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Chipping Warden, Thorpe Mandeville, Culworth Circular

Northamptonshire Walk

County/Area - Northamptonshire

Author - Millennium Way

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km    Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres

Time - 5 hours 20 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Chipping Warden, Thorpe Mandeville, Culworth Circular
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The full figure of eight walk is a little over 10 miles, taking in three delightful villages and some glorious countryside. The terrain is mostly flat with only a few inclines and easy stiles. For the shorter walk follow directions to the crossing point at C then skip to H. During the first half of each walk you will enjoy a delightful section of the Millennium Way the route being clearly marked by the distinctive black waymarkers.

A - Facing The Griffin pub in Chipping Warden go right to find parking area. Just opposite, follow the clearly marked Millennium Way footpath sign on the right and cross field to far left corner stile. Cross stile then continue along with hedge left for approx 100 yards turning right down field with hedge right to find river. Go with river right ignoring bridge right and pass wood to come to gate right. Take gate and go ½ right up field to find gate. Take gate and go with woods right to exit by gate. Go ahead with hedge left through first field, continue with hedge left in second field to find mid field stile. Take stile and go ½ right down field to cross bridge over stream. Go ½ right over rise and ahead with poplar trees right to exit by five bar gate. Continue with fence right to find mid fence gate. Take gate and go half right towards series of gates. Ignore gates and take stile to right side of gates to reach lane.

B - Turn right down lane over stone bridge to T-junction. Go left on road round right hand bend and at left hand bend go straight ahead through hedge gap to field. A roadside information board here provides some useful information on the Battle of Edgcote in 1469. Go with hedge right to eventually pass a number of dilapidated vehicles. Continue ahead with hedge right following bridleway. Maintain this direction through fields – you will notice hedge changes to left after a time and after 3/4 mile look out for a bridleway track coming in from the left ( Point C ) You will return via this track if taking the full walk.

C - The bridleways cross at this point. For the shorter walk take the hedge gap right and follow directions from H below. To complete the full walk continue ahead with hedge left maintaining the same line and ignoring gaps and vehicle swings. Continue until no hedge on left at end of fields. Where hedge finishes go through gates ahead over open field, maintain line to go to left of finger of trees to come to corner gate. Take gate over disused railway line and exit by gate, ahead left.

D - Go up hill to brow and then ahead keeping trees and hedge left to exit field by top left field stile. Turn left on farm track walking away from the farmhouse continuing along rough surfaced track until you reach the crossroads.

E - Here we leave the Millennium Way to turn left signposted Thorpe Mandeville, down Townsend Lane. Thorpe Mandeville web site. When you reach the junction go left to walk past the Three Conies pub and continue down the road past the delightful 13th century church ( St. John the Baptist ) on your left, heading gently downhill into Lower Thorpe eventually to find a footpath right accessed through a farm track ( Lower Farm. )

F - Go through gate keeping to right of stone cow shed, continue up field to waymarked wooden stile. Go over stile and continue ahead with hedge left to go through a five bar gate continuing with hedge left. Go ahead through next field to eventually take hidden gap left just before the corner of field, to walk slowly upwards and continue straight across next field to take path with wood to your right. Maintain line ahead and eventually take waymarked gap (hidden) right continuing same line ahead with hedge and wire fence right. Go past farm buildings on left to take stile to road. Turn right on road into village of Culworth.

G - Thirty yards before T-junction look out for bridleway sign pointing left. Take bridleway now ( or you may wish to visit the village or Red Lion pub to return to this point later ) to go past Barn Hill and Orchard House. Continue ahead where bridleway narrows to become a rough track. Go ahead past two metal gates keeping stone wall to your right. Descend gently with hedge right to go under metal railway bridge then through gates to a gently rising path in the next field keeping trees right. Stay ahead through field corner gap maintaining same line with hedge and trees right. The footpath ahead emerges from a small gap in corner of field to reveal a beautiful view ahead where we continue our downward path soon reaching the crossing point where the short and long routes meet. When you reach the hedge go slightly left then right through gap in hedge.

H - Keep to right edge of field with hedge right. Stay ahead to find waymarker at field corner then through narrow gap into next field. Follow waymarker across next field towards trees. Continue on a rising path with hedge and wood left. When you reach farm buildings turn right to pass in front of farm and continue downhill on paved track eventually passing small pond on left. Follow track until sharp bend right, just past dilapidated barn. At this point leave track and maintain line straight ahead across field. Go across plastic fenced track into next field to maintain same line. Exit field by gap to lane. Cross lane and go left down bridleway. Through gap to left of metal gate and continue towards the village of Chipping Warden which lies ahead. Cross bridge over stream and continue on track through trees to reach surfaced lane. Take lane rising gently upwards passing the ancient church of St Peter and St Paul before reaching the centre of the village. Turn right down Culworth Road which brings you back to The Griffin for some well earned refreshment.

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