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Hellidon-Badby Saltway


We were walking the salt road from Stratford to Priors Marston & Northampton.  It's memorable not because of its beauty but its isolation.  G B Grundy wrote in 19351:

"From here [Wellesbourne] it runs for 12 miles almost due east without passing through a village or even a hamlet, and for many miles there is not even a house on it.  It is one of the loneliest stretches of road south of the Trent."

How often have you walked a stretch of old road and thought, “This isn’t much good”, then turned a corner and found treasure?  It’s happened to us so many times that I’ve lost count. 

Last time was outside Hellidon, a Northants village inside SP 5158 on OS 206.    At Priors Marston the track goes eastwards up Marston Hill (497577), then gets tangled up with tarted-up paths and a Golf Course.  Nice dog-walk but not historically interesting2


So on to the next hopeful part, which starts at 526582 outside Hellidon.  Again, a great disappointment until 537583 at the foot of Arbury Hill.  We could hardly believe what opened up in front of us then (#1,2).


On to the hilltop and through a gate and from there the old salt route is marked by a high, steep causeway that runs along the edge of the field, lined with ancient hawthorns (#3,4,5).  Marvellous.  And a causeway is a sure-fire sign of a very old road.  Not an enclosure road but something much older…


After the causeway, the path goes down to meet the Badby-Catesby road at 548588.  We would recommend starting at that point and doing our walk in reverse.


(The salt route is tarmacked from that point to Northampton.)

1 The Ancient Tracks of Worcestershire and the Middle Severn Basin, posted to me by David Ella, to whom many thanks.

The previous sections of the saltway via Hunscote Lane & Knightcote Bottom, are dealt with under the Warwicks tab.