Whisou two
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By er***@4gan.com on 26 Apr 2021







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This is an alternative route from Whitnash to Southam as Whisou one is currently closed near Southam because of HS2 work

This is an alternative route from Whitnash to Southam as Whisou one is currently closed near Southam because of HS2 work


This route has been reviewed by 1 person.

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Route status - Live

Reviews - 1

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (1)

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Downloads - 4


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

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Start and end points

Grid Ref SP3227063513
Lat / Lon 52.26885° / -1.52852°
Easting / Northing 432,270E / 263,513N
What3Words barks.lovely.wasp
Grid Ref SP4193561880
Lat / Lon 52.25352° / -1.38710°
Easting / Northing 441,935E / 261,880N
What3Words solids.cassettes.hedgehog

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Steve Litchfield

27 Mar 2023 (edited 28 Mar 2023) Spring

I walked this route westwards from Southam today. I really enjoyed this walk which seems harsh not to give it the full five star treatment, but having to cross the busy Fosse Way was pretty much the main clincher for me. A walk which has plenty of historical points of interest, was also very muddy when I did it - not really surprising for the end of March. There are options for refreshments at either Ufton or Harbury, but you will need to time your walk to coincide with opening times.

I had considered doing Whisou one, as the night before this walk I read the reviews left for that walk which advises it isn't possible due to HS2. The reviews led me to scour the HS2 in Warwickshire website to see if they had reopened the path from Southam to Harbury. I couldn't find any details of the route being closed online, although their website page not being updated since May 2022 didn't fill me with confidence. Upon leaving Southam, I did find an official notice (photo 1) which advises that path will be closed till the end of 2024, so that was confirmation for me to take route two.

When they do eventually reopen the route, you'll be taking the footbridge as opposed to the route to the right in my 2nd photo. However, route one misses out on the Holy Well (photo 3) which has been in existence for over 1,000 years and is possibly the most ancient structure I've encountered on a Slow Way yet. A little further on and the route takes you to a footbridge over the river (photo 4), next to the grounds of 16/17th century Stoneythorpe Hall and the site of an old mill. There had been lots of rain recently, and therefore the river made quite a noise as I passed.

The route then soon leads you through the grounds of the polo club, where you have to keep an eye out for horses. It's under this area where the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Dorothy is currently tens of metres directly below excavating the tunnels for HS2. After crossing the B4452, the route heads west between a farm and Ufton wood (photo 6).

Eventually, the route arrives at Ufton, where if you've timed your walk right and if you so wish, the White Hart pub is an excellent place to grab refreshments. I've had one or two pints in that beer garden surveying the scene northwest from here. After leaving Ufton, the route then joins the Centenary Way which skirts the edge of Ufton Fields Nature Reserve (previously a limestone quarry) before heading south to Harbury.

If you're tall enough, when you get to the Chiltern Mainline rail bridge at Harbury, you may be able to peer over the sides of the bridge and view the cutting (photo 8). Harbury Cutting was constructed in the 1840s by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and at 34m deep it is recognised as the largest hand dug rail cutting in the world. If you needed refreshments in Harbury, then it will be quicker to keep to the road from the bridge to get to the pub if open. If you stick to the route given here, you'll notice an unusual location for a blue plaque (photo 9) normally attached to buildings. Apparently there were once cottages on the site of this plaque, where the inhabitant mentioned on the plaque used to live.

On leaving the lias ridge of Harbury via steps cut into the hill (photo 15), you have to cross an oft used lane to gain access to a path through Lower Westfields Farm (photo 10) which has horses and donkeys grazing on the path. The path then eventually takes you underneath the Chiltern mainline (photo 11) once again, and then on to the busy Fosse Way Roman Road(photo 12).

After continuing past the Fosse Way, may I suggest a slight detour over Crown Hill instead of negotiating the stiles and gates around the agricultural Pounce Hill Farm? The detour does include the effort of an additional 30m (or so) of ascent, but in my opinion is completely worth the view from the summit. The view from the trig point gives an almost 360 degree panorama of the surrounding vista, which includes Leamington, Warwick, Coventry, the Welcombe Hills of Stratford-upon-Avon, Chesterton Windmill, Daventry wind turbines, and more. This is a favourite local spot of mine, and rarely have I seen anyone else up there.

Whichever route you do take over Crown Hill or through the farm, both routes re-join on the other side of the hill and then takes you past the intriguingly named Isle of Wight barn, before heading through pasture and a stud farm as you travel towards Whitnash. You cross the Chiltern Mainline for a final time over a bridge before passing Whitnash village church and eventually arriving at the end point.

A great walk which as I mention, seems a shame not to receive five stars, but my subjective stubbornness leaves that for the rare and 'perfect' walk. This route has plenty of gates, stiles, footbridges, steps and even breezeblocks (photo 13) to negotiate. Definitely recommended.

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