RambAle 4: The Ridgeway

route4Distance: 8 miles/13km. Allow 2¾ hours (excluding pub stops).

Starting and finishing venue: Nevill Arms, New End B96 6NB.

This walk explores the ridge of Warwickshire and Worcestershire, taking in six real ale pubs along the way. The walk is a steady decline into the village of Sambourne, then climbs back up the ridge and passes through Astwood Bank.

Follow the road north on the A441, passing three large houses on your right. Cross the road and follow the footpath through a small wood and bear east through the field. At the road turn right, then at the triangular T-junction follow the footpath on your left. This footpath will bear directly east across the field then into Butler’s Coppice. Remain on this trail until you emerge onto a field, then turn left and follow the trail alongside the outside of the wood, passing through a second field. Turn right at the road and look for a footpath on your left, running just before the second driveway. Follow the trail into the field, and then bear directly north-east to adjourn directly onto the car park of the Throckmorton Arms, which serves two real ales and a selection of main meals.

approaching_Throckmorton2Head north on the A435, passing three fields on your left. At the fourth field, follow the footpath west (there should be another footpath on the opposite side of the road) towards a wood, then turn right and follow the footpath alongside the outside of the wood. Continue in a northerly direction, crossing the middle of the first field and follow the hedgerow alongside the second field. Merge onto the road and turn right, then follow the next footpath north on your immediate left. This will pass through a small wood then merge onto a field. Follow the outline of the hedgerows on your right, the footpath will bear north-east then merge onto a driveway. At the main road turn left and bear west to find the Jubilee Inn on your left. This pub serves up to two real ales and the good value meals are very popular.

Our on-line map shows an alternative route as the final stretch of the northern footpath was flooded at the time of our walk! When you merge onto the road, instead of heading north follow the footpath west alongside the field you have just exited. The trail will slowly incline onto a lane then merge onto a main road. At the T-junction turn right and follow the road to the north-east. You will find the Jubilee at the very end on your right.

Green_dragonBear south-west on Middlehouse Lane, then take the first road on your left. Follow this road until it merges onto a footpath, then take the first footpath on your right. This footpath will cross three fields, all bearing in a south-east direction. The footpath will then merge into an opening with woodland on each side; follow the footpath to the west to emerge onto a triangular junction. The Green Dragon will be in front of you, which serves up to three real ales and a a la carte menu.

From the triangular T-junction, bear west on the footpath directly through a field, passing a chapel on your left. Continue west alongside the hedgerow through three fields, then the footpath will rotate through a kissing gate.  Pass through a further grassland field; then bear north-west across the next field. Bear west across a further field alongside a hedgerow, and the footpath will cross a lane and continue west. Follow this footpath through one last field, and then the footpath will narrow into an incline between houses, emerging onto Evesham Road. Turn left and you will spot the Bell ahead of you on the right, serving two real ales and a selection of main meals.

SAM_1101Continue south on Evesham Road, pass the school on your right then turn right onto Edgioake Lane. Turn left and bear south onto Monarch’s Way, a historical footpath commemorating the escape of King Charles II. Turn left onto the second connecting footpath and bear north-east to re-join Evesham Road. Turn right and the Why Not will be on your left, which serves two real ales and a selection of main meals.

Bear south-east on Evesham Road to return to the Nevill Arms, repassing the first footpath of this walk on your left. The pub serves two real ales and a full food menu.