Chipping Norton & Rollright Stones Walk

Distance: 8 miles (12.9km)
Min Time: 4hrs
Elevation: 295ft/90m
Difficulty: Hard

Paths Field paths and tracks, country roads, 9 stiles
Landscape Rolling hills on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border
Suggested map aqua3 OS Explorer 191 Banbury, Bicester & Chipping Norton
Start/finish SP 312270
Dog friendliness Under control or on lead across farmland, one lengthy stretch of country road and busy streets in Chipping Norton
Parking Free car park off A44, in centre of Chipping Norton
Public toilets At car park

Route

1 Follow the A44 downhill. Pass Penhurst School, then veer right, through a kissing gate. Skirt the left-hand edge of the recreation ground and aim for a gate. Descend to a bridge and, when the path forks, keep right. Go up the slope to three stiles and keep ahead along the right edge of the field. Make for a gate and drop down to some double gates in the corner.

2 Cross a track just beyond the gates and walk towards Salford, keeping the hedge on the left. Continue into the village and soon turn right by a patch of grass and a sign, ‘Trout Lakes – Rectory Farm’.

3 Follow the track to a right-hand bend. Go straight ahead here, following the field edge. Make for a gate ahead and turn right in the next field. About 100yds (91m) before the field corner, turn left and follow the path across to an opening in the boundary. Veer left, then immediately right to skirt the field. Cross a little stream and maintain your direction in the next field to reach the road.

4 Turn left, then left again for Little Rollright. After visiting the church, retrace your steps to the D’Arcy Dalton Way on the left. Follow the path up the field slope to the road. Cross over and continue on the way between fields. Head for some trees and approach a stile. Don’t cross it; instead, turn left and skirt the field, passing close to the Whispering Knights.

5 On reaching the road, turn left and visit the site of the Rollright Stones. Return to the Whispering Knights, head down the field to the stile and cross it to an immediate second stile. Walk ahead along a grassy path and turn right at the next stile towards Brighthill Farm. Pass alongside the buildings to a stile, head diagonally right down the field to a further stile, keep the boundary on your right and head for a stile in the bottom right corner of the field. Make for the bottom right corner of the next field, go through a gate and skirt the field, turning left at the road.

6 Keep right at the next fork and head towards the village of Over Norton. Walk through the village to the T-junction. Turn right and, when the road swings to the left by Cleeves Corner, join a track signposted ‘Salford’. When the hedges give way, look for a waymark on the left. Follow the path down the slope, make for two kissing gates and then follow the path alongside a stone wall to reach the parish church. Join Church Lane and follow it as far as the T-junction. Turn right and return to the town centre.