I love a long walk and during lockdown 3, I have found some good places to visit as I have ventured further afield than in the previous ones. There is one walk that takes me out of Knowle village along the main road to Balsall Common. Passing Knowle locks, the main Kenilworth road (B4101) is full of twists and turns. It is an accident-prone road so being away from it is preferable and there is a public footpath that can be accessed just after a majestic building called Hedge House. On the market for 3.5 million pounds, it is a converted barn. The estate agents description shows the expansive interior and outside it demands your attention.
Once on the public footpath, it crosses over the fields to the edge of Springfield House and from here, it is possible to cross the main road to Cuttle Brook Wood part of the Woodland Trust.
It is a young wood with a direct diagonal line through the property and it leads onto Cuttle Pool Nature reserve and a brook which forms one side of the property. The road bridge forms a boundary to the private Temple Balsall nature reserve. The area has many birds and wildlife abound. There are otters back in the brook and the area is interesting to visit. Going underneath the road bridge it is possible to take a picture of the entrance to the private nature reserve. The featured black and white picture generated international interest on social media. The monochrome brings out the shapes of the tree branches as they are reflected in the water.
Making my way safely across the road bridge, it is possible to access Temple Balsall via the humanist burial ground and move into St Mary’s church graveyard. Harry Williams is buried at the church and his grave is situated to one side of the property. Williams along with Jack Judge wrote the song ‘It is A long way to Tipperary’. There was controversy over the ownership of the song but here the area is peaceful and the grave points towards the path that leads onto the church.
The church and the surrounding houses are picturesque and the path leads further onto the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson which runs a school and also cares for the elderly. A direct footpath leads back via a bridle path to the Black Boy. There are a couple of turns and the main Warwick Road to negotiate but once on the canal towpath then it is simple walk back to Knowle. Civilisation returns with canal boats and cyclists. There is a canal boat wharf with colourful boats and in spite of lockdown some activity happening.
The canal side pubs are still shut with stacks of chairs and tables lying empty. Not long now that we return to some normality. The walk started and finished at Elderberry black café and a bacon sandwich is purchased. A well deserved rest on a local bench in the centre of the village Coffee in one hand and sandwich in the other make for a sense of achievement.
Do you want to know more about the Woodland Trust then there is much to read about the Cuttle Brook Wood
Here is a Wikipedia link about the controversy surrounding the song “It is a long way to Tipperary”
More posts about Knowle and the surrounding area
– Winter wonderland in Knowle
– Up close in Knowle