inn at Edgehill. photo © GF Luckett
The tower was sold by a descendant of Sanderson Miller in 1822 and became an Inn. The buildings that comprise the modern Inn were added in Victorian times, and Hook Norton brewery bought the Castle in 1922. This was a time when, under pressure from the temperance movement, pubs had to have the appearance of respectability. Brewers started building ‘improved‘ pubs in a mock-Tudor country house style. Hook Norton’s response was to buy a real country folly! The Castle offers accommodation in its tower, which gives great views as far as Kineton and in the further distance Birmingham, Leamington Spa and Bredon Hill. It is in the fields below that the Battle of Edge Hill was fought in 1642, being the first real battle in the English Civil War. Here the Parliamentarian and Royalist forces fought to a standstill, with both sides claiming a victory. It is said that the Castle was built on the site that Charles I viewed the battle from.

From the Castle we take a path between Cavalier House and Rupert House on the opposite side of the road. The across and slightly right at the next lane leads downhill through a couple of fields to Ratley and the Rose and Crown.
the rose and crown at ratley
The Rose and Crown at Ratley. Photo © GF Luckett
ratley artwork
Ratley nestles in the lee slope of the Edge Hill escarpment. and stands on the old route between Banbury and Stratford, where the pub and church stand. This old road is now called Featherbow Lane. The church of St Peter ad Vincella is in the decorated style (c1300-1400), whilst the Rose and Crown is in more vernacular style. Beer was sold from a jug until the 1970’s, when it was transformed into a more modern pub with handpumps! The pub is now a free house with up to 5 guest ales.

From here we retrace our steps back to the Castle Inn. From there the path follows the top of the Edge Hill escarpment through woodlands. It crosses King John’s Lane again and the A422, before passing Sun Rising Stables. At Spring Hill there is a gap in the woodland providing views over the hill. Then we re-enter the woodland, where, after a gate on the left, our path forks right and steeply downhill to emerge into fields. After a few fields we return to Upper Tysoe opposite the church to finish at the Peacock again.
the peacock inn at middle tysoe
The Peacock Inn at Middle Tysoe. Photo © David Stowell
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