Today we decided to stay closer to home. It’s all too easy to take the countryside around you for granted. We drive around all the time without really taking in the scenery. So today, I had picked a walk off the internet, which started off from a beautiful village a couple of miles away from us called Hampton Lucy.
A little bit of history about Hampton Lucy
Hampton means land by the river. In AD781, the King of Merciathe granted land to the Bishop of Worcester. Up until 1549, the parish was know as Bishops Hampton or sometimes, Hampton Episcopi. The water mill in the village was first mentioned in 1086 and is well worth a visit.
The first church was built in the village in the 13th century, but by 1480 the village was enclosed and many of the villagers were driven out.
The Bishop of Worcester sold the manor in 1549 to John Dudley who was the Duke of Northumberland. In 1555 though, during the reign of Mary Tudor, he was executed. The lease was granted to Thomas Lucy of Charlecote by Queen Mary in 1557 which is when the village was renamed Hampton Lucy.
The current church – St Peters was rebuilt by the Lucy family in 1826, and has a Gothic feel to it. The church is open most days and is stunning inside as well as outside.
Today the village in my opinion, is one of the prettiest in Warwickshire. It is still very small, with the church being the focal point. It has a lovely local pub – The Boar’s Head which serves lovely meals. Its definitely worth a visit if you are around Charlecotte area.
The walk starts off in the village. You have a couple of options. A 2.3 mile walk or a 5.5 mile walk. We opted for the longer one. We will however go back to do the shorter one soon, as it takes in the river Avon.
You enter a huge field through a gate, past River Keepers Cottage. The warning on the map was for badger holes, and we certainly found a few! You then enter some woods. Watch out for the nettles! That said, the views across towards Warwick over the river are amazing. On a clear day such as the one we had, you could see for miles. Why did I know know about this walk before!
The walk takes you through many fields, passing through gates or stiles. Its quite level, so not overly strenuous. As usual though, my hubby and I miss a turning past a copse! Thank heaven we did, as we first stumbled upon a wood full of gorgeous bluebells, and then a nature reserve run by RSPB. Sometimes it’s ok to go off track, but you really have to make sure you are not on private property!
The fields this time of year are full of rape seed, so you have vibrant yellow wherever you look. The weather was beautiful so the yellow stood out even more!
There was a short stretch of road towards the end, but apart from that it really is just fields. What surprised me is that this little road, I travel down quite often, I just never really thought about what was around it.
On one particular part of the walk, we spotted a very large hair running around the field of corn. It was a little bit like Watership Down, but with a happy ending. You don’t see this when you are in your car!
I have a fascination with birds of prey, so seeing them hovering around above us looking for food was a joy. I am hoping to get some binoculars for my birthday this year to see them better. I really want to learn more about them too.
The walk is a circular walk back to the village again. It took us just under 3 hours. Its a perfect way to get some exercise, see your local countryside and just relax and unwind. We took the 2 dogs with us and they really enjoyed it too! If you do take your dogs though, please keep them on a lead. Yes there might be cattle around, but this time of year, there could be birds or other animals nesting in hedges etc, which a dog could upset.
Next time you have a free weekend and are not sure what to do, google walks in your local area. You will be surprised what you have missed. I’m now planning what to do on our next free weekend. Top of my list is the village of Sherbourne!