Plus 10 more toddler walks near Rugby, Warwickshire

Taking regular toddler walks is a great way to share some quality time as a family together.

As a parent, it will give you some much needed time out of the house if you’ve been stuck in all day. For little ones, a toddler walk could just be the key to helping them to burn off some of that excess energy that they seem to have oodles of.

Before lockdown, we’ve always been fans of the great outdoors. From buggy runs in the rain, to puddle jumping on the school run, or just heading out on a muddy adventure, the weather never really puts us off.

After all, it makes the obligatory hot chocolates to warm up taste even better.

The key is planning though.

8 toddler walks in Rugby

Tips for taking toddlers for a walk

Unlike adults, toddlers can’t plan for themselves. Their brains also haven’t developed enough yet to be able to cope when they encounter the unexpected.

I’m talking slips or falls, needing the toilet, extreme weather, or when hunger strikes. So as parents, grandparents or carers, that’s our job.

Before you step out on a walk with your toddler, don’t forget to pack:

  • A change of clothes
  • All-in-one waterproof suits, coats or layers
  • Suitable footwear (wellies, trainers, jelly shoes etc.)
  • Wipes and antibacterial hand gel if touching gates etc.
  • SNACKS and drinks!
  • Your first aid kit in case you need plasters or sterile wipes
  • Sun hats and SPF sun lotion if it’s sunny
  • Umbrellas, although often more effort than benefit
  • Reins if going near to water or the road
  • A nappy mat and supplies in case of al fresco changes
  • Wheels – stroller, scooter, balance bikes, buggy boards as applicable
  • Your camera or phone
  • Outdoor blanket and picnic if making a day of it
  • A plastic bag – for muddy clothes or shoes, or to take rubbish home in
  • A pen and paper to write down what you spot
  • Any bug equipment your little ones might have – magnifying glass etc.

So not much then, really?! Sometimes it does feel as though

Now that you’re all sorted though, it is time to head out on your adventure!

Here are some awesome places if you’re looking for places to go for a toddler walk in Rugby.

Cock Robin Wood

Explore this little woodland with a large pool, filled with tadpoles in springtime. Some paths can get muddy, especially after heavy rain so bring your wellies if you have them. 

There is a free but small car park. No facilities available. Not really recommended for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Dunchurch Rd, Rugby CV22 6HU.

Newton Nature Reserve

With a little picnic site at the top of the reserve, this nature reserve is known as the Five Arches Wildlife Site, and is at the end of the Great Central Railway.

It’s a small site with a few steps, ponds, little wooden bridges, loads of nature, and someone has even made a tyre swing if you trust it! There are some narrow sections though, so may not be suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Park at the free car park and follow the slope downwards, taking a right just under the bridge. No toilets available.

Great Central Walk Car Park,  Newton Road, Newton. Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 0EA.

Oxford Canal Walk

This is such a peaceful place, and just brimming with loads of things to look at for little ones. Wildlife comes in the form of ducks, bugs and birds. For boat lovers, barges pass by and generally like being wave to. There are also interesting black and white bridges to walk over and under, and lots of countryside to take in too.

This canal takes you all the way from Oxford to the three spires of Coventry. It boarders Rugby to the east before turning west and moving past Hillmorton and through Brownsover on it’s way to Coventry.

For little ones, apart from a few steps here and there, it’s mostly flat. There are loads of places to join or leave the towpath too, so you can tailor your walk to suit.

Draycote Water

This has to be one of our favourite places to go. If you love water, wildlife, boat spotting and either cycling, walking or running, it’s definitely one to check out.

It’s an operational reservoir and country park that is about 5 miles all the way around. It’s a tarmac surface and apart from a few hills, is pretty flat so great for all types of wheels. Normally there is a great playground, restaurant and toilets too, but due to social distancing restrictions, you’ll need to check that these are all open.

Car parking is £3 for 2 hours, or £4 all day. We recommend taking up the all day option as the time just disappears! Dogs aren’t allowed around the reservoir but can be taken in the country park.

Kites Hardwick, Dunchurch, Nr Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 8AB.

Blue Bell Walk

Hidden between two main roads in south Rugby, is a hidden gem of Blue Bell Walk. As the name suggests, you’ll find blue bells in spring, but also open grassland, scrub areas, mature trees, a little river, wetlands and a willow copse. It is also next to two allotment sites, Whinfield Cemetery, and is close to both the Oxford Canal and the Great Central Way.

There are options to do just the walk through the woods, or do a full loop via the canal. It therefore varies from 1.6 miles for the walk, or 2.5 miles taking in the canal. There are no stiles on the walk, but there are kissing gates and steps down to and up from the canal section of the walk, so it may not be suitable for pushchair or wheelchair users.

There is also a little brook that kids can paddle in, so bring wellies or jelly shoes.

Start the walk at Whinfield Cemetery via the pedestrian gate. There is a free car park but no toilets available.

Butlin Road, Rugby, CV21 3SB.

Swift Valley Nature Reserve

This place is a such a lovely find. Nestled between woodland and wetland, adjacent to the River Swift, it’s the perfect adventure for little legs.

The nature reserve offers an abundance of nature, wildlife and pathways for kids to explore with lots of open space to run around. In particular, you can walk along the disused canal to see swans and ducks.

With a free car park, picnic tables dotted around, and dogs allowed, you can easily enjoy a few hours here.

Brownsover Rd, Rugby CV21 1HU.

Great Central Walk

The route of this old railway line runs from the nature reserve at the Newton Picnic Site right down to Onley Lane. It’s quite a long 4.5 mile pathway if you do the whole thing that is suitable for walking or cycling. It has a great deal of wildlife along the pathway, with streams and other things to look at. Don’t worry though – there are opportunities to join or leave the walk at various bridges such as Aslawn Road, Clifton Road or behind the leisure centre.

At Brownsover, the route meets the Oxford Canal so you can wander along next to the water, or head across the fields up to Station Road into Clifton Upon Dunsmore, for an alternative route.

Start in Newton from Great Central Walk Car Park,  Newton Road, Newton. Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 0EA. Or the other end is Onley Lane, Rugby, CV22 5QD.

Oxford Canal

Cawston Spinney

This one is a bit tricky to find, but is traffic free once you get there. Just behind off Coventry Road (behind the Nature Trails nursery), between Cawston and Dunchurch is Cawston Spinney woodlands.

It’s a small plot of woodlands Cawston Spinney really makes you feel like you’re miles away from everything. The trail isn’t too strenuous and toddlers can walk the path with a little help. There’s also a little area that has been made into little ramps and jumps for bikes that kids love running around.

There is limited parking and no toilets available, but it is completely free. The best place to park is a strip of gravel opposite Lime Tree Retirement Village, or across the road from Nature Trails.

Coventry Rd, Cawston, Rugby CV22 7RY.

Toddler walks a little further out:

Here are some other places that we love, but are a little further out of Rugby.

  • Daventry Country Park. Northern Way, Daventry NN11 2JB
  • Coombe Abbey Country Park. Brinklow Rd, Coventry CV3 2AB
  • Ryton Pools. Ryton Road, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3BH
  • Kenilworth Common. 11 Dalehouse Lane, Kenilworth CV8 2RS
  • St Nicholas’ Park. Warwick, CV34 4QY
  • Crackley Woods Nature Reserve. Crackley Lane, Kenilworth CV8 2JW
  • Brandon Marshes. Brandon Lane, Coventry CV3 3GW
  • Lutterworth Country Park. Brookfield Way, Lutterworth LE17 4GP
  • Jephson Gardens. Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, CV32 4AA
  • Whitnash Brook. Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1YJ