The GangDrivingMotoring the Conspirator's Route
  Midi Music John Dowland,1562-1626, "Now I Needs Must Part," 7k


In Pursuit of the Conspirator's Trail via Motor Car in 1996

Word is just in from our English office that two of the Fawkesians, Larry and Lois Murphy, have launched in the wilds of the Midlands, deep within the English countryside, a journey to locate the remnants of the landmarks of the route through which the brave band trekked after fleeing London. 
We shall closely follow every dispatch from our brave explorers as it comes in. They promise to post pictures when they arrive from the processors. Mileage is listed between points with parenthesis around total mileage. For example, 4 miles (50 miles) means 4 miles since the last point and 50 miles on the odometer. 
Before you ask, the entire trip takes 130.9 miles
This is the story thus far: 


We began in Dunstable. This is a market town. We started at the Charter Market next to the public car parking. The Charter Market has been in operation since 1131. You could eat at the Priory Pub or the Mulberry Bush for all day family dining. 
We drove down to A5 towards Milton Keynes. We passed through Chalk Hill with a petrol station and a pub at 1.7 miles (1.7 miles). After 0.3 miles (2.0 miles) at the roundabout, continue on the A5 towards Milton Keynes through the lovely countryside. You will pass a Little Chef with a Travlelodge after 1.4 miles (3.4 miles). For even cheaper food, continue on for 0.4 miles (3.8 miles) to the McDonalds. This is directly before the village of Hockliffe, a large village with the Red Lion Pub. Woburn Abbey would be a diversion from here. 
Continuing on into the countryside, you will reach another petrol station after 3.3 miles (7.1 miles). After 0.7 miles (7.8 miles), you run into the Fox and Hounds free house. You enter Buckinghamshire after 0.4 miles (8.2 miles) and you'll need to watch out for deer after 0.7 miles (8.9 miles)! 
You'll note a lovely view of Milton Keynes after another 1.1 miles (10 miles) as you descend the hill. In another mile (11 miles), you run into a Little Chef and petrol station. At the roundabout, continue on the A5 towards Milton Keynes. This turns into a dual carriageway after 0.6 miles (11.6 miles). Upon seeing the Milton Keynes signs, you could take a diversion to Bletchley Park, the first home of GCHQ's ancestor. There is also a lake after 0.4 miles (12 miles) on the right. After another 1.2 miles (13.2 miles) you could divert to the Tourist Information Center. 
Leaving Milton Keynes, you'll be welcomed into Northamptonshire after 6.9 miles (20.1 miles). After another 0.5 miles (20.6 miles), continue at the roundabout on the A5 towards Hinckley. There is a Little Chef at the roundabout. This now turns into a single carriageway and you continue out into the countryside. 
After another 2.0 miles (22.6 miles), you'll enter Potterspury with its antique shops in stone buildings. It also has the Famous Hungry Horse after 0.3 miles (22.9 miles). If you get adventurous, try the Super Sausage Cafeteria, a lorry stop, after 0.3 miles (23.2 miles). Then you will continue out into the countryside with picturesque farms. 
After another 1.6 miles (24.8 miles), you'll run into another antique shop, followed directly by two petrol station after 0.1 miles (24.9 miles). Continuing on, after 0.4 miles (25.3 miles) you could stay at the Plum Park hotel. After another mile (26.3 miles), you could divert to the Canal Museum, which is well signposted in Stoke Breurny. Continue on, you could go to the Towcester Races after 0.7 miles (27 miles.) If you get thirsty, stop at the Charles Wells Pub after 0.1 miles (27.1 miles). 
After 0.2 miles (27.3 miles), you come upon the lovely town of Towcester. This is a Roman town with antique shops. This would be a good place for a nice place to park and take a walk to stretch you legs and walk the riverwalk. We took three pictures here. 
You could fill up with petrol after 0.2 miles (27.5 miles) and fill your stomach after another 0.1 miles (27.6 miles) at the White Bear. Next door (27.6 miles) is the Waiting Well Inn. Stop in another 0.1 mile (27.8 miles) are Public convienences. 
After 0.8 miles (28.4 miles), you'll into a petrol station and a roundabout. Continue straight through towards Hinckley. Another 0.5 miles (28.9 miles) you'll come across a cafe, a petrol station, and more convieninces. The cafe has a limited menu. 
Fosters Booth is another 2.9 miles (31.8 miles). This town has Pegotty's Rest and the Red Lion Pub. 1.3 miles (33.1 miles) you'll see the signpost for Cannon's Abbey, which is 6 miles off the path. After 0.9 miles, you could stop at the Old Dairy Farm Craft Center. If you get tired, stop at the Narrow Boat Rest in 1.2 miles (35.2 miles). Need petrol? Stop at the petrol station in 0.3 miles (35.5 miles). 
Weedon, a small town, is another 0.4 miles (35.9 miles) down the road. At the light after 0.2 miles (36.1 miles), turn left to Daventry on the A45. Note the Globe hotel and antique shops on the left hand side. Another 0.1 miles (36.2 miles) you could stay at the Heart of England hotel, a Tudor building. Back out into the countryside. 
If your tank mysteriously became empty in the last mile, there is a petrol station after 1.4 miles (37.6 miles). A beautiful stone farmhouse is on the right hand side after 0.8 miles (38.4 miles). The town of Daventry is 0.9 miles (39.3 miles), followed by a Happy Eater in another 0.1 miles (39.4 miles). At the roundabout, take the right turn towards the M1 North. After 0.2 miles (39.6 miles), continue on at the roundabout towards M1 North. As the is land of roundabouts, after another 0.9 miles (40.5 miles) you continue straight through the roundabout towards the M1 North. Again in 0.8 miles (41.3 miles) continue straight through the roundabout towards the M1 North. At 0.3 miles (41.6 miles) continue straight through the roundabout towards Ashby St. Ledgers. In 2.3 miles (43.9 miles), we turn right at the sign to Ashby St. Ledgers. 

Ashby St. Ledgers

At Ashby St. Ledgers, park at the car park at the Olde Coachhouse Inn at 0.2 miles (44.1 miles) and toss a pint back. A lovely timber framed pub and restraunt, the food is highly recommended. At 5 to 8 pounds for a lunch, the prices are good. Drive towards the end of village past the thatch roofed cottage and stone buildings towards the church at 0.3 miles (44.4 miles). The St. Leodegarius church has been around since at least 1186, and the present building has been there since the early 14th century. In the village, you'll see the room where Catesby and Fawkes met. It is currently under construction, but it still stands. We took one picture of the pub, a picture of the cottages, one picture of the church, and three pictures of the Plotting Room. 
Leaving Ashby St. Ledgers back through the way we came, turn right on the A361 towards Daventry after 0.5 miles (44.9 miles). On the right after 1.2 miles, turn right towards Braunston. After 1.3 miles (46.2 miles), you enter Braunston, a quaint small town with its old buildings. Turn right at the T intersection after another 1.1 miles (47.3 miles) towards Coventry on the A45. At the intersection you'll see the Old Plough pub. You'll also see the Mill House, a fine looking restaurant. After 0.8 miles (48.1 miles), you enter Warwickshire, Shakespeare's county. After another 0.2 miles (48.3 miles), you enter Willoughby, with its two petrol stations after 0.1 miles (48.4 miles). A roundabout greets you after 3.1 miles (51.5 miles), at which you need to go straight on the B4429 towards Dunchurch. Traveling 0.2 miles (51.7 miles), you reach our second destination, Dunchurch. 


At Dunchurch, park at the car park on the left. This little market town with its thatched roof cottages has the Guy Fawkes House on the right as you enter the town. A small plaque commemorates house. We took three pictures, two of the house and one of the plaque. Stop and eat at the Prosperous Pig or the other pubs and restraunts in the town. Or shop for antiques and stretch your legs. 
Continuing on the B4429, you'll find a petrol station after 0.4 miles (52.1 miles) and another after 0.9 miles (53.0 miles). Be prepared after the roundabout at 0.5 miles (53.5 miles) to make a left turn onto the service road towards Princethorpe on the B4453 in front of the Little Chef at 0.3 miles (53.8 miles). Once you take the turn, continue on the B4453 towards Princethorpe. This will take you through a windy road until you reach the little hamlet of Princethrorpe after 3.2 miles (57.0 miles). 
After another 0.2 miles (57.2 miles), make a right turn onto the A423 to Coventry. Almost immediately { after 0.1 miles (57.3 miles) }, take a left turn towards Leamington onto Leamington Road. After 0.5 miles (57.8 miles), you'll see the Princethorpe College on the right side, an impressive brick structure with a tower. Hungry? Stop at the Woodhouse restraunt and hotel after 0.6 miles (58.4 miles). Meander along for another 1.5 miles (59.9 miles) until you reach an intersection. Continue on towards Leamington. You'll run through Weston and the Bull Inn. Continue on to Leamington when the road vears right. 
After 1.9 miles (61.8 miles), you reach Cubbington. Two petrol stations greet you after 0.1 miles (61.9 miles). Cubbington is a large village with a beautiful church. Cubbington has Chinese food, fish and chips, and pubs. After 0.6 miles (62.5 miles), you'll enter Leamington Spa. Petrol can be bought again after 0.7 miles (63.2 miles), which neighbors the Walnut Tree pub. Journeying another 0.4 miles (63.6 miles), you reach a roundabout, which you must turn left onto the A445 towards Warwick. Almost immediately { 0.1 miles (63.7 miles) } you reach another roundabout which you must turn right at towards Warwick. This is the A442 or A445, depending on which sign they put up. After another 0.5 miles (64.2 miles), countinue straight through the roundabout towards Warwick. Many pubs and guest houses can be found on this road. After 0.2 miles (64.4 miles), you'll see St. Marks Church. After 0.7 miles (65.1 miles), follow A445 towards Warwick, which is a right. You enter Warwick after another 0.1 miles (65.2 miles). You'll need to bear left after another mile (66.2 miles). Follow the signs to Warwick Castle, which tell you take a right at the roundabout after 0.2 miles (66.4 miles). Almost immediately follow the sign to the car park onto Castle Lane. This will cost 1.60 quid to park at our next destination, Warwick Castle. 

Warwick Castle

At Warwick castle, you'll see one of the best preserved castles in England. It is very touristy and don't go on a bank holiday. They have sections about each of the periods in there history, from the Normal Conquest to the present day. They also have a mulitmedia experience, which is very Disney-esk. It is, however, very expensive to get in to the castle. 


We wanted to go to Norbrook after Warwick, but we couldn't find it. We found Snitterfield, which is the closest village. More when we actually do find it. For now, we head onto Clopton. 
Continue on Castle Lane, which end at a T junction after 0.3 miles (66.7 miles). Turn left towards Stratford on the A429. Two petrol stations are found after 0.4 miles (67.1 miles). At the roundabout in another 1.2 miles (68.3 miles), take the A46 towards Statford. There's a parking spot after 0.9 miles (69.2 miles) and the Hillcrest Hotel after 0.7 miles (69.9 miles). After 0.7 miles (70.6 miles), you need to take the A439 towards the Stratford town center at the roundabout, a left. 
At 0.7 miles (71.3 miles), there is a information and parking spot on your left. It has a good quality map. After 2.1 miles (73.5 miles), you'll come across the Oxtail Farm B&B. You'll then pass Avon Caravan park after 0.1 miles (73.6 miles), and come upon the Welcombe Hotel and Golf Course. 


This may be the Clopton Hall, but I am not sure. A side detour to Clopton itself yeilded no old manor house. But I will continue to search.
Passing the golf course, you hit parking for Stafford at 0.4 miles (74.0 miles) and 0.6 miles (74.6 miles.) As Shakespeare was an Elizabethan-Jacobean figure, a stop in Strafford is certainly worth the diversion. 
At the split in the road after 0.2 miles (74.8 miles), take a right and a left onto the A9300 towards Birmingham. After 0.2 miles (75.0 miles), you'll continue straight at the roundabout on the A9300. Continue through the next roundabout at 0.5 miles (75.5 miles) and take the left at the roundabout at 0.8 miles (76.3 miles) onto the A46 towards Evesham. After 1.3 miles (77.9 miles), take a right at the roundabout towards Evesham. You'll pass the Stag at the Redhill Hotel after 2.2 miles (80.1 miles). At the next roundabout at 3.3 miles (83.4 miles), take the right on the A435 towards Birmingham. You'll see a Little Chef at the next roundabout after 0.6 miles (84.0 miles) and continue straight on the A435 towards Coughton Court. After 0.9 miles (84.9 miles), follow the sign at the roundabout towards Coughton Court, which will be a left. You'll run across the Moat House Inn after 0.4 miles (85.3 miles) and the Kings Court Hotel and Restraunt after 0.2 miles (85.5 miles). Parking is another 0.2 miles (85.7 miles) down the road and the Cougton sign is 0.3 miles (85.8 miles) from it. The entrance on the right hand side to Coughton Court is 0.3 miles (86.1 miles) down the road. 

Coughton Court

Coughton Court is now a National Trust property, even though the Thockmortons still live in it. It has a fascinating Gunpowder Plot exhibit and priest hides. This is one of the highlights of the tour. We took four pictures here. 
Continuing on our journey, leave Coughton Court and take a left at the end of the driveway back towards the way you came in. This is about 0.2 miles (86.9 miles) from when you turned into the entrance at Coughton Hall. Continue towards the roundabout at 0.8 miles (87.7 miles) and go left at the roundabout towards Alcester on the A435. After 0.6 miles (88.3 miles), go through the roundabout towards Evesham. After 1.1 miles (89.4 miles), take the right at the roundabout towards Worcester and Ragley Hall. After 0.2 miles (89.6 miles), you'll pass through Arrow Town, with its quaint Tudor houses. You'll need to take the right after 0.1 miles (89.7 miles) on the A422 towards Worcester, unless you want to take a diversion to Ragely Hall. We've never been there.
After 1.8 miles (91.5 miles), turn left onto the A422 and an immediate right. After 1.0 miles (92.5 miles), you'll pass a petrol station on the left hand side. After 1.7 miles (94.2 miles), you pass through Inkbarrow, which we didn't find interesting. After 0.5 miles (94.7 miles), you'll see the Bullshead Inn and a few Tutor houses. Petrol can be had in 0.3 miles (95.0 miles). You could eat at the Red Heart Inn after 2.4 miles (97.4 miles) and get even more petrol after 0.4 miles (98.1 miles). Hungry again? Eat at the Flyford Arms Pub, a B&B, after 0.2 miles (98.3 miles). Petrol again after 0.3 miles (98.6 miles). After 0.7 miles (99.3 miles), turn right at the signpost towards Huddington. After 0.9 miles (100.2 miles), turn left onto the B road towards Huddington. The mill farm on the left side at 1.3 miles (101.5 miles) is quaint, and is 0.1 miles from Huddington Court, which is on the left hand side. 


Huddington is a private home with a working farm. There is a pathway to the church there, which is public. The church is lovely and has many monuments to the Wintour family.
Continue down the road and after 0.4 miles (101.9 miles) take a right towards Himbleton. The signpost is hard to see on the righthand side. After 0.3 miles (102.2 miles), you pass through the metropolis of Himbleton, which has a few modern houses and a farm. After 3.2 miles (105.4 miles), take the right onto the B4090 towards Alcester. After 0.3 miles (105.7 miles), you'll pass the sign for Hanbury Hall. Too modern to have any connection to the Plot, it is an interesting diversion. After 1.5 miles (107.2 miles), you reach Hanbury itself. Turn left on the B4091 towards Bromsgrove. After 1.0 miles (108.2 miles), you reach the Country Girl pub. After 0.5 miles (108.7 miles), you reach the village of Stoke Prior, which is industrial with modern towns. You'll run across the Navigation Inn after 0.6 miles (109.3 miles), and the Ewe and Lamb after 0.8 miles (110.1 miles). After 0.2 miles (110.3 miles), take the right on the A38 towards Bromsgrove. 
After 0.7 miles (110.8 miles), you continue through the roundabout. After 0.3 miles (111.1 miles), turn right at the light, towards Aston Fields. At the intersection at 0.5 miles (111.6 miles), take the right. You'll pass the Cross Inn at 1.5 miles, where you must take a right at T. After 1.6 miles (113.2 miles), you come upon the Tarderridge. You make a left towards Burcot on Hewell Road. In 0.2 miles (113.4 miles), you need to take the right towards HMP Hewell Grange. It is not well signposted. After 0.1 miles, take another right into the prison, through the roundabout and through the gate. You'll need to come during visiting hours. 

Hewell Grange

Hewell Grange is now H.M.P. (Her Majesties Prison) Hewell Grange. The manor house, which we took three pictures of, is a majestic house. 
Leaving the prison, take the left back to the Hewell Road. This will take about 0.6 miles (114.0 miles) total from coming into the prison gate. After 0.7 miles (114.7 miles), you come upon Boradgreen, a tiny village. After 1.2 miles (115.9 miles), you come into Burcot. After 0.5 miles (116.4 miles), you come to a roundabout. Take the A38 towards Birmingham, which is straight. After 0.4 miles (116.8 miles), you could stop for that petrol you've been putting off getting. After 0.3 miles (117.1 miles), you could eat at the Malbrook Restraunt. After 0.1 miles (117.2 miles), there is yet another petrol station. After 0.8 miles (118.0 miles), you come to an roundabout, which you continue straight through on the A491 towards Strourbridge. Continue on the A491 until you reach the next roundabout after 1.7 miles (119.7 miles). After 0.4 miles (120.1 miles) you reach the Little Chef and a petrol station. You need to get into the turn lane on the right hand side. You are going to The Bell. Go into The Bell parking lot. 

The Bell Inn

The Bell is the Bell Inn of old. It is no longer an inn and has been taken over by the Toby chain. One part of the Bell is a typical English pub, with the bar, game machines, a television, hunting prints on the wall, and two fireplaces. It also has the timber roof beams of pubs of the period. The other part of the Bell is a hunting lodge type pub and restaurant. This part has antiques placed on its shelves. The food is excellent and not overly expensive. They also have outdoor seating and a jumpy castle for the kids. This place is highly recommended for a meal and a pint. We took 4 pictures at the Bell: one of the lounge; one of the sign saying, Bell Inn, circa 1600; and two of the outside of the Bell, one without Lois and one with.  Leaving The Bell, you continue on the A491 towards Stourbridge for 2.0 miles ( 122.1 miles), take the left towards Clent. This is Bromsgrove Road. You go through the very lovely village of Clent and come upon a roundabout after 1.0 miles (123.1 miles), you come upon a roundabout. Take the right towards Stourbridge. After 1.0 miles (124.1 miles), you meet up with the A491 again and take the left. You'll come upon a roundabout after 0.1 miles (124.2 miles), you take the left towards Hagley Hall, with its brown signpost. After 0.2 miles (124.4 miles), take the left and an immediate right towards Hagley Hall. At the split in the road after 0.2 miles (124.6 miles), take the right towards Hagely Hall. After 0.2 miles (124.8 miles), you come to Hagley Hall. 

Hagley Hall

Hagley Hall. is another large, impressive structure, but you cannot get into Hall until 2pm (through 5pm). We took two pictures of the Hall. We also took a picture of the St Pauls Parish church that is located with Hagley Hall. It has many tombstones of the Littleton family, but the ones from the period are too faint to see. 
Following the signs back to the A491, which is 0.6 miles (125.4 miles) from Hagely Hall. At the roundabout, take a right which is the way you came in. After 0.5 miles (125.9 miles), you take the left at the traffic light to stay on the A491 towards Stourbridge. After 0.9 miles (126.8 miles), you hit another roundabout. You will be continuing on the A491 for the rest of the journey, so follow all signs that say A491. After 0.6 miles (127.4 miles), you reach the Crown Inn. Old Swinford Lodge Restraunt is 0.1 miles (127.5 miles) down the road. 2 petrol stations are 0.1 miles down the road (127.6 miles). After 1.2 miles (128.8 miles), you come upon a split in the road. Continue on the left on the A491. The Royal Oak is 0.1 miles (128.9 miles) and 2 petrol stations are 0.1 miles (129.0 miles) farther. The Seven Springs restraunt is 0.2 miles (129.2 miles) from here. The Little Pie is 0.1 miles (129.3 miles) from it.
My wife wanted to stop at the Crystal Glass Center after 0.2 miles (129.5 miles), but we resisted the tempation. However, the Stuart Crystal Center with its cone furnace should not be missed after 0.3 miles (129.8 miles). The Rose and Crown Pub is 0.1 miles (129.9 miles) from this and the Old Cat is 0.1 miles (130.0 miles) from that. Tired of pubs? Here are two more: the New Inn after 0.1 miles (130.1 miles) and the Queen's Head after 0.1 miles (130.2 miles). 
Again on the A491, you will come upon Kingwinford. This lovely town has a glass works and glass museum. It also has plenty of pubs and restraunts, including a Balti place (who would have thought?) Continue on the A491 toward Himley Hall the light after 0.5 miles (130.7 miles). After 0.3 miles (131.0 miles) you pass 2 petrol stations and you'll go under a bridge after 0.1 miles (130.8 miles). You'll see the sign for Holbeache Nursing home after 0.8 miles (131.6 miles) and the entrance is 0.1 miles (130.9 miles) on the right. 


The Holbeche house is now a nursing home. This looks exactly like the etchings. We took 2 pictures. 

Going home

We took a diversion to Hanley Hall and took two pictures. It is well signposted. 
Hope you enjoyed the trip! 
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