Leg 6: Welford to Staverton

RV at SP541611 map sheets 140/152.
Walking from Welford church at SP641804 to the RV at Staverton church.
Distance about 17 miles (26km).
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This section takes you as much south as it does west, crossing many of the countries great transport arteries as you do so, the M1, the Grand Union canal and the railway as they run north through this busy section of middle England.

Leave the church at Welford heading southwest for about 400m then go left at the junction for another 200m before turning right onto the footpath which will take you diagonally across the field to another minor road running across your front. On the road turn left and in a short while it leads you back again to a corner and junction near the A50 (SP643794). Turn south and follow the minor road all the way to and under the A14 (SP642780).

Once under the A14 there is some sharp climbing as the road takes you up Honey Hill, very near the summit of which is a footpath that runs off south down past Honey Hill Farm (SP637764). Here there are some superb views right across as far as Winwick (SP626737).

As soon as you reach the first buildings in the hamlet of Winwick turn right and follow the road around then turn left as you loop back out on a road that peters out to a track towards Glebe Farm (SP634728). Two hundred metres short of the farm the footpath goes off almost due south, up over a bank and fence down into West Haddon. You come out on the A428 in the village. Turn right, and as the main road bears sharp right go straight on the B4036 towards Watford. Unfortunately there are several miles of road walking to take you there.

In Watford turn right at the junction with the B5385 and walk through the village. After about three hundred metres the road makes a hard left hand turn but you go straight on. The track is across the road by the pub but it peters out after several hundred metres. You need to be looking for the footpath sign that points diagonally across the fields (west) to the underpass of the M1 (SP595687).

Emerging from the underpass turn right and up to the gate to get out of the field and onto the towpath. Across from you is the lock keepers hut which has a tap and toilets for those in need. The route now takes you down the side of the locks. You need to cross over on the third one, and the footpath then leads off at an angle across a short but heavily overgrown area before you break out on the A5.

The footpath sign is across the road and takes you up and over the main railway line (SP590686).

Once across the line Ashby St.Ledgers is just a few kilometres to the west. You enter the village by the church on a junction. Keep going straight ahead (west). The Inn in the village is pleasant but does not take kindly to those with their own food!

On the western end of the village is the A361. Cross the road and pick up the footpath again as it runs southwest, crossing a minor road and then picking up a metalled track that runs straight and true into the heart of Braunston. Finally this will lead you onto a suburban road proper and a road junction. Turn left and immediately right to find your way down to the Marina.

There are two choices here - turn left and walk along the towpath for a pint at the pub, or cross straight over the canal and head uphill to the A45 at point 145 (SP546650). The footpath is again diagonally across the road and runs almost due south now. Past Braunston Covert across the top to point 109 (SP544630), before picking up a track that takes you onto your final RV for the day in Staverton.