Circular Walk from Austrey
The walk starts at the Bird In Hand Public House. From the car park, turn left into Church Lane and left again at the Old Cross into Main Road. Continue through the village until you reach the crossroads. Turn right into Appleby Hill and right again into Windmill Lane. Follow the lane, which becomes a track as it rises up the hill. At the top of the hill, you come to an open field with a hedge to your left, from which you can take in the panoramic views of the Warwickshire/Leicestershire countryside. Turn left and, keeping the hedge on your left, head towards the telecommunication tower.
The path then bears to the left, towards Hill Farm, which you enter through the gate. Walk through the farmyard and down the farm track to Appleby Hill, enjoying the views of Warwickshire and Staffordshire in front of you. Turn right and continue up the hill.
Just before the telecommunication tower, turn left along a well worn track, which is known as Salt Street. Proceed along Salt Street, with the market town of Appleby Magna on your right, taking in the views of the Leicestershire countryside. After crossing the ‘Gateway to Warwickshire’ bridge over the M42 motorway, continue along the track until you come to the village of No Man’s Heath. The village is home to the aptly named Four Counties Spice restaurant, at which point the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire once met. At the end of Salt Street, turn left and continue along the road, until you reach a farm track on your right. Proceed down this track, past the buildings and the wood of Newton Gorse, until you reach the village of Newton Regis. At this point you can opt for the shortened walk (See ‘cop out’ below), or continue along the main route.
At the end of the track, continue straight along the road into the village, passing St. Mary’s Church on your left. Opposite the church a natural rock outcrop can be seen in the front gardens of the bungalows. Continue through the village, past the duck pond and pick up the waymarked path to your left, just past a right-hand junction. Enter the field at the gate and follow the path across the fields, traversing several stiles and heading towards the motorway. Cross the stile over the fence on your right and follow the path for a short distance between the hedge and fence.
Cross over the ditch and follow the hedge on your left. Go through the field entrance in the hedge, turn right, and continue to follow the waymark signs.
Follow the track across the next field, heading for the motorway bridge in the distance and the stile in the hedge. Cross the stile and head towards a small spinney in the top left corner of the field. Go through the spinney, cross the field towards the wooden fence and follow the line of the embankment of the bridge. Cross over the motorway.
Follow the well worn farm track, which will bring you out onto Warton Lane. Turn left here, heading back towards Austrey village. Take the first lane on your right, Cinder Lane, and continue along until you reach a “T” Junction. Bear left and after a short distance you will enter Austrey, with the spire of St. Nicholas Church to your left, just before the Bird In Hand Public House.
At the end of the track, turn left down Newton Lane, once again crossing over the M42 motorway. Directly after the motorway, on your left, a waymark sign directs you down the embankment, after the double stile, follow a good track which leads to the corner of the field. (Therefore you do not directly enter the field). Follow the right hand hedge, across the bridge and over another stile back onto Newton Lane. Bear to your left, follow the road around to the right, and then turn left at the “T” junction. At the crossroads, turn right back along Main Street, to your starting point.