Discovery Routes Inspire Me Routes Travel Warwick

Warwickshire Discovery Route | Adventure Bike Rider


In case you’ve been maintaining with ABR just lately, you’ll have observed our pursuit to seek out one of the best discovery routes in Britain. Teaming up with TomTom to assist highlight these routes, we head to the historic county of Warwickshire. Within the drivers seat this time, we now have A J Daly, who takes a visit down reminiscence lane, as he explores all of the World Warfare 2 websites Warwickshire has to supply.

If our analysis is to be believed (and why not?), a serious cause riders purchase ABR is for concepts on the place to go driving. Positive, the large long-distance journeys gasoline all our goals and aspirations, however on a extra sensible degree the UK articles show as fashionable as any between the covers.

That doesn’t shock me. Whereas all of us could also be enthusiastic about our bikes and luxuriate in getting on the market, having a selected objective and expectation for a visit can add drastically to the enjoyment.

Over the previous few years I’ve taken fairly a couple of journeys over to Europe for the precise objective of testing each WW1 and WW2 websites. From Normandy to Poland and the Dolomites to Bastogne, I’ve gained big pleasure from testing the historical past and the places. So, that obtained me considering, what can I do that weekend, alongside comparable strains and nearer to residence.

With that in thoughts I began researching WW2 websites of curiosity in Warwickshire and got here throughout a tremendous discovery, the Pillbox Research Group. The web site is a gold mine of details about Britain’s wartime defences, with an emphasis on the ‘stop lines’ constructed when a German invasion appeared inevitable. In 1940 the query was not ‘will the enemy come’, however ‘when’.



Even in landlocked Warwickshire, a cease line was constructed based mostly on the Oxford Canal and River Avon as defence strains towards enemy heavy armour. As well as, Warwickshire protected the heavy industrialised cities of Coventry and Birmingham with many anti-aircraft websites.

A fast verify of the pillbox web site and I’d labored out a route taking in seven websites in Warwickshire that includes anti-aircraft gun emplacements, pillboxes, tank traps and a decoy website. And right here’s the excellent news, the pillbox web site has info on websites and antiquities for each county in England, plus Wales and Scotland.

So, with the best way factors plotted within the TomTom, I loaded up the V-Strom 250 and set off in superb climate from Stratford upon Avon in the direction of the primary website simply south of Kenilworth.

Kenilworth anti-aircraft battery

The location of the ant-aircraft battery is close to Goodrest Farm, simply to the south west of Kenilworth, off the Rouncil Street. I’d seen previous pictures of this website and anticipated to be wading by way of undergrowth and clambering over piles of scrap iron that had been dumped within the gun emplacements.

Because it occurs, what a life-affirming go to this turned out to be. There’s a pair who’re nicely into their 70s who personal the land and have taken it upon themselves to protect the location for the good thing about any guests and faculty journeys.

The gun mountings and management centre have been cleared and cleaned up, the grass has been mowed and there are maps, information and photographs to deliver a go to to life. The couple are each a mine of data and really joyful to take time and share it with guests. An exquisite expertise and an astonishingly well-preserved monument to Britain’s best hours.

The location was on the flightpath to the primary arms factories in Coventry and again in 1940 it was the job of native teenage women, members of the Auxiliary Territorial Providers, to behave as spotters for the Luftwaffe. There are footage of those women on the website and I used to be informed the final survivor handed away solely final yr.

Initially, there have been 5 heavy three.7” anti-aircraft weapons embedded in concrete and built-up mounds of earth for cover, although solely 4 of the battlements nonetheless survive. The location additionally included floor layer radar, plus the operational management room, which is slightly below floor degree. The management room is open and also you’re capable of stroll across the rooms, which have been decked out with a number of pictures and pictures from the conflict.

Later within the struggle, the weapons have been moved from Kenilworth to the South Coast because the V1 menace turned extra urgent than any invasion. The location then turned a prisoner of struggle camp, holding captured Germans and Italians.

A implausible discover and it was with nice expectations that I rode off to the subsequent website just some miles up the street in Kenilworth.

Abbey Fields air raid shelters

As I rode up the primary Warwick Street into the centre of Kenilworth, I used to be considering of a narrative my mom had advised me about considered one of her reminiscences from the conflict years. She would have been about eight or 9 when she was evacuated out of the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, which was being bombed virtually on a nightly foundation, principally with incendiary units.

For some unknown cause, she and lots of others have been evacuated to Luton, in Bedforshire, and stayed there for a lot of the warfare years. She will recall the air raid warnings going off many a time and having to run as quick as she might together with her pals to the closest designated air raid shelter.

On one event, she was enjoying alone when the sirens went off and as an alternative of operating to the shelter, she sat on a wall and appeared up on the sky to see what was occurring. She recollects seeing the large German bombers flying over and smaller British fighter planes in pursuit, participating in dog-fights. She stayed there watching till a passing policeman picked her up and took her to the closest shelter.

You’ll find the stays of the air raid shelters in Kenilworth on each side of the Abbey Area Park, midway alongside Forrest Street and Rosemary Hill. From the street, you possibly can see the bricked-in entrance and on the highest of the earth mounds you’ll find escape hatches.

In comparison with the primary cease on the gun emplacements there’s not lots to see, however with Kenilworth on that primary flight path to the heavy armour factories within the Midlands, they’re a reminder of what the occasions should have been like again then to seek out these shelters within the city centre.

Radford Semele pillbox

Radford Semele is simply to the east of Leamington Spa and the setting for 2 options constructed on the Warwickshire cease line of 1940, which included the now disused LMS railway bridge and the Grand Union Canal (GUC).

Pulling up within the automotive park on the Radford Backside Lock on the GUC, I knew the pillbox was inside 100 yards on the non-towpath aspect of the canal. I requested an area dogwalker if he knew the place the pillbox was and he replied, “I’ve lived here for 15 years and walked my dog every day and there’s not one here.”

So, I crossed the lock, scrambled alongside a path by way of the woods and there it was on the railway embankment. Apparently, it’s a kind 24 pillbox and it’s now within the typical situation that lots of these struggle artefacts might be discovered, coated in graffiti and left to decay.

Offchurch bombing decoy website

A few miles from Radford Semele and thru the village of Offchurch I parked up in a personal lane heading to Subject Farm. There’s a few half-mile stroll to the decoy website, which is roofed in vegetation, however it’s nonetheless attainable to squeeze in and think about the 2 inner rooms.

The constructing is what’s left of the management room, which might activate decoy distractions throughout an air raid, together with lighting managed fires to simulate city bomb websites and a lighting show just like the railway yards at Bagington, Coventry.

Anti-tank blocks

From the decoy website it’s just a few miles to the higher part of the inexperienced lane between Ufton and Hunningham Hill. The place the path passes over the disused railway bridge you will discover various tank traps haphazardly scattered on the northern aspect of the bridge. I’d handed these lumps of concrete so many occasions with out realising what they have been.

A phrase of warning, for those who’re driving an enormous journey bike with out knobblies this inexperienced lane may be very tough when moist, with deep puddles and ruts and it’s a correct mud fest. It was very entertaining on the V-Strom 250 with street tyres.

Rugby anti-tank defences

If the air raid batteries close to Kenilworth introduced a smile to my face then the 2 websites I visited in Rugby introduced me again right down to earth. The concrete cylinder anti-tank defences in Brownsover Lane, simply off the A246, have been present in amongst a pile of fly-tipped garbage.

Apparently there was plenty of these round tank traps piled up by the aspect of the lane, however current housing improvement has seen these cleaned out.

From Brownsover Lane I rode about 5 miles to Clifton-upon-Dunsmore to the location of a canal aspect Stent pillbox and as soon as once more progress was taking its toll. A Stent pillbox was the identify given to prefabricated models constructed by a Scottish firm Stent Precast Concrete Restricted.

The location of the pillbox is presently being excavated for a brand new housing improvement and the employees I talked to have been of the view that the constructing was to be demolished. They have been each stunned and saddened once I defined what it was and its place in our historical past.

Napton-on-the-Hill – Priors Hardwick

The experience right down to Napton-on-the-Hill from Rugby was in superb sunshine and I took in a inexperienced lane that began simply after Canine Lane Fishery (good café) and ends close to the village of Marston Doles. Be warned, it’s rutted and really muddy when moist.

Shifting on to Priors Hardwick, my plan was to experience the inexperienced lane from the village to its terminus at a bridge crossing the Oxford Canal, and the place I’d been informed a pillbox was sited, however was in peril of slipping into the water.

The inexperienced lane isn’t troublesome, however holds plenty of water and will get fairly muddy after heavy rain with a number of deep-water splashes and lots of gates to open and shut. Because it occurred, the pillbox should have been eliminated or slipped into the canal. Nevertheless, there are three hexagonal pillboxes in fairly good situation on the canal towpath when you stroll again in the direction of Napton. This part of the Oxford Canal was one other cease line in WW2.

All in all it was a implausible day trip discovering websites and artefacts that I’d handed on many events with out ever understanding they have been there or what they have been.

Warwickshire Discovery Route

If you wish to comply with the precise route, you’ll be able to obtain the GPX file by going to the ABR routes hyperlink, adopted by clicking on the thread titled ‘ABR issue 46 route files: The Warwickshire Discovery Route’.

The TomTom 450

Uncover extra unimaginable routes and points of interest within the UK with the brand new TomTom Rider 450 SatNav, which comes pre-loaded with sufficient unimaginable rides to maintain you busy for a lifetime, together with a lot of options which might be designed to assist you to get probably the most out of your subsequent journey. Winding Roads and Hilly Roads settings will take you on probably the most thrilling experience between two factors, whereas the all-new Routes and Stops features will assist you to get on the street with the world’s greatest curated routes pre-loaded onto the system. The TomTom Rider 450 retails at £349.99, whereas the TomTom Rider 450 Premium, which comes full with a choice of fixing mounts, retails at £429.99. Head to to seek out out extra. 


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