Circular Walk 31  (7 Miles)

Walk Overview

This circular walk starts in the picturesque village of Claydon and meanders across mostly flat farmland & open countryside, crossing the Oxford Canal at two points and going through the delightful villages of Lower and Upper Boddington. Claydon is Oxfordshire's most northerly village. The pubs mentionned only offer limited opening hours, so check with them first if you wish to visit. Why not consider taking a picnic? For part of the walk, you will enjoy the delights of the Millennium Way where you will be guided by our distinctive waymarkers.

You can also start this walk at either of the pubs mentioned in Upper or Lower Boddington, as there is no pub in Claydon.

Rambling Rachel has a smashing video of this circular. See it by clicking Claydon Video Thanks to Rachel you can get a really good idea of the countryside near Claydon.

Note: LATEST UPDATE (28 April 2023)  There is now an HS2 re-route in Section B

Walk Details

  • Start: St James the Great Church , Claydon OX17 1EZ
  • Start Grid Ref: SP457 500
  • Parking: Roadside
  • Refreshments:
    • Carpenters Arms , Lower Boddington (01327 437215)
      (Only open lunchtimes on Sundays)
    • The Plough , Upper Boddington (01327 260364)
      (Only open lunchtimes on Saturday and Sunday)
    • The Fox & Hounds at Charwelton NW1 13YY ( 01327 260611 )
      (Opens daily for lunch Wednesday–Sunday & is only a 15 minutes drive from Claydon)
  • Maps: OS Explorer 221 or Landranger 140
  • Distance: 7 Miles
  • Time: 3 Hours
  • Stiles: 13 (not all dog friendly)
  • Download: Walk GPS (GPS Exchange Format, GPX)
  • GPS and GPX explained
  • Find a mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Updated April 2023


Walk Instructions

Section A

We begin our walk from St James the Great church in the picturesque village of Claydon. With your back to the church (at the East gate) go left down the road, through the village and take footpath on right by road sign hidden in bush, signed to Lower Boddington (opposite the junction with Fenny Compton Road). Go past the wooden bollard & house called The Brambles.  Walk down narrow passage with brick wall on right to take stile to field. Go ahead for 60 paces and take fence stile right into field and go left keeping hedge left to stay along edge of field. Go over new single stile then double stile and keep ahead along left field edge to take gap into to next field. Keep ahead with hedge left to corner of field, through two large metal gates, then across canal bridge and ahead down track to go over corner stile, then mid field stile, to eventually take footbridge over small stream to next field..


Stunning Views

Section B

Go ahead over dismantled railway line and take stile into next field to go 1/4 right across field heading just to left of farm. Take double stile and footbridge by a large lone oak tree. Stay ahead under power lines with hedge and farm buildings right. After 300 paces take gate right, crossing the scrub to take further stile into next field. Go left along edge of field to take stile in top left corner. Turn right keeping hedge and fence right until you reach field corner and then turn left to follow field edge keeping fence and hedge right. Go through gate onto a short new gravel path to road.  Cross road to enter the HS2 re-route and follow this until the HS2 re-route take you back on to the road nearer to Lower Boddington and arrive at crossroads with the sometimes closed Carpenter Arms ahead of you.

Section C

Go ahead over crossroads and with Carpenter's Arms R, to walk through Lower Boddington. Continue steeply uphill, ignoring the first bridleway right (opposite The Manor House) and a little further up the hill where the road swings left, take bridleway right to Cleveland Farm. Go up track and opposite a barn, take wooden gate left to field with sign that reads "Private Property please use the bridleway."  Go right with hedge right to field end and exit by gate to road. Go left on tree lined road and after some 1/2 mile come to crossroads.


Modern Farming


Quite Villages

Section D

Go left into Upper Boddington. Pass The Plough Inn on left (restricted opening times) and, after 70 paces, take short road left to find T junction (here you join The Millennium Way). At this T junction go left up Church Road to pass post box left and school right and leave Upper Boddington (a slight detour on your left, to visit St. John the Baptist Church, is worthwhile). Continue on undulating lane with panoramic views right and after 1/2 mile road swings right as you enter Lower Boddington. Go past the bridleway left which you took on the outward route then opposite first house on right (Sears Farmhouse) take bridleway left, which becomes a lane and goes down to the road.

Section E

Cross road and go ahead on track past Cleve House left. After 100 paces, before Paradise Farm, turn right through wooden kissing gate into field. Turn 1/2 left for 100 paces to fence corner of small paddock and bear left to take another wooden kissing gate. Go with fence right to small field corner and take large metal gate left to cross low bridge. You now encounter HS2 works and the footpath has been diverted, so go right along a new path enclosed by fencing which takes you to the road running from Lower Boddington to Claydon (the truncated circular joins from the right along this lane). On reaching the road turn left towards Claydon. Follow the road and after half a mile it will turn sharp left and then sharp right. At this latter bend leave the road by going straight ahead along a track. At the next farm gate bear right along the wooden fence to a small waymarked metal gate and there turn right to go south, straight across a large field to find and take narrow well waymarked mid hedge gap (this path is indistinct and crops may obscure the waymarked gap so alternatively go with hedge right to corner of field then turn left in same field still keeping hedge & trees right to find the narrow waymarked gap). Go through this gap across very old railway line coppice to take another waymarked gap, then go directly across field to reach corner hedge & trees. Keep hedge left to reach far corner of field. Take the large corner gap to road, then turn right.

Section F

Continue uphill to road junction. Go left, signed Claydon, and where the road turns sharp right go straight on into field through wide gap. Go ahead across field to take gap and continue with hedge R. Go through small gap ahead and then cross field past two well separated oak trees to mid hedge gap (if this field is heavily cropped with an indistinct path just go left around field edge to reach gap on far side). Take gap and cross field towards next mid hedge gap (here we leave the Millennium Way). Do NOT take gap but go right along field edge keeping hedge left. Go through corner gaps of next two fields keeping hedge left and keep a sharp look out for a concealed waymarked footbridge on left 20 paces before corner of field. Take footbridge into field continuing 1/2 right across to far corner stile and metal gate by canal bridge.


Gentle Boating

Section G

Go over stile to road, then over canal bridge continuing gently up the road for half a mile to reach junction. Turn right, which will bring you back through Claydon to your starting point near the church.

Points of Interest - What to know and what to see...

by Andy Botherway

St. James the Great


The church, and interesting double-gabled building with lovely stonework dates from 1100 but was heavily restored in 1860, obliterating many of the medieval features, but a squint from chapel to chancel survives.

St. James the Great

Three members of the famous clockmaking Knibb family were born in the village between 1625 and 1650. A blue plaque on the church commemorates them.


Knibb Family

Lower Boddington

The Carpenters Arms is a fine traditional pub, but has very limited opening hours so phone ahead! Boddington Reservoir, a top match venue for the serious angler, is to the east of the village. The route of HS2 passes close by to the south.

Upper Boddington

The Plough is a fine Grade II listed stone and thatch public house with some nice bed and breakfast accommodation. Opening hours are a bit restricted, so again check ahead. The village has a considerable number of listed buildings, including the 13th century church of St. John the Baptist and the former 16th century rectory.

Although having only around 700 residents, the village has a garage and two churches. The Welsh Road, an old drover’s route, forms the eastern boundary of the parish.

The spelling of Boddington has changed over the centuries from Botendon in Domesday Book (1086) through Bottelendon (12th century Survey of Northamptonshire), and Budinton in the Calendar of Close Rolls (1244) to Botyngdon (1358), Botyndoun (1396) and Botyngdon (1428).

The Manor House in Upper Boddington lost a top storey when a ‘flaming bomber’ crashed into it at the close of the last war.


Upper Boddington

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