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Parks and open spaces - Great Central Walk (runs from Newton Village to Onley Lane)

Record details

Location Map


-Historic Walk
-Nature Area
-Cycle Route

More information


Completed in 1899 and cutting straight through the middle of Rugby is the path of the Great Central Railway. 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. The town of 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.

Rugby is now served by only one railway, the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

The route is no longer a railway line but a nature reserve known as the Great Central Walk. Rugby Borough Council looks after 95 acres of it, which it acquired in 1970 for £5,500 (and another £5 in 1980). The 4.5 mile pathway can be used for walking or cycling and a great deal of wildlife can be seen in the diverse mix of habitats along the pathway. The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust does a lot of work to maintain this wildlife habitat and many different species of rare and endangered wildlife can be seen on the walk including 24 species of butterfly, such as marbled white and common blue, and birds ranging from kestrels and warblers in the breeding season to redwing and fieldfare in the winter.

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