This is a lovely, varied route, taking in the countryside and villages around Southam in Warwickshire. For the most part it’s well marked, although there was a distinct lack of waymarkers through the villages and in Southam itself. Or maybe I just didn’t notice them! I also got a bit confused around the HS2 construction works and path diversions near Ladbroke, but managed to get myself back on track after an unintended detour!
I started and finished at the start of the Southam Holy Well Walk, by Wood Street car park. There are a few short sections of the route on roads, mainly through the villages, but the majority is field footpaths, a short stretch on the Grand Union Canal, and a slightly longer stretch on the Oxford Canal. As we’ve had such a wet winter a lot of the route was very muddy – up to my ankles in deep, slimy mud in places, or sticky mud making my shoes feel like lead weights! But there were also plenty of signs of spring – lambs in the fields, oilseed rape beginning to turn yellow, bluebells in Ufton Wood and skylarks singing overhead.
Although I was running solo, it was a supported run as my coach / friend drove round in the car and kept popping up in the villages to check I was OK. This also meant I could replenish my drink bottles halfway round too, which was useful.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable run, but I think there’s definitely some time to come off on another attempt, with better ground conditions and now I’m familiar with the route.
Congrats. I'm glad it has a proper time now.