The route circles the village and as such can be done in either direction in one trip starting and ending at the same point. It is about 8 miles if alternative routes are included. Overall, the main route takes about 3 – 4 hours. It can also be accessed at any point from the village centre by walking along one of the spokes of the wheel – Station Road or the A452. Since it uses existing footpaths with kissing gates much of it is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs - apart from tarmac paths alongside roads. It is easy walking, but some parts can be muddy in wet conditions.
Please note that many of the buildings are private property – please respect the residents privacy.
Station Road Starting at the station and The Railway Inn where refreshments are available to fortify you for the walk, carry on up Station Road. Passing The Brickmaker’s Arms – a pub dating from 1680 and probably with the Saracen’s Head, the oldest in the village, you will reach Ye Olde Village Store – no longer a store, now residential accommodation - at the junction of Station Road and Sunnyside Lane. Sunnyside Lane and Barratt’s Lane Proceeding in a clockwise direction the route is along Sunnyside Lane and Barratt’s Lane, past Sunnyside House , Sunnyside Farm and Pool Orchard
The main route continues along Barratt’s Lane and through the fields. The fields at each side of Barratt’s Lane are designated for public open space in the Solihull Local Plan. This Central Park will be substantial additional open space between the existing and new communities and should help bring them together. On the left is Barratt’s Lane Farmhouse and Barn .
Please do not go down the lane to view these – they are private properties and should be respected. The best view is from the footpath across the fields looking back. Kelsey Lane and Old Waste Lane At the next junction on the footpath you can either turn right to meet Kelsey Lane by the bus stop and proceed left to Windmill Lane; or turn left, to pass through the medieval Ridge and Furrow field , then turn right at Old Waste Lane next to the library in a telephone box, past the ring of stones which is a reproduction Tingsted, turn right on Waste Lane and go along to Windmill Lane.
The Greenway (alternate route)
There is an alternate route starting at the end of the houses on Barratt’s Lane. Turn left immediately before Pool Orchard and go down the field path to the temporary greenway; go right along the green way as far as the last kissing gate before the path meets Waste Lane; turn right and follow the path and Old Waste Lane to re-join the main route by the library in a telephone box.
This gives excellent views of the HS2 works and the huge machines being used to move earth around – should you want to see them. The greenway path and the main route here form roughly the boundary of the housing development proposed in the Solihull Local Plan giving a very good understanding of the countryside lost and the size of the development.
Windmill Lane Walk very cautiously along Windmill Lane. There is no footpath for much of the way and it can be a very busy rat-run at peak times. It had to be included in the trail because it allows us to include one the most important buildings in our village – the Berkswell Windmill . The mill is open to the public on a few occasions in the year. If you want to visit you must check the web site and plan your walk accordingly. The land west of Windmill Lane is designated for housing in the Solihull Local Plan. The A452, Goat Lane and Holly Lane Opposite the Windmill the path turns right across the field. At the A452 turn right and cross the A452 at the gates which mark the entrance to Balsall Common. Again, take great care crossing this road which can be busy at peak times. Walk along the footpath and take the road down to Albany Meadows. Turn right at the finger post sign and keeping to the left walk through the fields and the small wood onto Goat Lane as far as the junction with Holly Lane.
Close to the trail, but not actually on it, is St Peter’s Church and the original Primary School. To see these, turn right on Holly Lane to the junction' with Balsall Street/Alder Lane