EAT AND DRINK
Hatton Locks Café, Canal Road, Hatton CV35 7JHL. 01926 409432 The Hatton Arms, Birmingham Road, Hatton CV35 7JJ. 01926 492427 JL Café, Warwick Parkway Station, Warwick CV35 7DY The Cape of Good Hope, Lower Cape. Warwick CV34 5DP. 01926 498138 The Moorings, Myton Road, Leamington Spa CV31 3NY. 01926 425043 There are plenty of other places to eat and drink in Warwick and Leamington Spa where the well-known Cape of Good Hope pub stands close to the upper lock. The canal continues through fairly industrial northern Warwick, with the historic town away to our right. You can turn right at Bridge 49 and follow the Coventry Road for half a mile if you fancy visiting the town centre, or to get to the station if you want to end your walk here.
The industrial surroundings continue, as the canal passes a boatbuilder’s and a boat hire firm on the right before we start to leave the town behind.
All the locks that we have passed served the purpose of lowering the canal into the Avon Valley, and we now cross the River Avon on a sizeable aqueduct just on the edge of Warwick. Like many aqueducts, it doesn’t look terribly impressive from above, but as we’re on foot, we can easily detour down the flight of steps alongside it to reach the riverside path and admire it from below.
Warwick and Leamington are two adjacent towns which more-or-less join up if you’re travelling by road, but on the canal, there’s room between them for just a little bit of country with fields of sheep on both sides. A second aqueduct takes us over the railway line, before we reach a length of canal which was rebuilt as part of a retail and housing development some years ago – including not one but two brand new canalside pubs.
A very green-looking tree-lined length does a reasonable job of disguising the fact that the industrial outskirts of Leamington Spa are just the other side of the towpath. An assortment of new and old buildings heralds the approach of the town centre, and our walk ends at Bridge 41. Turn left on to Tachbrook Road, then straight ahead to visit the town centre or first left for Leamington Spa Station and a train back to Hatton. Oh, and if you still want to know why Hatton Station is so far from Hatton; well, it seems to have been done to avoid siting it on Hatton Bank, the steep hill (by railway standards) which parallels the 21 locks.