A scenic walk to The Griffin

A Gloopy Kissing Gate

After treating myself to a few days rest, I decided to walk to The Griffin and managed to talk Sue into coming to collect me from said watering hole.

I set off, in daylight, with my Raidlight rucksack with one water bottle and one camera in the front pockets. This is the same arrangement as last week which seemed to work well.

I walked the familiar route to Water Orton, Coleshill and on to Lea Marston. From here, I took the road to Whitacre Heath and then onto the path running parallel to the railway.

It was still light, at this point, so I stopped to take a few photos of the old bridge leading back towards Whitacre Heath.

Pressing on, the path became muddier as it crossed a couple of fields. After negotiating a rather gloopy kissing gate, I scouted around the next field, emerging onto the road near Hogrills End.

A Poor Abandoned Tractor

I crossed the road and after following the edge of another field, and found myself, yet again, walking next to a railway line (not the same one though).

After getting to the other side of the tracks (the wrong side of the tracks?) I just had to photograph a poor abandoned tractor before squelching off over another field.

Eventually, in failing light, I arrived at Shustoke, having walked 10 miles – roughly half way.

Lit up like a Christmas tree (headtorch, flashing white light on the rucksack and red flashing armband) I proceeded along Castle Lane until I reached the golf course where I took the path towards Coleshill.

I was treated to a great sunset as I left the golf course. I was planning on turning left at Castle Farm to follow the road to Maxstoke Lane. However at the junction, I was confronted with a large gate topped with barbed wire which, effectively, blocked my progress.

I now had a choice – go back the way I’d come or carry on to Coleshill and get onto Maxstoke lane there. A potential problem with plan B was that the River Blyth often floods the footpath after rain and we’d had a few downpours of late.

I chose Plan B and luckily the river had stayed where it was supposed to be.

Turning on the illuminations, I walked a mile along Maxstoke Lane to Arnold Lane which is a much quieter thoroughfare. Just before the junction of the two lanes, a car stopped and the lady driver asked if I needed a lift. “It’s alright, I’m doing this for fun!” I replied. “Oh? Nutter!” the driver explained and drove off.

The Griffin

Taking the quieter back roads, I eventually reached Shawbury, where the millionaires live! At the other side of Shawbury, I was overlooking (well I would be if it wasn’t so dark) the site of the old Daw Mill Collery. In 2008, the mine excavated 3.25 million tons of coal making it the biggest UK producer of coal, ever. In 2013, following a major underground fire, the mine was closed. It was the last coal mine in Warwickshire.

Taking Daw Mill Lane up the hill, I entered Shawbury Lane and a few minutes later was looking at The Griffin.

I entered the pub where one of the locals seeing my fancy rucksack with it’s drinking bottle complete with drinking tube explained, “Bloody hell – it’s a SCUBA diver!”. I explained that I had walked 19.3 miles to the pub to which he replied, “Nutter!”. Now where have I heard that expression before?

As I was finishing my first pint, Sue arrived to complete a cracking afternoon / evening.

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