PostHeaderIcon Walks from the Bloxham area

The website was initially compiled as a personal record of walks we have recently taken within 30 miles or so of Bloxham – mostly very much closer. It was never intended as a perfect set of instructions for the general public!

I share the pages on the understanding that users perform their own risk-assessments: we accept no responsibility for any injury sustained by people undertaking the walks.

Common sense tells you to make sure you wear good walking shoes, take plenty of water, an OS Map and a mobile phone. We also find that an anti-shock walking pole oftimes makes a handy third leg!

We include GPS data for those who enjoy the benefits of satellite navigation. We also offer access to Google-Maps showing satellite views of the walks.
Recently Bing Maps offers OS maps which, unlike Google, have footpaths marked. You can get the coordinate of any point on a Bing map by right-clicking and centring the map at that point and then typing javascript:map.GetCenter() into the address bar. (Sounds complicated but takes seconds.)

The walks are listed alphabetically and as a short excerpts. Click on the walk title to get the full details plus pictures. You can also use the list at the side to pick walks of a particular length or that start a particular distance from Bloxham.

Happy Walking! If you have some favourite walks in or around Bloxham let us know and we will attempt to try them out and add them to the site. You can email here.

PostHeaderIcon Addebury Circular

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  • Start – 2.7 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk – 2.8 miles (4.5 km)
  • Fairly flat
  • Dog – friendly

Introduction

The walk starts at the village green, heads off towards Bodicote and then to the end of Bloxham Grove before heading back to Adderbury.

Adderbury is about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Banbury and 9 miles (14 km) from Junction 10 of the M40 motorway. The Sor Brook divides the village in two and each part has its own green and manor house.

PostHeaderIcon Barfords Circular

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  • Start: 2.2 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 2.25 miles (3.6 km )
  • Fairly flat
  • Dog friendly but farm animals on outward route

This walk commences in Barford St Michael whichis is a village on the south bank of the River Swere. Barford probably means barley ford – a place to cross the river at harvest time. In 1086 it was known as Bereford, and by around 1250 as Bereford Sancti Michaelis. Barford

The village has an attractive church which may be worth a visit before the walk. Some of the church is Norman but much of the rest was rebuilt in the 13th century in the Early English style

The second half of the walk runs alongside a disused airfield: RAF Barford St John’s .
The airfield was opened in World War 2 as training facility used primarily by the Flying Training School from RAF Kidlington. It was later modified for use by RAF Upper Heyford and Bomber Command flew Wellington bombers and Mosquitoes from there .
In 1943 it was used for test flights of the first jet, the Gloucester Whittle, and it’s successor the Meteor. The airfield was mothballed in 1946 but has subsequently assumed a role in government communications as evidenced by the many aerials dotted across it.

PostHeaderIcon Bloxham – Broughton – Wykham Mill Circular

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  • Start: within Bloxham – Courtington Lane
  • Length of walk: 4.3 miles (6.9km)
  • Steep hill- Can avoid by starting along Ells lane instead of up Hobb Hill.
  • Dog hostile – stiles from Ells Lane to Broughton impossible for large dogs.

Introduction

Hobb Hill offers a panoramic view of Bloxham. In the snow it is a mass of slithering humanity utilising gravity assisted motion on sleds, trays and polythene bags!
Broughton is the site of Broughton Castle but this is not directly on the route.
There are historical references to Robert de Wykeham, mill owner, around 1218. The Mill would have been powered by the waters of the Sor Brook.
More recently the Wykham Mill Buildings has been the site of manufacture of the Jaguar XJ220 and then subsequently the Aston Martin DB7 from 1994 – 2004.

PostHeaderIcon Bloxham Broughton, Salt Way, Grove Road – Circular

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  • Start of walk: within Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 7.3 miles (11.7 km)
  • Some quite steep gradients but rewarding views!
  • Dog hostile – especially Ells Lane to Broughton.

Introduction

This walk starts by heading up over Hobb Hill and across fields to Broughton.
Broughton has Broughton Castle a country house dating to the 14-16C of Baron Saye and Sele of the Fiennes family but this is not directly on the route.
From Broughton we head to Salt Way , an ancient road pre-dating Roman times hat used to run from Droitwich to London primarily for the transportation of salt.
We then cut back across fields to Wykham Lane. There is a good farm shop at Wykham Farm that may provide an interesting aside. From here the route passes a lake as we trek on to Bloxham Grove and then back to the starting point.

PostHeaderIcon Bloxham Grove Circular

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  • Start: On Northern edge of Bloxham in Grove Road
  • Length of walk: 3.3 miles (5.3 km )
  • Mildly undulating – one steep hill
  • dog friendly

The following is taken from British History online.
Much of the manor’s land, however, was sold in the 17th century. In 1601 Richard Fiennes (d. 1613) sold the 2 manor-houses of Bloxham Beauchamp and Bloxham Fiennes with 16 yardlands and 2 mills to Sir Thomas Garway, merchant of the Staple. In 1612 this property, together with the new dwelling-house built by Sir Thomas Garway, was sold to John Griffith, a descendant of William Griffith, Chamberlain of North Wales. On John’s death in 1632 the property probably passed to his brother Richard (d. 1636) and to Richard’s son John (d. 1662). (fn. 144) John conveyed the property to Ambrose Thelwell in 1653. The conveyance, however, may have been a mortgage, for Mrs. Margaret Griffith, probably John’s relict, was assessed for tax on the new house in 1665. Before 1667, however, the house and various closes passed to John Cartwright of Aynho, and was absorbed in his other property in the parish. (fn. 145)

PostHeaderIcon Deddington Circular – East Loop


  • Start – 4.6 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk – 6.5 miles (10 km)
  • Gently undulating
  • Dog – friendly – but take a lead

Introduction

Deddington is a pretty village with an attractive market place. Deddington Parish Church first appears in historical records in 1254. The massive west tower once had a tall spire that collapsed in 1634, damaging the rest of the church. Rebuilding had to await the end of the Civil War during which King Charles I had the church bells melted down for artillery.
There was also a Deddington Castle dating mostly to the 11th-14th centuries but this is now just a grass mound.
The walk starts in the MarketPlace, heads south-east and then loops north to Clifton. From here it goes north-west towards PaperMill cottages before looping back south-west to Deddington. The walk is signposted but when we walked this at least two signs were totally overgrown.

Deddington is about 6 miles (10 km) south of Banbury and 7 miles (11 km) from Junction 10 of the M40 motorway.

PostHeaderIcon Eynsham Circular including Thames Path

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  • Start: 21 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 4.12 miles ( 6.6 km)
  • Vey flat
  • Dog friendly

The starting point is Eynsham (or Egonesham) which is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles. About 1005 a Benedictine Abbey was founded there and parish boundaries defined.
Part of the walk is along the Thames Path which is is a National Trail that follows the river from the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier.
The manual beam pound lock at Pinkhill was built in 1791. Whilst it looks pretty much as it would have in the 18C merchant’s barges are replaced by pleasure craft. The stone lock keeper’s house dates from 1932.
We leave the Thames Path at the Swinford Toll Bridge which was built under a
special Act of Parliament and opened in 1769 to replace an dangerous ferry system in which several people had lost their lives.

PostHeaderIcon Great Tew Circular 1

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  • Start: 5.4 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 2.9 miles (4.7km)
  • Mostly flat
  • Dog friendly

This information is mainly drawn from Wikipedia:
Evidence of early settlement include a Bronze Age barrow and Roman mosaic floors from the 3C.
The village was founded in Anglo-Saxon times and its ownership was linked to St Albans Abbey
Unlike neighbouring Lttle Tew it had its own church and in Old English Cyrictiwa means “Church Tew
William the Conqueror granted the manor to his step-brother and it is recorded amongst Odo’s estates in the Domesday Book. The present parish church dates back to Norman times but has been substantially rebuilt since then.
The cottages and houses, mostly thatched , date back to the 17C and are built from the local ironstone from the Great Tew quarry.
In the late 1700s the estate was bought by George Stratton, who had made a fortune in the East India Company. He had the dilapidated manor house demolished and engaged garden designer John Loudon who contributed much to the delightful appearance of the village and of Great Tew Park.
In 1815-1816 the son of the Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton bought the Great Tew estate. Innovations in the middle of the 19C included a saw-mill powered by a beam engine of which the engine house and tall chimney still survive.
In 1914 the family died without heirs and for fifty years its properties became unoccupied and derelict.
In 1962 Major Eustace Robb inherited the estate and declared he would restore its prosperity but little improvement was seen but its subsequent owners, the Johnson family, have worked hard to restore the village.

PostHeaderIcon Great Tew Circular 2

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  • Start 5.4 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 4.6 miles (7.4 k)
  • no steep gradients
  • dog friendly

This information is mainly drawn from Wikipedia:(See also the walk – Great Tew Circular 1)
Evidence of early settlement include a Bronze Age barrow south and Roman mosaic floors from the 3C.
The village was founded in Anglo-Saxon times and its ownership was linked to St Albans Abbey
Unlike neighbouring Lttle Tew it had its own church and in Old English Cyrictiwa means “Church Tew
William the Conqueror granted the manor to his step-brother and it is recorded amongst Odo’s estates in the Domesday Book. The present parish church dates back to Norman times but has been substantially rebuilt since then.
The cottages and houses, mostly thatched, date back to the 17C and are built from the local ironstone from the Great Tew quarry. Look out for canework figures in the old school yard.
In the late 1700s the estate was bought by George Stratton, who had made a fortune in the East India Company. He had the dilapidated manor house demolished and engaged garden designer John Loudon who contributed much to the delightful appearance of the village and of Great Tew Park.
In 1815-1816 the son of the Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton bought the Great Tew estate. Innovations in the middle of the 19C included a saw-mill powered by a beam engine of which the engine house and tall chimney still survive.
In 1914 the family died without heirs and for fifty years its properties became unoccupied and derelict.
In 1962 Major Eustace Robb inherited the estate and declared he would restore its prosperity but little improvement was seen but its subsequent owners, the Johnson family, have worked hard to restore the village.

PostHeaderIcon Grimsbury Reservoir Circular

  • Start: 4.6 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 1.5 miles (2.4km)
  • flat – as a pancake!
  • dog friendly
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Grimsbury Reservoir is a relatively small reservoir fed by the River Cherwell and owned by Thames Water and used both for water supply and sporting activities.
In the mid 1960s, when the reservoir was built the Banbury Ornithological Society negotiated for a four hectare area to be set aside and developed as a wildlife sanctuary to address the potential importance of the area to birds .
A walk around two sides of the reservoir has been established but this also links up with a pathway through a nature reserve and the canal towpath . This walk takes in all three providing a short but varied exploration of the area.

PostHeaderIcon Kidlington Circular

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  • Start: 16.7 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 5.1 miles (8.1 km)
  • very flat
  • dog friendly

The name Kidlington derives from Anglo-Saxon for settlement or farm of Cydela and it appears as Chedelintone in the Domesday Book of 1086. It lies on the River Cherwell,a tributary of the
Thames.
The walk starts at the picturesque St Mary’s Church dating from
c.1220 or earlier. The spire, rising over 50 metres was taken to this hight in the late 15C.

Hampton Gay comes from the Old English meaning the
village or farm of the de Gay family. The ruined manor house that
you see on the walk 16th century but was destroyed by fire in 1887. According to legend this was the result of a curse put upon the property when the owner refused to offer shelter to survivors of a rail crash on the nearby Great Western Railway on Christmas Eve, 1874!

Look out for kingfishers along the river bank.

PostHeaderIcon Nether Worton Circular

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  • Start: 4.1 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 2.25 miles (3.6 km )
  • Gentle slopes
  • Dog friendly except for one stile!

This is a circular walk of 3.6k starting from Nether Worton (6 km. west of Deddington and 15 km. south of Banbury) passing through Over Worton. There is one part that dogs cannot negotiate without being lifted!

Worton derives from the Anglo-Saxon (Ortune) a settlement by a bank or slope,and probably applied to Over Worton as Nether Worton lies in a flat valley beside a small tributary of the Cherwell.
It consists of a tiny church, a few cottages, Manor Farm, and Nether Worton House.
The walk heads up to Over Worton where there is a photogenic church and then back down past some small lakes to return past tiny Nether Worton church.

PostHeaderIcon Otmoor Circular

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  • Start: 21 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 3.4 miles (5.5 km )
  • pretty flat
  • dog friendly

Circular walk halfway between Oxford and Bicester – easy but potentially muddy.
About 5.5 km
The name derives from Anglo-Saxon Otta’s Fen. The partial draining of these marshes led to civil disturbances known as the Otmoor Riots of 1829 to 1830.
St. Mary the Virgin Church of Charlton on Otmoor was Built in 1250 AD and is considered one of the best 1000 churches in the UK.
Otmoor is a nature reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds. In winter there are thousands of ducks and in spring and summer wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks.
It includes a stretch across a military firing range so best to stay alert!
The walk includes an old Roman Road that ran between between Bicester and Dorchester-on-Thames.
It twice crosses the unusually straight New River Ray which is where the river has been diverted.

PostHeaderIcon Raven Hill Circular

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  • Start: 4.1 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 3.5 miles (5.6km )
  • gentle to moderate gradients
  • dog friendly

A walk starting from Nether Worton, heading up Raven Hill and just skirting Great Tew on the homeward journey. The walk is mainly on broad tracks through the countryside and so far as I am unaware there are few points of historical interest

PostHeaderIcon Wroxton Circular

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  • Start: 5.7 miles from Bloxham
  • Length of walk: 3.25 miles (5.2 km)
  • a few mild-moderate gradients
  • dog friendly

A fairly easy 5.2 km circular walk from Wroxton to North Newington and back. It starts on a footpath adjacent to Wroxton primary school.

The Wroxton Dovecote is an octagonal tower and a Gothic style folly, sometimes called Wroxton Castle that you see at the very start of the walk.

The outward walk is mostly just countryside but on the route back from North Newington there are several points of interest.
The Wroxton or Drayton Arch, is a real eye catcher of a folly dating from the mid-late 1700s.

The Wroxton obelisk was commissioned by Francis North the Earl of Guildford, to commemorate avisit by the Prince of Wales, Frederick of Hanover in 1739.

Wroxton has a 14C church and a Jacobean house, known as Wroxton Abbey, that is now Fairleigh Dickinson University’s English campus. You can visit the grounds of the “Abbey” if you so wish – no dogs!

There is also an ironstone quarry (not on this walk) northwest of the village that was worked from in 1917 to 1967 and had its own railway, the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway, that linked the quarry to the mainline network.

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