Long Itchington to Ufton and return

A stroll through rural Warwickshire with no destination in mind. This route includes paths, country lanes and a section of the Grand Union Canal.

Technical sheet
No. 293243
A Long Itchington walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 08/08/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h50[?]
Distance Distance : 8.06mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 213ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 230ft
Highest point Highest point : 387ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 213ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Long Itchington
Starting point Starting point : N 52.283939° / W 1.394316°
Download : -


The thing about walking to me is that I don't plan it. I just stroll out of the door with no particular destination in mind. Here in Long Itchington, South Warwickshire, we are spoilt for choice. Competing to entice the aspiring walker are a network of public footpaths, the Grand Union Canal and the long disused LNWR (London and North Western Railway) cutting that ran from Weedon to Leamington Spa. The other day, I used a combination of the above, to surprising effect. (One of the benefits, for me, of not planning, is where one can end up!)

(D/A)I continued on, down the lane for about another half a mile, then struck off left, onto the deeply rutted, but dry, bridle path. This path climbs quite steeply for about two hundred yards, then levels out, by a hay-barn, and descends to within a dozen yards of the Grand Union canal at Bascote Lock.

(1) Once on the canal towpath, I turned right, towards Leamington Spa. Nowadays, there is no incumbent occupying the Bascote lock-keeper's cottage and it has become a very attractive family home. There are four locks, close together on this stretch (numbers 14 - 17 of 160 in total on the Grand Union).

(2) After a further mile or so, I passed another fine lock keepers cottage at Welsh Road Lock (number 18 - only 142 to go!).

(3) Then I came to a bridge (number 31), with a set of newly installed, wooden steps at the side. They looked inviting, so I climbed them. Over the bridge ran a track which a Warwickshire County Council sign ambitiously described as a 'county unclassified road'. It even had a name - 'Centenary Way'.

(4) As I continued along Centenary Way, a church appeared, on top of the hill ahead of me - a clear sign of habitation. I continued on, curious to find out where I was. My path climbed the hill towards the church, and I could hear the hum of traffic getting closer. A building came into view on my right. There was a car park outside and some activity. I approached and a sign read 'The Wedding Barn'. I had definitely reached civilisation!

(5) I was about to find out where I was. I could now see the traffic passing by just ahead and reached the road, just below a sign proclaiming my mystery destination - 'Ufton'. To my left, on the brow of the hill, lay the church and The White Hart pub. I knew where I was and, if I'd had any cash on me, I would have celebrated with a pint!

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Start / Finish - Long Itchington
1 : mi 1.79 - alt. mi 1.79 - Bascote Lock - turn right
2 : mi 2.54 - alt. mi 2.54 - Welsh Road Lock
3 : mi 2.83 - alt. mi 2.83 - Left over bridge
4 : mi 3.38 - alt. mi 3.38 - Centenary Way
5 : mi 4.02 - alt. mi 4.02 - Ufton - return home along same route
D/A : mi 8.06 - alt. mi 8.06 - Start / Finish - Long Itchington

Useful Information

Subsequent investigation on the internet reveals that Centenary Way consists of a series of connected paths and roads that run all the way from the Tame Valley on the Staffordshire border, through George Eliot country, around Nuneaton, to Coventry, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa. It finishes up, having passed through the Burton Dassett Hills, on Ilmington Downs, south of Stratford upon Avon. A total distance of about 98 miles.The section I walked was in poor condition - deeply rutted and probably virtually impassable in the wet.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

As I climbed the bridle path at the start leading to the Grand Union canal, I noticed the crop-planted fields, flanking the path on either side, were now sprouting green shoots. Then I stopped. A Yellowhammer had alighted on top of the low hedge to my right. A sighting of this lovely bird is a lot rarer these days and I am always delighted to see one.

There was a fair bit of activity on the canal. Three narrow boats were negotiating the system as I walked by. I noticed it was mainly ladies who set about winding handles and heaving on gates while the men steered the impossibly long craft. Not being a boating person, I'm not sure what to make of that.

Apart from the boats, there were several pairs of mallards gliding serenely on the water. Breeding would have been on their mind at this time of year, so they may not have felt as serene as they appeared. More unusually, I noticed two pairs of Canada Geese reconnoitring the opposite bank, probably in search of a suitable nesting site.

On Centenary Way, I came across an old, decrepit, but very attractive barn with an interesting, diamond shaped, brick pattern on the end wall. Further inspection revealed that the design was repeated, twice on each of the side walls and again on the other end wall. Each of the diamonds consisted of thirty six bricks laid with their ends facing outwards, creating ventilation holes. I understand these features are known as 'Biertons'. No doubt there's a barn expert out there, who will know whether or not this is correct .

Other walks in the area

A circular walk from Long Itchington
distance 6.09mi Vertical gain +82ft Vertical drop -72ft Durée 2h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Long Itchington - Warwickshire

Starting from Long Itchington with its many pubs, this Warwickshire walk explores some delightful countryside and a section of the Grand Union Canal. The walk also follows a section of the Millenium Way.

Napton on the Hill circular walk
distance 4.49mi Vertical gain +164ft Vertical drop -164ft Durée 2h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Napton on the Hill - Warwickshire

A short circular walk that offers some wonderful views of the Warwickshire countryside. The route passes through the village of Napton on the Hill with its fine windmill.

distance 7.53mi Vertical gain +472ft Vertical drop -479ft Durée 3h50 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Napton on the Hill - Warwickshire

A Warwickshire walk full of interest. The route passes a restored windmill, follows two sections of canal and visits the summit of Beacon Hill which offers good views across the surrounding countryside.

The Pleasance and Meer End from Kenilworth
distance 6.72mi Vertical gain +167ft Vertical drop -171ft Durée 3h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Kenilworth - Warwickshire

A pleasant walk through the Warwickshire countryside. The start is Kenilworth where you have the opportunity to visit the castle. The route includes a section of Millennium Way long distance footpath.

Newnham, Northamptonshire
distance 7.23mi Vertical gain +397ft Vertical drop -394ft Durée 3h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Northamptonshire

This is a good walk at any time but really good in spring when the bluebells are out in Badby Woods and butterflies are exploring the hedgerows. The route passes through some scenic Northamptonshire villages and includes small stretches of the Nene and Knightley Ways.

distance 5.43mi Vertical gain +748ft Vertical drop -755ft Durée 3h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Radway - Warwickshire

A Warwickshire walk that is full of interest, visiting some pretty villages and the attractive escarpment of Ege Hill with fine views to the north. The route also uses sections of the Battlefields Trail and Centenary Way long distance footpaths.

distance 8.64mi Vertical gain +230ft Vertical drop -230ft Durée 4h10 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Meriden - Warwickshire

This Warwickshire walk starts from the medieval stone cross situated in Meriden, which reputedly marks the centre of England. Meriden is also the fulcrum of the 100 mile long distance walking path known as The Millennium Way, which runs from Pershore to Meriden then down to Middleton Cheney. This circular walk incorporates the two northern sections of the Millennium Way, joined by a short link through the delightful village of Berkswell.

distance 7.64mi Vertical gain +233ft Vertical drop -233ft Durée 3h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Middleton Cheney - Northamptonshire

This delightful walk explores parts of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire using a section of the Millennium Way. The route starts from Middleton cheney and continues via Thenford, Upper Wardington and Chacombe back to the start.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.