A Coventry Way Walk by Nige Warden
2008 - from 00:00hrs on wettest day so far in 2008)
A group of twelve 'intrepid' walkers started
enthusiastically from the Bull and Butcher pub at Midnight on 20th
June and set off along the 40 mile Coventry Way. Despite the dark
and being 'checked out' by inquisitive horses, the initial pace was
good and the group managed the first 10 miles to Kenilworth in 3¾
hours. The weather had been very good to us up to this point
and we were able to appreciate a lovely sunrise and dawn chorus.
Shortly after leaving Kenilworth Golf course, very fine drizzle
began and by the time we had reached Stoneleigh
this was getting heavier until by Bubbenhall it was raining steadily.
We sheltered under the trees by Bubbenhall
church for a short while before making our way to Ryton (where we
had arranged to meet up with 4 other walkers, who only wanted to do
20 miles of the route) and also for some breakfast batches to be
delivered at the Blacksmiths Arms pub. As soon as we had
finished 'breakfast' we all headed on towards Wolston. Everyone's
kit was getting heavier by the moment with the rainfall and the increasingly slippery under foot
conditions meant this was turning out to be a REAL challenge.
It was still raining by the time we got to
Bretford, but people's spirits were still pretty good and by the
time we reached Brinklow the rain had turned back to steady
drizzle. The group stopped for another short break near the
Norman Mound, then headed back round into Brinklow and down Barr
Lane en-route to the section of tow path along the Oxford Canal
towards Ansty. To our relief, this section had been mowed during the week, so the 5
foot high weeds we had expected were no longer a worry.
When we reached the Rose and Castle pub in
Ansty, some of the group decided they had reached their limits and
called it a day. They said their 'good bye's' while the rest
of the group tried to dry out as best they could then head on
towards Barnacle and Bedworth. At this point legs were getting very
tired and progress slowed dramatically (5¼ hours to do the final 10
miles). Unfortunately, as we approached Breach Oak Lane, a further 2 members of the
original dozen dropped out, having also reached and exceeded their limits.
The rest of the group determinedly carried
on over the M6 and on to the Bull and Butcher pub to complete the
journey at 7:45pm on 21st June 2008. It had been a particularly hard
'slog', but was coupled with a sense of huge satisfaction.
Well done to all who took part and especially to the 6 walkers who completed the entire
40 mile route. Will we try the route again? Who knows!!!
The successful 6 were:-