Real Ale Rambles

REAL ALE RAMBLE 268 RIVER AVON TO WORCESTERSHIRE

Sat. 18th February RIVER AVON TO WORCESTERSHIRE

6 miles and 2 pubs

This is the first of our series of walks exploring the rivers of Warwickshire. We start with the Warwickshire Avon as far as we can get within the county, where it flows into Worcestershire. We meet at the Bulls Head in High Street, Bidford at 12.11.This means catching the 10.02 X17 from the Memorial Park (9.45 from Trinity Street Stop TS2), which arrives in Stratford at 11.42. Just in time to get a pie and a cake from Huffkins!

Then the 11.55 X18 from Stratford arrives at Bidford at 12.11. Or the X18 from the Transport Museum (Stop HS1) arrives in Stratford

If you wish to do this walk contact Fred Luckett as there is a good possibility that he may be driving there!at 11.46. I believe this then becomes the 11.55 for Evesham. Very conveniently the X18 stops outside the BULLS HEAD in Bidford. When I was here last, in March, it sold Hobsons Best Bitter.

At 12.40 we walk over Bidford Bridge and through Big Meadow to follow the river downstream. At Marlcliff we enter Worcestershire and follow the valley side away from the river. Then at Cleeve Prior we rejoin the river and we are now on the Worcestershire bank, with Warwickshire on the opposite side.Just before the next lock we leave Warwickshire completely; it is now Worcestershire on both banks. At the George Billington lock we find the FISH AND ANCHOR.

From here we walk back to Bidford and the Bulls Head. It is handy that the bus leaves from outside the pub. The X18 bus departs from here at 3.21, 3.51, 4.26, 4.56, 6.11, 6.41, 7.11 and 7.41, for the long journey home, two and a half hours at least. Still, there is a twenty minute loo break at Stratford.

If you wish to do this walk contact Fred Luckett moc.liamg@ttekculfg() as there is a good possibility that he may be driving there!

REAL ALE RAMBLE 269 RIVER ARROW

Sat. 17th March RIVER ARROW

6 miles and 6 pubs

This month we are in a part of Warwickshire that we have never used for a walk before; in fact few people visit it! They race north or south along the A46 through the Arrow valley, but very few ever stop to see the charming villages of Broom or Wixford, or the little market town of Alcester. And how is it that both villages manage to suppor

If you wish to do this walk contact Fred Luckett as there is a good possibility that he may be driving there!t two pubs?

We meet at Hales Street bus stop HS1 at 10.30 to catch the 10.43 X18 to Stratford. Arriving at 11.55 we change to the X19 which leaves Stratford at 12.20 and arrives in Alcester at 12.39. Then we can have a swift drink in Alcester before starting our walk. The SWAN HOTEL and DOG & PHEASANT are conveniently at the start of the walk, whilst the GBG listed Turks Head is a little further away in High Street.

At 1.00 we set off down Bleachfield Street, which is part of the Roman Ryknield Street, and cross the River Arrow, just below the point where it is joined by the River Alne. After a little twisting and turning the path follows the river under the bypass, crosses a field and joins the route of an old railway. This railway takes us, in two miles, to the village of Broom, where we find the BROOM TAVERN and BROOM HALL, both handsome timber framed old pubs. We should arrive sometime after 2.00.

If we leave at 2.40-ish we follow a path to the east of the river to Wixford, where the FISH stands on the bank, arriving at around 3.10. There is also the THREE HORSESHOES to have a look at, so we should set off again at 3.50 and travel north along the bridleway to Alcester.

Here we pass Wixford's little parish church, one of only five churches dedicated to St Milburga. She was a Saxon abbess of Wenlock Priory who died in 715. She was the daughter of Merewalh, King of the Mercian sub-kingdom of Magonsaeta and his wife Domne Eafe, and the granddaughter of King Penda of Mercia. Wenlock abbey was destroyed by the Danes and was refounded after the Norman conquest when Cluniac monks built a monastery on the site. They revived the cult of Milburga, which explains why a church dedicated to a Magonsaetan royal saint is in the sub-kingdom of Hwicce. The oldest part of this church is Norman and it is also said to contain the best brasses in Warwickshire, dedicated to the Crew family. From here we follow the bridleway, which is also part of the Roman Ryknield Street, back to Alcester, a Roman town. It is fascinating how much history there is within yards of all this modern traffic racing past. The last return bus leaves at 5.50

If you wish to do this walk contact Fred Luckett moc.liamg@ttekculfg() as there is a good possibility that he may be driving there!

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

April 14 RIVER ALNE

10.42 train from Coventry arrives Birmingham New Street 11.04

11.31 from Birmingham Moor Street arrives Wootton Wawen 12.09

Return trains at 3.37, 4.37, 5.35, 5.51, 5.24, 6.31

May PUTLEY CIDER FESTIVAL

June 2 KENILWORTH

Meet at Flying Standard 12 noon

July 14 BERKSWELL

Meet at Unicorn, Eastern Green, 12 noon

SUNDAY LUNCH WALKS - in conjunction with the Health Development Service of Coventry City Council.

All start at 12 noon on a Sunday

Feb 4 COVENTRY & DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY HISTORICAL WALK No2 ALLESLEY AND COUNDON

Meet at Rainbow, Allesley

March 4 COVENTRY & DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY HISTORICAL WALK No3 WALL HILL ROAD AND HOLLYFAST ROAD

Meet at White Lion, Brownshill Green

April 1 COVENTRY & DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY HISTORICAL WALK No4 KERESLEY

Meet at Hare & Hounds, Watery Lane

May 6 KENILWORTH TO MEER END

Meet at the Queen & Castle, Kenilworth

June 3 LONDON ROAD CEMETARY

Meet at Drapers, Earl Street

Copies of these walks can be obtained from Fred & Sharon. They are usually in Beer Gonzo in Earlsdon on Thursdays, from around 7 pm to 9 pm.