Circular Walk 34  (8.5 Miles)

Walk Overview

A lovely circular walk from the delightful village of Cropredy in the 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 and white waymarkers.

Walk Details

  • Start: The Red Lion Inn, Cropredy OX17 1PB
  • Start Grid Ref: SP469 467
  • Parking: Roadside
  • Refreshments:
    • Hare & Hounds, Wardington (01295 750645)
    • Griffin Inn, Chipping Warden (01295 660311)
    • Red Lion, Cropredy (01295 758680)
    • Arms, Cropredy (01295 750244)
  • Maps: OS Explorer 206 or OS Landranger 151
  • Distance: 8½ miles
  • Time: 3½ hours
  • Stiles: 10 (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 November 2023


Walk Instructions

Section A

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 and 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.


St.Mary the Virgin

Section B

When you reach a crossroads of paths by wood, turn right down bridleway (no waymark), immediately crossing over stream and stay ahead on wide path through woodland. Continue into fields along cinder track bearing left then keeping hedge left ignoring right turns for some while. Go gently uphill and then through large metal gate, staying ahead with hedge left to eventually exit field to main road via another large metal gate.


Stunning views

Section C

Turn right, taking care along busy main road into Wardington (it may be best to cross road). Take the lane on left signed Edgcote by the Hare and Hounds Inn heading gently downhill. Stay on the quiet country lane for approx 3/4 mile passing Wardington Gate Farm and past a group of quaint cottages.

Section D

Where the road swings right continue ahead down cul-de-sac passing a posting box set in brick structure left, heading towards the church. You have now joined The Millennium Way which has recently been diverted away from the original route to avoid HS2 disruption.) Just past the church you will have a fine view of Edgcote House on your right. Go past the house and take track left (you are now on The Jurassic Way) 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 and as you enter a spinney of cherry trees and start uphill, note a plaque mounted on a concrete plinth on your right which marks the site where a Wellington bomber crashed in 1945. Stay on surfaced track gently uphill and 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 to enter Chipping Warden, passing the ancient church of St Peter and St Paul, to reach the main road. The Griffin Pub is just out of sight off to your right, but turn left to pass the Rose & Crown Pub ( closed and for sale as at October 2023 ) and take the first road right, Appletree Road.

Section E

Follow Appletree Road round left hand bend, to cross the village by-pass road ( you have to walk left, to the end of the metal railings to cross the road ) to turn left towards Claydon & Appletree . After approx  60yds, where road swings right, keep to left to take stepover stile onto footpath on left side of road. Follow the footpath signs making your way left along the 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 lone tree/house roof top to find and take fence stile behind large oak tree. Go diagonally left to pass clump of trees and small mid field dew pond on your left to skirt large banked pond on your right. Curve right 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. This section has a number of temporary fences, some electrified, which you can unhook to pass through.


Colourful Boats


Peaceful Pathway

Section F

Cross road to take stile opposite, a few paces to the right .You may have to go under wire. Then ahead to pass cattle sheds and field edge on left, ro reach a waypost by mid hedge gated gap directly ahead. Go through gap and under or over another wire into next field and go with hedge right. After approx 100 paces, at the field corner by copse, turn right through gap, then after 20 paces turn left and go with copse left downhill (with wonderful views ahead) to go through wide gap.  Then head straight across field to a small gap in middle of far hedge, just to right of a large oak and left of a small oak, to find bridge over stream. Cross stream and go diagonally 1/4 left across corner of field to reach left field edge. Then go uphill with hedge left. Watch for gap with wooden post left, approx ¾ way up field. Here you leave The Millennium Way.  Ignore gap and continue on same line in same field keeping hedge to left, to go through gap in hedge in the top left corner of field. Follow left edge of the next two fields for approx 250 yards downhill to find hidden footbridge on left through a very narrow hedge gap just before field corner  ( easy to miss if vegetation is overgrown.) Cross this footbridge and go diagonally half right to reach a stile in top corner of large field.

Section G

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

Section 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 Bridge


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. Cropredy now has a huge marina for narrow boats.

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.


The Hare and Hounds has an "Aunt Sally" game in the back garden. This is a traditional Oxfordshire game played by throwing wooden battens at the Aunt Sally doll lodged in a holder. The idea is to dislodge the doll.

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 House,

Edgcote 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.


Edgcote House


St Peter & St Paul
Chipping Warden

Chipping 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.

There are two pubs, The Griffin and The Rose and Crown although the latter was up for sale as at July 2023.  A village bypass has been built to take HS2 traffic away from the centre.


Scroll to Top