Going from Somerton along the Oxford Canal towpath passing Aynho and on to Souldern before returning back to Somerton - walking distance of 15kms and mostly flat.
The map used for this walk is the O.S. Explorer 191 Oxford. The walk starts at Somerton in Oxfordshire - there is a limited amount of car parking available next to the Oxford Canal's bridge at Somerton.
From the bridge go left onto the towpath with the canal and railway lines on your right. Simply follow the canal past Somerton Lock and then a swing bridge as far as Souldern Bridge (192) by Wharf Farm.
Cross the bridge and walk up past the farm and continue along Wharf Lane soon going over one railway bridge and then under another railway bridge - continue
along the lane but look out for and take a somewhat hidden signed path on the left (this is about .5km from the canal). Go along the field edge - this path drops down to cross a
stream and arrives at a t-junction. Turn right and follow the marked path as it heads for the noisy M40 motorway. Remember to look behind you since there are very good views of the impressive railway viaduct.
Continue under the motorway and then the path swings round the field and comes out at Souldern Mill. Cross the stream onto the driveway, turn left and re-cross the stream on a ford
and then follow the drive as it climbs. You eventually get a pretty good view of Aynho Park and House and the church over the fields to the right. Just continue along until reaching a
small road, turn right and follow this road round the Park's walls to a road junction. Turn right again and follow the road on round through the town passing
the house and church still on the right. Just as you get to the edge of the town look out for a footpath sign on the right - this footpath goes down between really nice stone walls
and then out into the open. The marked path descends across a field then through a small wooded area where it re-crosses the steam before climbing back over a field to arrive at Souldern Church. From the church continue straight on to a road with a village duck pond on the left. Go across the crossroads and walk up the narrow lane which winds round to the right - just at a road junction look out and cross a scruffy green stile on the left (who knows this might well be a nice smart stile one day of course..). The path goes reluctantly between houses - soon take another green
stile on the right. Keep to the field edge and look out for a stone stile on the right - cross and join Fox Hill Lane (a track), turn left on this lane and follow it to reach a road. Turn right and cross the Motorway - continue on the road and take the next track on the right leading to Upper Souldern Grounds Farm - just before reaching the farm take a marked path over a stile on the left.
The path continues up a field, crosses a track and then passes by Hill House - shortly bear slightly right and pick up an enclosed path which takes you over the top of the railway tunnel. This path could easily be extremely overgrown with bramble and nettles so you may decide or even need to walk the field edge instead. The path goes through a small wooded area - continues across fields with somemore good views back on the right of the huge railway viaduct, before climbing to meet a cross path. Turn right here and walk down
crossing over scruffy thistle strewn, sometimes heavily nettled and usually boggy fields to arrive at a driveway. Turn left and then almost immediately turn right onto the road and follow this back to the Oxford Canal towpath and then on back to the starting point.
Please take a look at our National Trail and Woodland Walks in England Home Page for more topics about England including circular walks on National Trails such as the Oxfordshire Way and The Ridgeway Path.