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.Moored boats at Lower Heyford jetty (Oxford Canal). St Marys Church at Lower Heyford in Oxfordshire. 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.
The Oxford Canal near Lower Heyford in Oxfordshire in England. A small bridge in Oxfordshire. On the way to Steeple Aston in England. Walking through woodland  in Oxfordshire.
Turn right and now go straight ahead through Steeple Aston - the road steadily climbs between houses and then passes a telephone exchange to continue between fields to a main road (the A4260). Go straight across the road and take the path across a field and into woods. Go through the woods and follow the marked path along the field edge to eventually reach a track at Whistlow Farm. Go left through the farm onto a road. Go left and then almost immediately right - this path goes through a grass verge to reach a field - go diagonally left across the field to reach a small lane. Go right and then follow this narrow lane as it descends to cross a bridge and then as it bends sharp right take a marked path on the left (signed to the church).
Walking beside a small stream in Oxfordshire. Steeple Barton - the lovely church of St Mary perched on a hill. St. Mary's small Church at Steeple Barton in Oxfordshire. A pleasant woodland path near Barton Abbey  in Oxfordshire.
As you reach a house in front of you go right on a path across a field to reach Steeple Barton St. Mary's Church. After going through the church gate turn left through the cemetry to reach a kissing gate - turn left onto a nice path which drops down as it goes into the grounds of Barton Abbey.
The path takes you over a stream several times - the grounds are both immaculate and beautiful to walk through - note this is a private property so you have to stay on the marked path. The path takes you eventually to a field - cross this following the line of chestnut trees on the left and then leave the field to go onto a bridleway and into a wooded area. Follow this as it bears right and soon meets a tarmac drive by Barton Lodge. Go along the drive and when the drive turns left go straight ahead on a narrow track - this climbs easily to New Barn Farm then carrys on to reach a road.
Lovely area near Tackley in Oxfordshire. Barton Abbey grounds in Oxfordshire. A really gorgeous narrow track in Oxfordshire A bright yellow field in Oxfordshire.
Cross the road and continue straight ahead on Dornford Lane Track - this starts off as tarmac surface but there is plenty of area either side which is grassed and much better to walk on. Once passed Upper Dornford Cottages the surface becomes narrow track - this nearly straight track is enclosed with hedgerow and really nice to walk along especially in the Spring.
Around 1.5km from Upper Dornford Cottages look out for a cross track [SP 45610 20188 ] - turn left and follow the path across two fields to a road. Cross the road and continue ahead on another path - after the first field keep on the left path which heads straight on to a visible trig point - stay on the path to reach a road. Turn left and follow the road to St Nicholas Church.
St. Nicholas's Church at Tackley in Oxfordshire. Small wooden bridge near Tackley in Oxfordshire. The beautiful Oxford Canal on it's way to Northbrook. Northbrook Bridge crossing The Oxford Cana inl England.
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 track/road.
Approaching Lower Heyford walking along The Oxford Canal towpath. The beautiful Dashwood Bridge on The Oxford Canal. Northbrook packhorse bridge crossing The River Cherwell in Oxfordshire. 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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