Yarningale Common


Saturday, October 4, 2014


Our first trip in October takes us to some of the beautiful countryside surrounding Birmingham.  We will travel to Yarningale Common in Warwickshire by train for a nice day walk. 

We will start by travelling to Henley-in-Arden (approx. 75 minutes from University) where we will pass the mediaeval Beaudesert motte-and-bailey castle. 

Following that, we will head east to Yarningale Common (pictured) where we will stop for lunch.  Afterwards, we will walk along the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal back to Henley-in-Arden, where we will go to the pub!  We estimate we will be back in Birmingham in the late afternoon, at around 17:00.

As we will be travelling by train, there is an unlimited number of places available on this trip - the only cost is the train ticket and your food and drink (and perhaps a pint!).  A return train ticket costs £8.20 (£5.40 with a Railcard).  Please note that you need to register for this trip at a sign-up session.

See you there!

As always, you can find more information on how our trips work under the Walks section of the menu.


The location of this walk was novel to most members, and despite the drizzly start to the day, 35 intrepid Wayfarers made it to University station for the 09.55 train. Changing in town from New Street to Moor Street, we got to our starting point of Henley-in-Arden on time at 11.06.

The route was taken from an excellent book published in 1994 by the Birmingham Ramblers Association, entitled 'Favourite Walks', and I am glad to say that their directions can still be followed 20 years later with a fair degree of accuracy.

We proceeded from the station, crossing the high street and passing two churches (one 15th century, one 12th) before ascending the 12th century motte and bailey, which was formerly the location of Beaudesert Castle. It would certainly have been possible to see armies from many miles off from this vantage point.
Heading downhill, we passed through numerous stiles and kissing gates, as well as a severely overgrown hedged footpath, before climbing a moderate hill to another Norman church at Preston Baggot.

Our path then took us across the Stratford canal to emerge at Yaringale. The Common is quite wooded, so it took us a while to find the clearing, which, as promised, was replete with benches - perfect for our lunch stop.
By the time we set off again, the last of the misty rain had ceased and the air became quite cold as a result of the clear sky. We took a slightly different route back to the same footbridge at which we had crossed the Stratford canal, but this time we got onto the towpath and headed south. Sadly, the canalside tearooms mentioned in the book appeared to be no longer in business. One member suggested walking back to university via the canal, which joins with the Birmingham & Worcester canal at King's Norton, but this idea suffered a reduction in popularity after we passed a milestone indicating it would have added around 15 extra miles to our journey.

Leaving the canal a few bridges down, we followed a stream along the perimeters of a few fields, until emerging on the A34 just outside Henley-in-Arden. By this time it had warmed up a bit, and most people had dried out from the morning too. The next train back was not due for about an hour, which gave us time to explore the pretty high street, and buy a beer or an ice-cream, depending on preference! We all piled on the 16.41 train, and were back at Uni by 17.50. A great day, and definitely an area to be visited again.

Adam G

Report photos