A Walk from Lower Heyford in Oxfordshire.
A quite long circular'ish walk from Lower Heyford visiting Steeple Aston, Steeple Barton and Barton Abbey grounds, then to Tackley and returning on the Oxford Canal towpath.
The start point is at Lower Heyford's church where there is some parking available - map reference SP 48510 24876.
The road ends a liitle way past the church and from there take a marked footpath which continues ahead between fences and soon brings you nearly to the Oxford Canal. Follow the path round to the left crossing a grassy area to reach a road, go right and head down towards the canal and railway station.
Don't cross on the road bridge but cross over on the canal bridge and walk down onto the towpath. Head along the towpath with the railway lines on the left and canal on the right - the canal bends easily to the right before straightening again to arrive at a swing bridge. Take the marked footpath on the left which this crosses the River Cherwell - follow the path through trees and shortly cross a farmer's bridge - the path bends right and after crossing a stile you can see the railway embankment ahead of you. Cross the railway line and shortly come out
onto a field. Ignore a track going half right across the field towards some barns - instead follow the path going straight ahead now alongside a hedgerow. Cross another stile and continue in the same direction on a woodland path which eventually comes out at more fields - Steeple Aston can be seen ahead across the valley. Still going ahead go down the dip and back up to reach the outskirts of the village - walk up a steep concrete track to the main village road.
From the church continue along the road - just after it bends left take a footpath on the right. You need to head over to the far right
hand side of the field by the edge of Tackley Park. Go along the edge of the field with woodland on your right - go through a small wooded area with a stream on your left and then reach a t-junction. From now on the route follows The Oxfordshire Way as far as the Oxford Canal (all signed) - go left and cross a small wooden bridge. Continue straight on into the field - bear right and follow the path across the field to reach a small potholed
Turn left and soon go under the railway bridge and follow the Oxfordshire Way eventually via some nice mill weirs to the Oxford Canal at Pigeons Lock.
Turn left along the towpath - from here it is around 6.5kms back to Lower Heyford. There are some particularly nice canal bridges along here - several with some quite good names. Bridge 210 is called North Brook Bridge and at this point the
River Cherwell is only several yards away - take a look at the old pack horse bridge which adjoins Bridge 210 and crosses over the River. The walk is obviously quite straightforward now as it simply involves following the canal all the way back to Lower Heyford.
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