komoot
  • Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features
Discover

Hike through a millennium of enchanting history — Centenary Way

Nigel

Hike through a millennium of enchanting history — Centenary Way

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

99.7 mi

3,600 ft

3,600 ft

The Centenary Way is a long-distance hike that commemorates a millennium of Warwickshire's rich heritage. As it winds through peaceful and wildlife-rich countryside, the Way visits countless sites that have played a key role in the history of Britain.

Starting in Kingsbury Water Park, the 100-mile (160 km) trail heads along the Tame Valley, through Nuneaton’s green belt, around the east of Coventry to Kenilworth and onto Warwick and Leamington Spa. From here, it heads south to the Burton Dassett Hills before voyaging west along the edge of the Cotswolds to finish in Upper Quinton.

Variety is the essence of this hike. Farmland footpaths, canal towpaths, woodland trails, and quiet lanes lead through patchwork countryside, over breathtaking hilltops, through vibrant towns and sleepy villages, into nature reserves and on through ancient forests.

Along the Way, you pass some wonderfully historic places, including: Kenilworth Castle, a 12th-century fortress hailed as one of the greatest historical sites in the UK; Warwick Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; Hidcote Manor, one of the most influential Arts and Crafts gardens in the world; Edge Hill, which gazes over the location of the first battle of the English Civil War, the Battle of Edgehill; plus countless listed churches, many examples of industrial heritage, and plenty of other historic sites.

Wildlife hotspots are abundant en route, too. Once a gravel pit, the lakes at Kingsbury Water Park are now an important habitat for many species. Wyken Slough is a large grassland and wetland that is home to lots of birdlife. Leam Valley is a haven for kingfishers, otters, grass snakes and dragonflies. Much of the route explores countryside teeming with wildlife.

Other highlights include: Hartshill Hayes Country Park, which affords far-reaching views over Warwickshire and beyond; Coombe Abbey Park, which boasts beautiful gardens, woodland and birdlife-rich lakeside; Burton Dassett Hills Country Park, where breathtaking panoramic views abound from its rolling hills; and Ebrington Hill, the highest point in Warwickshire.

In this Collection, I have split the route into seven stages, ranging from 12.1 miles (19.5 km) to 16.4 miles (26.4 km). As stages 3 and 7 are more challenging than the other hikes, I have given advice on how you can split/shorten the stages. I have planned the walk from north to south, as per the traditional itinerary. There is nothing stopping you hiking it in the opposite direction.

Whilst there are a few hills to climb, especially during the last two stages, there is nothing too strenuous on this trail. Paths, for the most part, traverse gently-undulating or level terrain. As such, it is a good choice for all abilities.

Civilisation is never far away either. Pub stops and places to resupply are plentiful. Places to stay can be a little patchy right beside the route but options are never far too away. On stages that finish where accommodation is not abundant, I have given advice on how to reach the nearest option. Advance booking and forward-planning are essential.

The Centenary Way is a good walk for all seasons. Some of the farmland sections can, of course, get boggy in the wetter winter months. However, with well-maintained paths throughout and no exposed sections to contend with, even the darkest winter days should afford a decent walk. Sturdy footwear is recommended, as are waterproofs and sunscreen, depending on conditions.

To get to the start of the trail by public transport, your best bet is to catch a train to Tamworth and then the 15 bus to Kingsbury Water Park. At the end of the trail, you can catch the 3 bus to Stratford-upon-Avon, which has excellent public transport links.

On The Map

loading
loading

Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Centenary Way

98.0 mi

3,550 ft

3,550 ft

Last updated: November 11, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

Learn More
komoot premium logo

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Kingsbury Water Park to Ansley Common — Centenary Way

    Difficult
    06:21
    15.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    500 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 1 explores countryside dotted with pretty lakes and culminates with breathtaking views over Warwickshire.

    

    The hike begins in Kingsbury Water Park, which was once gravel pits, and snakes through its lakes to Lea Marston. The trail follows roads to Whitacre Heath and then heads south along a tree

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Difficult
    05:01
    12.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage winds through Nuneaton’s wildlife-rich green belt before following the historic Coventry Canal to one of the largest areas of grassland and wetland in the region.

    

    From Ansley Common, hike south through farmland, skirt Galley Common and loop around the Arley Railway Tunnel entrance to Robinson

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Difficult
    06:46
    16.4 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This easygoing hike takes you through the patchwork of farmland and woodland that surrounds Coventry to the quaint village of Bubbenhall.

    

    To begin, the trail heads east alongside the Oxford Canal through pretty countryside before bending west along lanes and footpaths to the edge of Coombe Abbey Park

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Difficult
    05:29
    13.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Expect breathtaking ruins, enchanting history, and gentle countryside on this stage, which brings you to Warwick via the magnificent Kenilworth Castle.

    

    From Bubbenhall, hike through farmland to the edge of Abbey Park and join lanes to Stareton. You then take the footpath right through trees, cross the

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Difficult
    05:47
    14.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    400 ft
    225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Nature reserves, riverside walking, quirky history and another mighty fortress all combine on this stage.

    

    From the town centre, head south to the magnificent Warwick Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Mill Street then leads to St Nicholas

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Difficult
    05:23
    12.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Glorious views of Warwickshire await on the penultimate stage, which climbs over the Burton Dassett Hills and rises above where the first battle of the English Civil War was fought.

    

    Rejoin the trail at Itchington Holt, head south along footpaths and lanes to Northend and then climb through farmland into

    by Dan Hobson

    View
  • Difficult
    07:01
    16.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    975 ft
    1,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The final stage takes you to the highest point in Warwickshire and makes a whistle-stop at one of the most influential Arts and Crafts-inspired gardens in the world.

    

    Ending on a challenging note, Stage 7 is 16.2 miles (26.1 km) long with 975 feet (297 m) of ascent. (For advice on how to shorten the stage

    by Dan Hobson

    View

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    99.7 mi
  • Duration
    41:47 h
  • Elevation
    3,600 ft3,600 ft

You Might Also Like

A historic hike filled with wildlife and beauty — Heart of England Way

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

An epic hike through England’s rural heart — Midshires Way

Hiking Collection by Alex Foxfield

Perthshire — Scotty's Scotland Showcase

Mountain Biking Collection by Scotty Laughland

Spring fever on Germany’s Black Forest gourmet trails

Hiking Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus

Discover

Hike through a millennium of enchanting history — Centenary Way

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint