Atherstone

Parish Information:

Walk Image Gallery:

Walk Description:

A demanding walk with fine views of the local countryside and interesting geological features.

If parking in Atherstone, take the waymarked path on the right off South Street, opposite Arden Avenue.

Follow the path between the houses and the school, cross the railway footbridge and then over Westwood Road into the playing fields, cutting diagonally across to Clay Pits Bridge (No.39), and crossing the Coventry Canal (part of North Arden Heritage Trail). Continue up into the wooded area (steep and can be muddy) to a marker post. Turn left and follow the edge of the woodland as far as the mowed fairway of the golf course.

Carefully cross straight over between the markers, being aware of play from your right. Ahead is a meeting of paths. Turn right and follow the waymarked bridle path past the golf clubhouse. Go straight on, steadily uphill following the markers, keeping the large hedge always just to your left.

Ignore all the paths that cross and do not go over the bridge across the ditch. Continue straight past the green at the top of the first little hill, and with the hedge always just on the left, to the top of the next.

Cross to the right, between the green and the tee markers, to a waymarked metal gate ahead of you underneath a large oak tree. Follow the path which runs past Outwoods Farm, coming out onto Ridge Lane. Bear to the left and take the next waymarked path on the left which runs alongside Purley Chase Lodge.

Continue straight ahead into Upper Coal Spinney, and then along the diverted path to the right of Purley House. Cross Purley Chase Lane, bear to your left and pick up permissive route on the right (1), which joins the waymarked path and runs down towards Mancetter Quarry (2). Follow the path until you reach a waymark sign and gate at a junction of paths.

Turn left (at this point you join part of the Mancetter Parish Walk). On the left are the carved stones of the Mancetter Heritage Feature (3). Follow the path as far as the gate leading out to Purley Chase Lane, turn right and continue downhill, joining the waymarked path into the woods on the left.

Follow a wide path through the woods, and at the end go through a tall gate, over a footbridge, and across a field to another footbridge. Cross the bridge and follow a narrow steep path up to another tall gate. Go through the gate to a meeting of paths then take the track to your right, crossing the Coventry Canal at Outwoods Bridge (No.38).

To return to your starting point bear to your right down the steps to the canal towpath. Then turn right and walk along the canal towpath until you reach the next bridge (No.39), which was your starting point.

Points of Interest:

1. In the wooded areas around the Mancetter Quarry, you may catch a glimpse of Muntjac deer and see buzzards circling above the trees watching for prey.

2. In the rockface strata at Mancetter Quarry, you can literally see the layers of the landscape’s history. There is an information panel near the Atherstone Heritage Feature (3).

3. The Atherstone Heritage Feature: The Atherstone heritage feature is a ‘Tree of Life’ sculpture which illustrates parts of the town’s long heritage. The cast iron frame encases a living tree, showing that the town’s life and history are always changing and growing.

The carved discs represent Atherstone’s canal and Market place and the ancient, infamous Ball Game. Atherstone’s adders climb the legs, and hats adorn the top. The feature was created by Julie Edwards & Ron Thompson of Planet Art, Walsall Wood. Opposite the feature stands the old hat factory, now a listed building, for which a new use will be found soon.

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