Walk 6
4 mile Circular Walk from Packwood

Packwood Map

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A pleasant 4 mile circular walk from Packwood enjoying the delights of the Warwickshire countryside. For over half the walk you enjoy a delightful section of the MILLENNIUM WAY. The MILLENNIUM WAY is clearly waymarked with the distinctive black and white circular waymarkers. Find out more about the walk by clicking on the information icon.

This delightful circular walk starts from Packwood House, a well known National Trust property. The walk will give you a flavour of The Millennium Way taking you across mostly flat countryside with just a few stiles. The car park at Packwood House opens from 10.30am to 5.30pm all year.

Packwood HouseA Turn right out of the National Trust car park, down road to pass Grove Lane, then after some 100 paces take the kissing gate left (at side of farm gate) into field following the black Millennium Way waymarker to go over centre of field to take gap by kissing gate under power lines. Go ahead with hedge left for approx 40 paces then follow waymarker to go diagonally half right to power pole in corner by trees to take wooden kissing gate leading into churchyard of St. Giles Church. Go ahead to find main arched door of church.

(The earliest record of Packwood, southeast of Solihull, is in a deed dated 1190 witnessed by Walter, chaplain of Packwood, and is evidence that there was priest and no doubt a church. The present church of St Giles dates from the latter part of the 13th century (1270-80) and stands secluded and peaceful in fields, with Church Farm and Packwood Hall as its nearest neighbours. It was at St Giles' church on a June morning in 1706 that a Lichfield bookseller, Michael Johnson, came to marry Sara Ford. Their son, born in 1709, grew up to become Dr Samuel Johnson of literary fame. The registers actually date back to 1668 and are kept in the church safe).

Face main arched door of church then go left on pathway, to pass tower door, to exit churchyard via kissing gate to car park, (Here we leave the Millennium Way until later in the walk). Go immediately right to take car park corner gap in wooden fence, then take kissing gate. Go ahead on path between scrub to find field corner gap. Take gap and go ahead with hedge right, ignore mid field kissing gate on right, but continue to field end to take kissing gate to road..

St Giles ChurchB Cross road (take care blind bend) then through kissing gate opposite into field continuing ahead with hedge right to exit field by two stiles / footbridges. Go ahead with hedge right then through metal swing gate to next field then ahead with wire fence on left Take corner stile and footbridge then head diagonally left to pass under low voltage power lines to exit by stile in top left corner of field. Once over the stile go right to corner of hedge then go left with hedge left towards house directly ahead. Go through two metal gates then ahead 20yds down gravelled area keeping house on right, then bear right on driveway, keeping pond right, and up towards the road. On reaching the road turn left and after approx 100 yards take Chapel Lane on your right signposted Chadwick End. Continue down Chapel Lane for approximately 600 yards passing over the railway line, ignoring the first waymarked path on right, then turn right into Valley Lane where you will again pick up the Millennium Way waymarker.

C Continue down Valley Lane, ignore road right staying ahead between tall hedges. Follow road around and immediately before the private entrance to Valley Farm go through kissing gate left into field. Turn right with hedge right to find corner field kissing gate. Then ahead to take the next wooden kissing gate and stone bridge, over stile to field. Maintain same line ahead with hedges left to follow the distinctive Millennium Way waymarkers over several stiles and a gate to take a large metal kissing gate then through short passage to arrive at road.

D Go right on road passing Station Lane and gently uphill to cross bridge over railway line then immediately take driveway on right ( The Grove ) Continue along drive for 100 yds. and just before house gate take passageway right to kissing gate then go with hedge left to take further kissing gate to driveway. Go right then after 10 paces go left through kissing gate into field and continue with hedge left to exit field through gate to road. Go right on road passing driveway on right to Uplands Farm, then after some 30 paces take kissing gate left into the National Trust Packwood Avenue. Go along avenue of trees, then through metal gate and down a few steps to return to Packwood House. Turn right down lane which brings you back to the National Trust Car Park.

Points of Interest - What to know and what to see.... by Andy Botherway

Packwood House

The house began as a modest timber-framed farmhouse constructed for John Fetherston between 1556 and 1560.

Sermon on the mount Packwood HouseIts interiors were extensively restored between the First and Second World Wars by Graham Baron Ash to create a fascinating 20th-century evocation of domestic Tudor architecture.

Packwood House contains a fine collection of 16th-century textiles and furniture, and the gardens have renowned herbaceous borders.

The famous Yew Garden containing over 100 trees was laid out in the mid-17th century by John Fetherston, the lawyer.

The clipped yews are supposed to represent "The Sermon on the Mount".

In 1941, Ash donated the house and gardens to the National Trust.

Packwood Church

Packwood Church St GilesThe first stone church dates to the late 13th century, and consisted of a simple rectangular nave and chancel. The west tower was added in the late 15th century by a penitent murderer. The story goes that the lord of Baddesley Clinton, Nicholas Brome, came home unexpectedly to find the local priest 'chockinge' (chucking, or tickling) his wife under the chin. Assuming that the pair were having an affair, he slew the priest in a rage. Brome had powerful friends, and he was able to gain a full pardon from both the king and the Pope, but as an act of penitence he built towers for the churches at Baddesley Clington and Packwood. The tower has ever since been known locally as The Tower of Atonement.

The most interesting interior feature is a partial wall painting on the north side of the chancel arch, where you can make out a fragment of a Doom, or depiction of the Day of Judgement. The painting dates to the 14th century and was uncovered during restoration in 1927.

Packwood Hall to the west of the church is largely a modern building, facing west, but retains an east wing of 17th-century timber-framing.