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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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This walk contains breweries rather than just pubs and also a stretch of countryside unbroken by any roads equally as long as anywhere else in Warwickshire. It encircles the little area of North Warwickshire that is the centre of local brewing, with four microbreweries there. Much of this route is followed by the Centenary Way long distance footpath, so it is well maintained. Any gradients on this walk are very gentle.
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To access the start at Ridge Lane you need to catch the No 41 bus from Nuneaton. Ridge Lane is a small village on the North Warwickshire Ridge about two miles south-west of the town of Atherstone, in the parish of Mancetter. The main road gives its name to the village, which has a shop, pub and Church End Brewery. The village is surrounded by farmland and Bentley Woods.

The Church End Brewery Tap
Church End Brewery has an excellent bar which is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all day from 12 noon. The brewery is visible through a glass wall in the bar.
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The Church End Brewery through the glass panel
Church End started brewing in 1994 in an outbuilding to the Griffin Inn at Church End in Shustoke and moved to the present site in 2001. Leaving the brewery we walk to Birchley Heath and head through the playground to take an enclosed path to the first lane. Across this we follow a stream bank through countryside. We pass Chapel Farm and we are now on the three mile walk without any road. We pass Dudley Wood Farm and can see Jersey Wood and Hoar Park Craft Centre on the other side of the valley. Then we pass Holt Farm and Hoar Hall with its pools can be seen below. We take to the drive to Hoar Hall and pass two cottages to reach the road which leads down to Furnace End and then Shustoke.
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The Griffin at Shustoke, aka "The Old Brewery"

The Griffin is not actually in Shustoke, but at Church End about ⅔ mile (1 km) east. As you approach the pub the church of St Cuthbert looms on the top of its hill, a field away on the left. The road is very narrow as it approaches the Griffin, so do be careful. It is possible to walk on the other side of the hedge, at the edge of a field, but this is not a right of way. This walk should take about 1½ hours. Please note that the Griffin is closed between 2.30 and 7.00 even on a Saturday.

When Church End Brewery moved out of the Griffin its old premises stayed empty until 2008, when the Griffin Brewery moved in. This is a venture by the licensee, Mick Pugh and his son, Oliver. Brewing is somewhat sporadic, so there is no guarantee of Griffin beers being available at the pub.

From the Griffin set off back to Furnace End and turn right towards Fillongley and Coventry. Then a path leaves the B4144 on the left and cuts across to a lane. From the lane a cart track leads uphill, past a stone barn and a wood to Monwode Lea. We cross a lane here and then walk through a field with a chimney ! This appears to be the remains of an ancient building that used to stand here. We cross fields to Ballards Green. Here we cross another lane to enter Arley Wood. At the end of the wood we pass Keepers Cottage and descend to Old Arley. We take a path between houses, through the school car park and over a stream to walk through a golf course and arrive in Arley after another 1½ hours walking. Emerging on the village street through the grounds on the Club, turn right and you come to the Nelson.

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photoThe Lord Nelson at Arley

Here the Victory Brewery has recently started brewing in premises that were until recently used by the Tunnel Brewery. Victory Brewery has also used the name of its owners, Sperrin. The Nelson sells a good range of local brewery's beers, not only Victory but also Church End and Tunnel.

We can spend 30 minutes in the Lord Nelson before setting off on the last leg back to Church End Brewery, which you may have noticed is not actually in Church End, but that's another story. This is the shortest leg of the day and should take about an hour, after passing Hayes Farm and Lady Wood Farm.

Upon leaving the Nelson walk northwards along the road to the village of Church End. This is where Tunnel Brewery is now, at Red House Farm. However, it does not feature on this walk as it does not have a public bar and is not usually open to the public. Turn right at the junction and after a right hand bend there is a gate on the left. This leads through fields and past the desereted Ox Hayes Farm to Lady Wood Farm and thence to the lane just a hundred yards east of Church End Brewery. Here your reward awaits you !

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photoYour reward awaits you at Church End's Tap Room Bar
This is not a walk for the faint-hearted (or the faint-legged for that matter). It is for people who can walk 13 miles through fields. Fotunately there are not too many stiles as most field boundaries have gates. The first leg will be walked at a brisk pace because the Griffin closes at 2.30pm. I would be grateful if any of the cyclists could do the circuit by bike and particularly if the girls come by car, just in case anyone gives out! There are short bits of this walk that the girls may find enjoyable, such as the stretch through Arley Wood. The last bus returns at 6.07pm.
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