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Oxfordshire Walk
The Ridgeway from Ardington

County/Area - Oxfordshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 550 feet / 167 metres

Time - 4 hours 0 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Ridgeway from Ardington
Click image to see photo description.

This Oxfordshire walk from Ardington follows clear paths and tracks to explore the countryside south of the village. The route climbs south to reach The Ridgeway, an ancient track, before continuing east along the high ground. The return follows a bridleway and path back to the start.

The start is Church Street in Ardington (grid ref. SU432883) near the Boar's Head and the Holy Trinity Church. After walking head east with the Church on your right. At the first junction turn left along Well Street. Continue across a bridge over Ardington Brook and then turn right along an enclosed path. You soon reach a wider path where you bear left and continue for 400 metres to reach a track. Turn right and follow the track to a road (grid ref. SU425879).

Turn left and walk through the attractive village of East Lockinge. Keep to the left of the war memorial and after 150 metres turn right into Bitham Road (signed Kitford - the Estate Yard). Follow Bitham Road south for two kilometres passing Bitham Farm on your right. 600 metres beyond the farm you pass Chalkhill Barn also on your right. Beyond the barn, where Bitham Lane bends to the right, continue ahead on a signed footpath (grid ref. SU424854). This rising path heads south along a track with trees on your immediate left. Climbing more steeply you reach a junction of tracks (Bitham Lane). Go ahead and almost immediately take the grassy path on the left which leads across grass. Cross Grim's Ditch (an Iron Age dyke) and continue ahead to reach the Ridgeway and Lord Wantage's monument (grid ref. SU424844).

Turn left along The Ridgeway and keep at ahead at the first junction of tracks after 500 metres. Continue ahead along the clear path A further kilometre of easy walking leads to a cross track with a small on the left-hand opposite side (grid ref. SU443850). Just beyond the end of the wood turn left onto a signed bridleway. Maintain direction for just over a kilometre to join the access driveway to Upper Farm on your left. Continue along the driveway to a lane (grid ref. SU445866).

Turn right and almost immediately left onto a signed footpath. The path follows a stream (Ginge Brook) on your left and continues to reach a cross track after a kilometre. Turn left, cross a footbridge and head west. Pass two trees and take the next path on the right (grid ref. SU437875). Continue north passing wooded Roundabout Hill on your right to reach a farm track by some barns. Continue ahead here to reach a tarmac lane (grid ref. SU436882). Continue ahead and just past the first house on the left, turn left onto a track this leads past Ardington House to regain Church Street. Turn left and the start is a short distance ahead.

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Walking in Oxfordshire

The County of Oxfordshire is located between the River Thames in the south, the Cotswolds to the west and the Chilterns in the east. Much of the county's wealth was from wool production in what is predominantly agricultural area. Local Government reorganisation in 1974 saw changes to the county boundaries with the Vale of White Horse and an area south of the Thames added to the county. Oxfordshire includes sections of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the Cotswolds, the North Wessex Downs, and the Chilterns. Long-distance footpaths include the Ridgeway, Macmillan Way, Oxfordshire Way, and the D'Arcy Dalton Way. The Thames path follows the river and the valleys of the Thame, Windrush and Cherwell tributaries also provide excellent walking. The Oxford Canal follows the Cherwell from Banbury to Kidlington and again provides some excellent walking on the well-maintained tow path.

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