20090508_Park Wood-Bluebells Walk With Dad

20090508_Park Wood-Bluebells Walk With Dad

When : 8th May 2009

Who : Me and my Dad

Where : Canley, Coventry, England

Maps : 1:25,000 OS. Explorer Map 221, Coventry & Warwickshire

Start + End Point : 278,773

Approx Distance : Couple of miles maybe, a bit of a wandering stroll really.

Heights : None, almost as flat as water

Parking : On side roads at far western end of Charter Avenue Road, (Residential streets, please park considerately, I think I parked in the cresent of Dalmeny Road/Park Wood Lane)

Public Transport : Coventry has an extensive network of buses, including the Canley area … or Tile Hill Train Station is not far away.

Summary : Quite simply a walk in the woods when the bluebells were in full bloom.

My mum had to have a short spell in hospital, so I took the day off work to spend the day with my Dad. We had a busy morning, where :

  • We replanted some small conifer trees in larger and heavier pots in their back-garden, so the wind wouldn’t blow them over.
  • Did a bit of shopping at Sainsbury’s.
  • I repaired part of their front wall, re-cementing a capping stone in place and doing a bit of pointing where the brick faces had been got-at by the winter frosts.
  • And once all that was done, I cooked several meals to be frozen so that all Mum needed to do when she came home was a bit of rice or pasta with one of the meals defrosted and reheated. I made 3 lots of bolognaise type sauces with some mince, a chicken supreme creamy thing and a chicken chasseur type of dinner.

After lunch (we ate one of the bolognaise sauces with some pasta), Dad decided he’d like me to see some bluebell woods he’d “discovered” with my Mum and a group of friends a week or so earlier. So that’s what we did …. Now might be a good time to tell you that my Dad suffered quite a bad “stroke” during an operation a few years ago, leaving him with Aphasia [severely affected speech] and he lost the use of his right hand and most mobility of his right arm. Still, with the help of a self help group called “Speakability Coventry Group” both he and my Mum have made a new set of friends. It was with some of their new friends that they’d discovered these woods on a short walk that they’d done a couple of weeks earlier.



Anyway, back to the day : Dad used to be a strong walker and we spent great times walking all over the country, including leading walks together for the Coventry CHA rambling club.


It was really great getting out with him again and although it was just a gentle wander, I’m sure our walk must have helped take his mind off worrying about Mum being in hospital (at least a little bit anyway).

There’s not much to say about the woods themselves: They’re basically rectangular, not quite a kilometer long and maybe only ½ km wide, bounded to the north by Charter Avenue and to the south by a thin strip of open ground and then Westward Heath Business Park. To the western end of the woods is a new housing development (Westward Heath was always considered quite posh and select when I was growing up in Coventry, and it’s now grown somewhat) …. And finally to the east there’s a faint path that crosses a rough field to join Ten Shilling Wood (I think that’s a great name for a wood, but I’ve no idea why it’s got that name). It looks as though a strip of trees has recently been planted that will eventually link the two woods together … Brilliant idea … I’m sure it’ll make a super wildlife corridor between these two established woods.

We started off by entering a small area of open landscaped grounds, near to the new housing development. The web link below gives more info’ on this recently created amenity. The most striking features were what looked like some odd looking sculpture “seats” … at least that’s what they seemed to be. However, they’re more art-form than practical seating and spaced out so that two people would have to almost shout at each other to have any chance of a conversation … very strange! [recently, I found the City Council web site that calls these objects “peek posts” and it turns out they’re not seats at-all …. Even knowing this they’re still strange.


Park wood itself is a classic deciduous wood, with lots of different tree types (sliver birch, oak, etc, etc,) winding paths, bracket fungi, open glades and masses of bluebells at this time of year (May). The weather threatened showers but on the whole it was kind to us (being mostly cloudy but with glimpses of brighter sunlight occasionally breaking through) as we basically made our way in a figure of eight taking in paths both around the perimeter and through the middle of the woods.


It was remarkable how quickly the noise of nearby roads became muted to an almost non-existent level, to be replaced by a tree top serenade (or should that be cacophony) of bird song …. Wonderful …. I don’t know about you, but bluebell woods seem to be one of those things that epitomise spring with the sights and scent of the short lived flowers and the bird song in full chorus … almost as evocative of spring as frolicking lambs, daffodils and the clocks going forwards into British Summer Time.

Upon exiting the woods, I resolved to get down to my local bluebell woods at Cawston, to the south of Rugby, as they were quite superb last year and it wouldn’t be long before they’d start “going-over” and past their best for another year.

That’s about it really, an enjoyable stroll and an easily accessible way to escape the normal hustle and bustle of life in a big city.

Just for your interest, some other local bluebell woods I know are :-

Crackley Woods,  Crackley Lane, near Kenilworth. http://www.lnr.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/lnr/lnr_details.asp?C=0&N=&ID=117

Ryton Pools Country Park, on A445 between Bubbenhall and Ryton-On-Dunsmore. http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/web/corporate/pages.nsf/Links/07D163D4AAF7750180256B7D004FB522

Badby Woods, Northamptonshire. http://www.badby.org.uk/index_files/Page2017.htm

I’m sure there must be others, but I’ll leave you to find them for yourselves.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….

Next walk = 20090510_Early Morning Cawston Circular Walk


5 thoughts on “20090508_Park Wood-Bluebells Walk With Dad

  1. Dear Gary,

    I happened to come across your website whilst looking up Crackley woods. The title interested me. I was brought up in Canley and lived there until I was 24 years of age. Leaving to go to Holland. As a child I used to walk in Crackley Woods with my parents and often with my Dad and later with my Dad, husband and our own two children whilst on holiday- having returned from Holland to visit my parents.The sight of Bluebells have always remained with me, that beautiful blue carpet in the Woods. I can often remember seeing children carrying bunches of bluebells and often discarded bunches of Bluebells, when children had had enough of carrying them would lie in the ditches. Ofcourse the woods were much larger then plans for Warwick University had only just began. It was often a sunday walk for us as a family walking through Burton Green via Crackley Woods to Kenilworth. I was sorry to read about your farther and thought it very nice that you took him on a gentle walk. The last time I visited Crackley Woods or at least what remained of them was in 2001 we took a bus from Coventry to Kenilworth that went via the University. It was for us unbelievable how spread out the University had become. No Bluebells to be seen but then again it was June. But they will always be special to me.

    I enjoyed reading your web-site very much.

    All best wishes to you! Marilyn Poot-Dodson

  2. Hi Marilyn,
    Thanks for your comments … it’s nice to hear from some-one who’s got something out of one of my blogs. Yes Warwick Uni’ has spread quite considerably over recent years especially with the Westward Business Park as well, but I think Crackley Woods are still pretty much in-tact …. Maybe the high speed rail link (HS2) planned will finally wreck them ??? I’ve found the following link that might be of interest to you …. http://crackleyhill.com/topic-250mph_rail_link.html …. I love the bluebells in our local woods, and even though I lived in Mount Nod just up the road for 30+ years I’d never been in Park Wood until last year … When I was young my family used to head out to Crackley to see the bluebells also … and I can remember blackberry picking around the Tile Hill Village/Burton Green area as well.
    Thanks again for taking the time to comment,
    Best regards, Gary.

  3. Dear Gary,

    Thank you for your reply. You refer to Park Wood, for me that is a new name-is that near to Crackley Woods? Westward Business Park is also new to me. You can see how long I have been away and time certainly doesn’t stand still! Thank you also for the link with information about the rail link (HS20. Which I will study.
    I’m afraid I am also new to Blogs. Using my computer mainly for e-mails, looking things up etc. I now see that you have a Blog with all the different walks you have made which I will also read.
    I used to live at Thimbler Rd; Canley and attended Sir Henry Parks school-a school that I see has been demolished! After primary school I attended Templars secondary modern school for girls. I looked up Templars… the other day, there was a piece about the history of the school and earlier which I found very interesting. As the name suggests that whole area had once belonged to the Knight Templars. This will be of particular interest to my son as he is doing a part time study of Medieval literature (next to his work) at Leiden university-Holland.

    We as a family always enjoyed walking mainly in S.Wales (whilst on holiday) where my mother still lives. My husband and I used to do parts of long distance walks eg. Offa’s Dyke Path, Serhowy Valley walk and the Brecon Beacons ofcourse. So I will read your walking experiences with interest. Well I’ve gone on a bit. So I will close only to say “keep on Walking”.

    Best wishes, Marilyn Poot-Dodson

  4. Hi Again Marilyn,
    As you say you are new to blogs, if you click on one of my photo’s it will (hopefully) link back to the photo hosting website I use (Flickr) and then have access to all my pictures without the blogs text.
    TTFN. Gary.

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