Circular Walk – Chipping Warden

Walk Number 44 - 7 or 10.5 Miles

Walk Overview

We hope you will enjoy this new Chipping Warden Circular Walk which is a modification of the original route and compiled to avoid the disruption caused by the HS2 construction works.  The Millennium Way route has been redirected away from the HS2 works south east of Chipping Warden towards Edgcote House and Edgcote Lodge Farm and the new route is now fully waymarked with the distinctive black Millennium Way waymarkers.  It will take a while before Ordnance Survey mapping reflects this modification on both their digital & paper maps.

The full walk is 10.5 miles and passes through the delightful village of Upper Wardington as well as giving the opportunity for enjoying  some glorious open countryside with very fine views.  The terrain has a few inclines and easy stiles.

For the shorter walk of 7 miles follow directions to point D then follow the waymarkers of the Battlefields Trial to take up the return directions to Chipping Warden from point F.  During each walk you will enjoy two delightful sections of the Millennium Way, the route being clearly marked by our distinctive waymarkers.

Walk Details

  • Start: Griffin Pub, Chipping Warden OX17 1LB
  • Start Grid Ref: SP500 489
  • Parking: Roadside near the Village Green
  • Refreshments:
    • The Griffin in Chipping Warden (01295 660311)
    • Three Conies in Thorpe Mandeville (01295 710431)
      East of Point E for a diversion.
  • Maps: OS Explorer 206 or OS Landranger 151 / 152
  • Distance: 7 or 10½ miles
  • Time: 3 or 4½ hours
  • Stiles: 23 for the full walk
  • Download: Walk GPS (GPS Exchange Format, GPX)
  • GPS and GPX explained
  • Find a mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play

Updated August 2022


Walk Instructions

Section A

The walk starts from The Griffin Pub in an anticlockwise direction.  You are already on The Millennium Way and will be guided by the distinctive black waymarkers.

With your back to the pub go right to pass the Rose & Crown pub and take the first road on the right, Appletree Road. Follow Appletree Road round left hand bend, across the village by-pass road and where road swings right, take the rudimentary 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 two tall poplar trees / house roof top to find and take fence stile just to left of 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 with two attractive weeping willow trees. Curve slightly left to leave pond behind you 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.)  Here we leave The Millennium Way and turn left down road for approx 1/3rd mile and just after large metal gate take waymarked footpath on left.


Griffin Pub
Chipping Warden

Section B

Continue diagonally half right across large field. On reaching the tall hedge go right for 20 paces to take narrow gap then take double stile and small footbridge over brook. Now bear 1/4 right towards wide gap in hedge and continue forward into next large field keeping hedge left and on reaching small footbridge turn right across centre of field towards hedge and trees to take a footbridge into next field. Go diagonally 1/4 left to cross large field towards partially hidden grey barn. Go over stile and head between large barn and small brick barn to take stile then go left along cinder track to pass a series of barns on left.    ( Prescote Manor Farm. )   Stay down farm access road past tall poplar trees with small wood on left, to reach waypost at crossroads of paths. Here go left to proceed across concrete bridge over stream. Stay along farm track and at a waypost where the track veers left, go diagonally right following the blue bridleway sign eventually to arrive at a waypost by gap in hedge.  Here, go right keeping hedge left to go though wide gap into next field and after 50 paces we reach a crossroads of paths.

Section C

Go left here over small wooden bridge. ( Here we have joined The Battlefields Trail. )  Go into coppice then continue forward over a large field to exit through a very narrow hedge gap into next field. Bear diagonally right to reach hedge by large tree then continue gently uphill keeping hedge right. Where the hedge ends stay forward on same line across centre of large field ( here you will get a view of Wardington church over to the left.) Go through large metal gate and cross over main road to take footpath opposite, crossing small wooden bridge and stile into field. Cross centre of field taking metal kissing gate to cross further field then through another metal kissing gate to enter a sports field. Go diagonally left across sports ground ( or skirt around left perimeter if a game is in progress )  to exit by far left corner copse to a road junction. Here we turn left signposted Upper Wardington and Thorpe Mandeville. Continue downhill past an attractive manor house and row of small chapel cottages then past Wardington Stud, Bennetts Farm and at the junction bear slightly right on Thorpe Road passing the parish notice board to arrive at a sloping village green with large tree. Pass the large tree on the left down a small slope to find footpath by a house called The Maples. Go past Higher Wardington Cottages on a rising path and take small passageway by brick wall to take metal kissing gate. Bear diagonally left along the Jurassic Way / Battlefields Trail.  Take two gated gaps near corner of field then go directly uphill towards gap in trees at top.

Section D

On reaching the gap, to continue the full walk go over the stile and here we leave the Battlefields Trail to turn immediately right along a track keeping trees/hedge right. ( For the shorter 7 mile walk continue ahead along the waymarked Battlefields Trail eventually to arrive at Point F below, at Edgcote Lodge Farm. Turn left at the track past farm and then left again to pass in front of farm buildings to return to Chipping Warden following the instructions from paragraph F. )

For the full walk continue along track ( which is actually a permissive route, the official footpath being on the other side of the tree line.)  You can enjoy glorious views to the right as you continue along the track for about a mile.  Eventually you will reach a wide gap with a sign which says " no public right of way beyond this point."   Here you need to go through the wide gap on right but stay on the same line now keeping stone wall on your left. Go through a gap in corner of field and stay forward through canopy of trees indicated by yellow waymarker.  Exit by stile to field and stay forward to pass just to right of small brick built barn to reach another waypost. Cross stile and go forwards down the slope to a junction. Cross junction to follow waymarker up rising path. At the top cross over into small wood and exit by stile. Continue across centre of field to take two further stiles into large field. Stay forward between two large clumps of trees enclosed by fencing, then exit field by stile into small wood. Exit wood then turn immediately left to descend a short path to cross a stile then bearing 1/4 right in next field to top right corner to exit by an unusual tree stump stile.  Go left to keep hedge left and on reaching an animal water trough by metal gate bear right diagonally up field following black waymarker. Exit by another tree stump stile to a lane. Here you have rejoined The Millennium Way.

Section E

Turn left down lane towards Hill Farm. Go through the gate and stay down field keeping hedge right. Continue over brow of hill then go between two wooden posts to veer slightly right downhill to take metal gate. Go through small copse and exit via gate staying forward to take another gate into field and stay with hedge right. When you reach the track stay forward still keeping hedge right. Eventually the track comes to a waypost under a large oak tree with multiple waymarkers.  Here you turn left to stay on The Millennium Way walking gently uphill with hedge/trees right. At the brow stay forward to walk gently downhill.      ( Good views here for a picnic spot. )  Descend to corner gap and proceed through short passageway to next field then exit spinney to go 1/2 right across field towards trees. On reaching gap stay gently uphill keeping wood on left. On reaching the farm buildings ( Edgcote Lodge Farm ) turn right to pass in front of farm buildings.

Section F

Go along surfaced track to pass farm buildings and farmhouse on left. Continue downhill on paved track passing a small pond on left. . Follow track until a sharp bend right at a Y junction with triangular shaped rock on left and smaller one on right. At this point leave track and maintain line straight ahead across field aiming for access point to horse gallop. Go across the gallops, and across field to go through two further access points ahead ( watch out for fast racehorses.) Go half right across field and exit by gap just to left of large metal gate. Cross over lane then go right to walk past  three triangular stones, an attractive waypost and a posting box on left set in a brick structure. Continue down surfaced track heading towards the attractive church, then passing a large country mansion ( Edgcote House. )  Immediately past the mansion take track left to pass through green metal kissing gate. Continue down track between beech hedges passing through gateway and staying gently downhill. Cross bridge over river Cherwell and stay on a now rising track. Keep an eye out for a silver plaque mounted on a concrete plinth which marks the site where a Wellington bomber crashed in 1945. Stay on surfaced track gently uphill through woodland to exit by metal gate next to lodge ( dated 1846.) Here you will find an information board which is of interest. Stay ahead with cottages on left to enter the village of Chipping Warden, passing the ancient church of St. Peter & St. Paul. Continue with stone wall on right then turn right down Culworth road which brings you back to The Griffin for some well earned refreshment.

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

by Andy Botherway

Stunning Views

Battle of Edgecote 26th July 1469

The Battle of Edgecote, or Danesmore, was fought in the fields to the south of the information board during the War of the Roses between Tudors and Stuarts. An army, commanded by the Earl of Pembroke was marching to join King Edward 4th at Nottingham, who was threatened by a rebellion in the north led by a mysterious Robin who were marching to join the Earl of Warwick.  Pembroke's army was weakened because the Earl of Devon had withdrawn his troops leaving him short of archers. 168 Welsh noblemen and many hundreds of common soldiers were killed. Pembroke was captured and then executed.

Chipping Warden

This village was an important market town and currently has two pubs including The Griffin. A by-pass has just been built to take HS2 construction away from the main street. The name "Chipping" is derived from the Old English cÄ“ping 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


St. Peter & St. Paul

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

The north wall of the chancel contains two blocked-up Norman arches that suggest the building may date from about 1200.

At Trafford bridge we cross the Cherwell which feeds the lake of Edgcote House.

The 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.


Edgcote House

Thorpe Mandeville

You can visit Thorpe Mandeville with its attractive pub (The Three Conies) by continuing east from point E.
The village may have originated as a Danish settlement - Thorpe is an old Norse name for a village and Mandeville is a corruption of Amundeville – Richard de Amundeville was Lord of the Manor during the 13th century.

The church of John the Baptist contains 14th and 15th Century wall paintings. The churchyard contains a huge yew tree, reckoned to be more than 1000 years old.

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