Trail to Spernal and the Heart of England Forest

Walking trail

This gentle walk starting from Coughton Court runs along the River Arrow, visits the former Church of St. Leonard's and gives you views of Studley Castle before skirting Spernal Park.

Coughton Court from the river


Map route for Coughton Court to Spernal and the Heart of England walk


Welcome Centre, Coughton Court, grid ref: SP083606


With the house behind you, cross over the bridge and continue straight across the car park. Once onto the grass, bear to the right along a well worn path. Follow the path towards a metal gate with a National Trust sign beside it. Go through the kissing gate and on to the Arden Way.

The sixteenth-century Gate Tower on the West Front at Coughton Court, Warwickshire


With the hedge on your left, walk along the edge of the field to the corner, turn right and after a few metres go through a metal gate on your left. Continue diagonally across the field to another metal gate.


Follow the path which soon runs close to the river. Where paths diverge, always bear right keeping the river on your right. Cross the river over a foot bridge. Walk ahead towards the former church of St Leonard’s, Spernal.

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St Leonard's Church, Spernall


From the church walk along the track to a road. Turn right along the road, looking out for a footpath on the left, and go through two kissing gates. Follow the enclosed path uphill along the edge of fields, and through plantations of new trees, with a view of Studley Castle on the left. Go downhill to reach a lane with St Giles Farm on the left.

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Heart of England forest plantation


Go straight across the lane through a gate and across the edge of a garden. Continue through a metal gate keeping the hedge row on your right. Cross a field towards a wooden gate which has a Footpath sign. Go through the gate, across a bridge, which at the time of writing is damaged but passable, and then follow the path on the right. Continue straight on with the hedge row to your right until you reach the road.


Go straight across the road and through a gate. Follow the footpath straight on, and across a foot bridge. After the footbridge, bear to the right, heading towards the woods at Spernal Park. Keep the woods on the left, following a clear path. Stay tight against the woods, including at what appears to be a footpath junction. Keep bearing to the left around the edge of the woods until you see a footpath sign on a post across the ‘path’. Go straight ahead along this footpath, and through a kissing gate into a field. Cross this field to another kissing gate and then follow a path over the brow of the field. After crossing another field boundary, head right on a path that will take you down some steps to another road.


At the road, turn left, and at the farm gate on the left, turn sharp right through a gate into a field and turn left to follow the field edge. As you enter the wood, bear left and then turn immediately right to emerge into a field again with newly planted trees. Keep the hedge on your right and walk along the field edge to a gate leading to an enclosed path and a track.


Turn right, following it downhill to a lane, and turn right along it. Follow the lane to a T junction. Turn right along the road, looking out for a footpath on the left, almost opposite.


This footpath is the Arden Way: follow it all the way back to Coughton Fields Lane. Turn right along the lane, taking the foot bridge over the river at the ford. Turn right along the drive back to Coughton Court, passing first the Roman Catholic Church and then the Church of England Church.

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Scones with jam and cream served at a National Trust café


Coughton Court, grid ref: SP083606

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Trail to Spernal and the Heart of England Forest


Uneven sections and kissing gates. Field paths may be marshy following wet weather. Livestock (and their droppings) are present, along with some water hazards (ponds and ditches). It is essential that dogs are kept on leads on public footpaths; dogs are not permitted within the property.

Trail to Spernal and the Heart of England Forest

Contact us

Trail to Spernal and the Heart of England Forest

How to get here

Coughton Court, Alcester, B49 5JA
By train

Redditch 6 miles

By road

2 miles north of Alcester on A435

By foot

Arden Way passes the end of the drive

By bus

From Redditch or Stratford-upon-Avon

By bicycle

NCN5 ½ mile

Trail to Spernal and the Heart of England Forest

Facilities and access

  • WCs, baby changing facilities, restaurant and shop at Coughton Court
  • Dogs welcome, on leads, in car park and on public footpaths. Sorry not in gardens or house