- 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
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 myth this was the result of a curse put upon the property because the owner refused to offer shelter to survivors of a rail crash on the nearby Great Western Railway on Christmas Eve, 1874!
According to the team that created Hampton Gay website this is an eyecatching story but a totally unjustified slander of Mr Robert Langton Pearson who lived in one half of the manor house and owned the nearby paper mill. Their research indicates that he did in fact go out of his way to assist the injured and dying that day. He stopped production at his mill and he and his men worked tirelessly helping these people even giving survivors most of his clothes. They also point out that such a curse must have been a bit slow-acting as there’s a 13 year gap between the crash and the fire!
Look out for kingfishers along the river bank.
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- From the car park behind St Mary’s Church , Kidlington go through a wooden kissing gate along a footpath through a woodland nature reserve and over footbridge by a pond.
- Turn right after footbridge. Keeping to RHS of fields follow path to River Cherwell and cross white bridge. Bear Left through gates and stiles across fields to road by the Church at Hampton Poyle.
- Cross road by church, ahead into field,over ditch. Cross next field over stile and then over two stiles 25m on the LHS. Diagonally right across next paddock. Across field in same direction to stile and footbridge in top right-hand corner. Straight across the field towards the small spinney. Cross another footbridge. Cross next field and over stile. Over another field and cross stile by large ash tree. Head towards the ruins of the manor house.
- Go through kissing gate just before church. Follow path to river. Continue under railway bridge and through kissing gate. Cross field diagonally left to suspension bridge back over River Cherwell. Walk through next field and over stile by metal gate to canal bridge
- Turn left (c.NW) and head along the canal footpath.
- Left at canal bridge and follow towpath in southerly direction towards Thrupp. Left before swing-bridge at Thrupp through British Waterways yard past cottages. Under railway line and through gate. Straight along the mown path with the River Cherwell on your left.
- Straight along the mown path with the River Cherwell on your left for about 1km until you reach White Bridge. Retrace steps back to the start.
Click here to see a Google satellite map of this walk.
Ordnance Survey map
You need OS Map 180
You can get an on-line copy here