A Coventry Way Walk – Nige Warden
A group of twelve ‘intrepid’ walkers started enthusiastically from the Bull and Butcher pub at Midnight on 20th June and set off along the 40 mile Coventry Way. Despite the dark and being ‘checked out’ by inquisitive horses, the initial pace was good and the group managed the first 10 miles to Kenilworth in 3¾ hours. The weather had been very good to us up to this point and we were able to appreciate a lovely sunrise and dawn chorus. Shortly after leaving Kenilworth Golf course, very fine drizzle began and by the time we had reached Stoneleigh this was getting heavier until by Bubbenhall it was raining steadily.
We sheltered under the trees by Bubbenhall church for a short while before making our way to Ryton (where we had arranged to meet up with 4 other walkers, who only wanted to do 20 miles of the route) and also for some breakfast batches to be delivered at the Blacksmiths Arms pub. As soon as we had finished ‘breakfast’ we all headed on towards Wolston. Everyone’s kit was getting heavier by the moment with the rainfall and the increasingly slippery under foot conditions meant this was turning out to be a REAL challenge.
It was still raining by the time we got to Bretford, but people’s spirits were still pretty good and by the time we reached Brinklow the rain had turned back to steady drizzle. The group stopped for another short break near the Norman Mound, then headed back round into Brinklow and down Barr Lane en-route to the section of tow path along the Oxford Canal towards Ansty. To our relief, this section had been mowed during the week, so the 5 foot high weeds we had expected were no longer a worry.
When we reached the Rose and Castle pub in Ansty, some of the group decided they had reached their limits and called it a day. They said their ‘good bye’s’ while the rest of the group tried to dry out as best they could then head on towards Barnacle and Bedworth. At this point legs were getting very tired and progress slowed dramatically (5¼ hours to do the final 10 miles). Unfortunately, as we approached Breach Oak Lane, a further 2 members of the original dozen dropped out, having also reached and exceeded their limits.
The rest of the group determinedly carried on over the M6 and on to the Bull and Butcher pub to complete the journey at 7:45pm on 21st June 2008. It had been a particularly hard ‘slog’, but was coupled with a sense of huge satisfaction. Well done to all who took part and especially to the 6 walkers who completed the entire 40 mile route. Will we try the route again? Who knows!!!
The successful 6 were:-