Rambling: Take in Historic Sites along Pretty Countryside Route; Richard Shurey Strolls through the Heart of England

Article excerpt

Heart of England Way Association: Secretary: Sheila Carter, 50 George Road, Water Orton, Birmingham B46 1PE

A few months ago I received details of a ramble organised by the Heart of England Way Association. The idea was that a walk along the way from Fillongley would hopefully encourage walkers to join the Association.

Unfortunately the details reached me at holiday time so I was unable to give the Association the publicity it deserves. The Way is a recreational long distance waymarked route over 100 miles of rights of way from Cannock Chase in the North to join up with the Oxfordshire Way at Bourton-on-the-Water to the South.

The lovely walk was mapped in 1971 and is maintained by the Association on a voluntary basis. The route is surveyed by their wardens and they liaise with landowners to ensure any difficulties are smoothed out.

To enjoy again some of the excellent pathways of the Heart of England Way I recently did a circular route in south-west Warwickshire which also used part of the route of another waymarked path - the Centenary Way.

The starting place was at Upper Quinton which nestles below the slopes of the flat-topped Meon Hill. Quinton was once Queans-town or 'woman's town' as it was owned by the nuns of Polesworth.

Sadly the village shops including a bakery that were at Upper Quinton have long gone but there is an attractive ambience about the cottages scattered around the green.

Follow the cul de sac lane with the green on your right (Map 151/177466). Within a hundred yards or so look for a signed path by Meon Cottage on the left. Walk along the way around the cottage and over a stile. Continue following waymark arrows (Centenary Way) through fields to a farm drive. Turn left to a lane.

Turn right then at once left to climb a stile to a field. Take the path over the open field to cross a brook. Follow the path around fields to a lane near a house. Turn right.

We have now left the route of the Centenary Way. Within a quarter of a mile and by a brook turn left over a stile. …