Walk 34
8 mile Circular Walk from Cropredy

Cropredy Map

Points of Interest.GPS File.

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Enjoy a gentle 8 mile circular walk from the delightful village of Cropredy in Cherwell Valley, three miles north of Banbury and close to Exit 11 on the M40. During this circular walk you will enjoy three delightful villages, some open countryside and farmland, quiet lanes and an attractive section of the Oxford Canal. Refreshments are available in Cropredy, Wardington and Chipping Warden. For part of the walk, you will enjoy the delights of The Millennium Way where you will be guided by the distinctive black Millennium Way waymarkers. Find out more about the walk by clicking on the information icon.

St Mary the virgin, CropredyA We begin our walk from the Red Lion Inn which is situated in Red Lion Street, close to the Oxford Canal. With your back to the Red Lion Inn, go left down the lane (Red Lion Street) over the canal bridge and keep ahead on lane to pass through large wooden gate keeping stream right. Continue past Prescote Manor House on your left, staying on surfaced drive for about ¾ mile.

B When you reach a crossroads of paths, by wood, turn right down bridleway (no waymark), cross bridge over stream and stay ahead on wide path through woodland. Continue along on cinder track following the blue bridleway sign keeping hedge left. Go through large metal gate staying ahead with hedge left, to eventually exit field to main road via large metal gate.

ViewsC Turn right, taking care along busy main road into Wardington taking the first lane on left signed Edgcote. Go past the Hare and Hounds Inn heading gently downhill. Stay on the lane for approx 3/4 mile passing Wardington Gate Farm and continue past a group of cottages.

D Continue ahead down cul-de-sac passing a posting box set in brick structure left, heading towards the church. Just past the church you will have a fine view of Edgecote House on your right. Go past the house and take track left to pass through green metal kissing gate. Continue down track between beech hedges passing through gateway and continue gently downhill. Cross bridge over River Cherwell, (Keep an eye out on your right for a silver plaque mounted on a concrete plinth which marks the site where a Wellington bomber crashed in 1945). and stay on cinder path gently uphill. Stay ahead on track through woodland then exit through metal gate next to lodge (dated 1846) on the left. Here you will see an information board, which is of interest. Stay ahead with cottage on left to enter the village of Chipping Warden, passing the ancient church of St Peter and St Paul. Stay ahead with stone wall on your right to reach the main road in Chipping Warden. (If you are requiring refreshment you can turn right here to reach The Griffin Pub), otherwise to continue the walk turn left on the main road to pass the Rose & Crown pub and take the first road right (Appletree Road). Here you have joined The Millennium Way and you will be guided as far as G by the distinctive black Millennium Way waymarkers.

Canal BoatsE Follow Appletree Road round left hand bend and after some 300 paces, where road swings right, take footpath on left side of road before bend. Follow the footpath signs making your way along the passageway / alleyway past buildings to take stile into field. Continue with fence left to take further stile into spinney. Go through spinney into field and then keep ahead across centre of large field aiming for house roof top to find and take fence stile adjacent to large oak tree. Go ½ left to pass close to a small mid field dew pond on left to find gate in left corner of field near large oak tree. Take gate with fence right to take mid fence stile and then ahead to take two further stiles in hedge, into field. Continue with hedge right to find and take stile to left of gate to road.

Peaceful Pathways F Cross road to take stile / adjacent gate opposite, a few paces to the right, then ahead to pass cattle sheds on left and go ahead keeping field edge to left, passing a waypost to reach mid hedge gated gap directly ahead. Go through gap into next field and go with hedge right. After approx 100yds, at the field corner by copse turn right through gap, then after 20 paces turn left and go with copse left downhill through wide gap. Turn immediately left after the gap for about 20 yds and then turn right along the cleared path and go directly ahead across the field heading for a hedge gap (approximately the centre of far field edge) to find bridge over stream. Cross stream and continue ahead to left field edge, and go with hedge left.Watch for gap with wooden post left, approx ¾ way up field.( Here you leave The Millennium Way. ) Continue across field keeping hedge to left, to go through gap in hedge in the left corner of field. Follow left edge of the next two fields for approx 250yds to find footbridge on left through a hedge gap. Cross footbridge and go half right to reach a stile in top corner of field.

G Take stile and go immediately left to reach the Oxford canal towpath. Go left on towpath for approx 2 miles to reach bridge 152.

H Just before bridge number 152 exit left from towpath to go right over bridge which brings you back to your starting point at the Red Lion Inn.


Points of Interest - What to know and what to see.... by Andy Botherway

Cropredy BridgeCropredy

The village was the scene of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge in 1644, a significant event in the English Civil War, where the Parliamentarian army lost 700 men. A re-enactment of the battle is held every four years.

Each year the village is home to the famous Cropredy Festival. This lovely, family folk festival is organised by the legendary folk band, Fairport Convention.

The Oxford canal from Coventry reached Cropredy in 1777 and for a while the wharf at the south end of the village was its terminus. The canal finally reached Oxford in 1789.

Prescote Manor, built in 1691 for the Danvers family, was owned until recently by Ann Crossman, the widow of Dick Crossman, former Labour cabinet minister.

Wardington

In 1469, during the War of the Roses, the Battle of Edgcote Moor was fought near Wardington. The manor house is mid-16th century. It was damaged by fire in 2004 but subsequently restored at a cost of £7.5m.

Edgcote HouseEdgcote House, built in 1747, and its magnificent estate between Wardington and Chipping Warden were used as the backdrop to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice TV drama starring Colin Firth. A new ecological heating system for the house, utilising ground source heat and a secret passage has recently been installed.

St Peter and St Paul Chipping WardenChipping Warden

This village was an important market town. The name ”Chipping" is derived from the Old English ceapen meaning "market". In 1238 Robert Grosseteste Bishop of Lincoln obtained royal letters from Henry III revoking Chipping Warden's right to hold a market. This was because the Bishops of Lincoln controlled the market at Banbury and earned tolls from it, and Grosseteste feared that Chipping Warden was drawing trade away from Banbury.

The largely Gothic church of St.Peter and St. Paul contains tiered box-pews.