Inside Rugby blog

Rugby's beautiful countryside

There’s much beauty around Rugby when it comes to the great outdoors. Open, green spaces, woodland, canals and nature reserves, the town and borough are blessed with opportunities to walk, run, cycle or just experience the English countryside.

Newbold Quarry Park

Newbold Quarry is a former cement quarry, which was flooded many years ago to become a haven for walkers and nature lovers, just outside the town. The Quarry Park attracts many water birds and supports rare native crayfish and other aquatic creatures.There are various paths around this reserve. Some paths are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Additionally, the site has seen the design and construction of a fishing pier to allow physically disabled people to reach the water's edge.

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Great Central Walk

Completed in 1899 and cutting straight through the middle of Rugby is the path of the popular Great Central Railway walk over a route of approximately 5 miles and a great circular walk.

The route of this old railway line runs from Newton Picnic Site to the Oxford Canal just to the side of Brownsover, where it stops. Rugby has been built over parts of the old line, but the route starts again from Hunter Street. The path continues on to Onley Lane, and although the railway line was in use for only 70 years, the old railway bridges remain an icon of Rugby's contribution to the industrial revolution. Ramped access onto the track can now be found at these old bridges, whilst the remains of the old station on Hillmorton Road can still be seen today.

Cock Robin Wood

Located just a short drive or bus journey from Rugby town centre, Cock Robin Wood provides a haven of tranquillity.  The park was created in 1989 and has developed into a valuable habitat for a diverse range of plant and animal life. Trees and shrubs provide nesting cover for a large variety of birds, and the well-established wildlife pond has become home to many insect species. The sculptures you will see as you wander through this beautiful woodland are all inspired by the natural wildlife found within its boundaries. All are carved from English oak that has been extracted from managed woodlands.

Swift Valley Nature Reserve

The beautiful Swift Valley Nature Reserve was opened to the public in late August 2003 by Sir David Bellamy and contains a large wetland area made by diverting the adjacent river.  The reserve includes lowland neutral grassland, hedgerows, woodland and wetland adjacent to River Swift and a disused canal. A large bird population exists, especially around the pools. Hard surfaced paths, informal grass paths, extensive areas of new planting, a canal towpath, cycle routes, a bridleway. Gates are wheelchair and mobility scooter accessible.

The Country Park also provides a 'dog exercise area' where dogs are allowed to exercise off their leads.

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Hillmorton Locks

Sitting on the Oxford Canal, Hillmorton Locks is officially the busiest flight of locks in the country. A canal boat paradise, the canal also naturally provides a great walking or cycling route. For long treks along the network, the Coventry Canal lies just under 12.5 miles to the north and the Grand Union Canal can be reached via Braunston to the south in little over 6 miles. The Hillmorton Canal circular route is popular with walkers, offering 4.95 miles of largely flat ground along the canalside, country paths and into Hillmorton.

Draycote Water Country Park

Draycote Water offers water sports, fishing, wetlands, nature trails and bird hides. The Country Park covers 21 acres on the southern side of Draycote Water. Try a wide range of water sports including boarding, canoeing and sailing, or simply walk the five-mile pavement surrounding the reservoir.  Dogs are not permitted on the reservoir but can be walked around the wider country park.


For a full list of attractions, parks, gardens and sites of interest visit our Directory of Attractions.