We are heading home tomorrow so today is our last opportunity to get out for a walk in the Cotswolds. The rain has eased over the last couple of days and the forecast looks as if we should be able to get a good walk in without getting too wet.
We have planned a walk from nearby Chipping Norton and our starting point is the pay and display New Street car park (OX7 5NF) (Grid Ref: SP 311269). Leaving the car park we head back to New Street and turn right uphill and then right again along West Street and then at a mini roundabout turn left on the road signposted to Burford.
We soon reach another mini roundabout and continue towards Burford. We head steadily uphill on the pavement and at a parking area in front of a school take a left to follow a footpath which passes between the car park and school and then joins a track by playing fields.
We follow the footpath past Glyme Farm with its assortment of old farm machinery alongside the barns.
We now head through a kissing gate and head across a field of pasture to cross a stream on a footbridge.
We continue across another field and then go through a couple of thickets to reach a junction of paths where we turn right and then within a few yards fork right to follow the route of Wychwood Way as it heads along a track towards the B4026.
On reaching the road we turn left and walk along the grass verge for a couple of hundred yards and then take a minor road on the left signposted to Lidstone and Enstone. We stay with this lane until we reach a footpath on the right which enters a field by a metal barrier.
The footpath goes along the hedge line heading south and we soon reach an Ordnance Survey trig pillar tucked away in the hedge on Lidstone Hill. This is the 251st trig I have bagged.
The path continues along the hedge line and then on reaching another field there is a fork in the footpath, here we go left across the field to meet the B4026. Rather than join the road we turn left following the Wychwood Way along a restricted by-way.
The Wychwood Way is a 37-mile circuit starting in Woodstock, we are just doing a few miles on the route today. We cross a minor road and continue along the track opposite until we reach the B4022 which we cross and continue along the track, still on the Wychwood Way. This track is marked as the Salt Way, which is one of the ancient Salt Way routes from Droitwich where salt was mined and then transported around the country.
It is a cracking day and we are walking on firm ground in sunshine, which makes a change from the weather earlier in the week. I have a feeling that we have not seen this part of the Cotswolds at its best on this trip.
The track leads us to the edge of Shallot Wood and a junction of tracks. We continue along the track in a south-easterly direction for just over a hundred yards so I can bag the Ordnance Survey trig pillar that is tucked away in the hedge. I am not sure what it is with trigs in hedges around here, but I eventually locate what the OS database records as Inotts Clump trig pillar.
From the trig we turn around and walk back to the fork in the track, this time we go left and follow the lane which continues to a crossroads with the B4022, we cross and continue down a narrow tarmac lane towards Taston. Just as we enter the village we pass a memorial fountain. Apparently this was built in 1862 as a memorial to Henrietta, Viscountess Dillon, wife of the 13th Viscount Dillon.
In the centre of the village there are the remains of a medieval preaching cross. In the 1600’s such crosses were damaged by Oliver Cromwell’s forces and this one’s cross has been removed and only a stump remains.
From the cross we take a lane heading west and soon take a footpath on the left leaving the village to cross fields and go through a spinney heading towards Spelsbury.
On reaching a minor lane on the edge of the village we turn left and then very soon go right along a road leading to the centre of the village where there is another memorial fountain. This one was once the main fresh water supply for the village and is dedicated to Constantine Dillon, the son of the 13th Viscount Dillon, who drowned in 1855 aged 40 whilst crossing a flooded river in New Zealand.
At the memorial we turn left and head down Church Lane to reach All Saints Church, parts were built around 1300 and it had major rebuild in the 18th century. Much of the church is now covered in scaffolding and the building is locked so we are unable to look at the interior which apparently has a number of impressive memorials.
We return to Church Lane and turn left and then very soon take a footpath on the left which leads along a track and then goes to the right besides a cottage and then at a junction of paths turn left and follow a path towards Coldron Mill. Apparently there has been a mill on this site for over a thousand years, the building looks like it is undergoing a makeover with a relatively new waterwheel installed.
At a junction of paths close to the mill we go right and follow a path over a footbridge into Dean Grove where we turn right to follow a footpath through the woods.
On leaving the woods the path continues besides a paddock and then at a crossing of paths we turn left to continue uphill between paddocks. On reaching a lane, Grove Lane, we turn right to follow the lane as it passes farm buildings and discarded farm equipment.
Reaching a road we turn left and head towards Chadlington. In the village we pass the church and then turn right beside the Primary School to head along Church Lane. When the lane reaches the bowling green it bends to the left, we carry straight on heading north.
We follow this lane for a mile and a half as it goes between fields with some far reaching views.
The track leads us to a minor road where turn right and walk past East Downs Farms. Just short of half a mile we reach a footpath on the left signposted to Chipping Norton. We take this path into a field.
The clear path soon heads diagonally across arable fields. From June 1940 until October 1953 this was the site of RAF Chipping Norton. Little evidence of the airfield remains.
We now follow the footpath way-markers which lead us to the outskirts of Chipping Norton. From there we follow the pavement besides the A361 and return to the centre of the town. We have not been here before so have a wander around before returning to our starting point in New Street car park.
Our walk has covered over 15-miles and it is time to head back to Pebbly Hill Nurseries to start packing up for our return home tomorrow. When we get back home everything is going to need a good wash to remove the mud from the caravan and awning.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer OL 45 – The Cotswolds
26th May 2021
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2021)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.