Walk 2076 - printer friendly version
Kingham to Charlbury Walk
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 10.5 miles / 17.1 km
Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SP256227
Lat 51.902259 + Long -1.6293239
Postcode OX7 6UP (approx. location only)
This is a linear walk in rural Oxfordshire which mainly follows part of the Oxfordshire Way. The proximity of a railway line, the Cotswold Line between London Paddington and Hereford, enables the walk to be done using public transport, starting at Kingham station and finishing at Charlbury station. The countryside scenery is generally pleasant, albeit unspectacular, typically comprising public footpaths or bridleways across fields and alongside hedgerows with distant views of low tree-clad ridges, fields, woodland and isolated settlements or individual buildings. The River Evenlode and the railway line are never very far away and the meandering route crosses both a few times. There are some short sections of road walking at the start and finish and also at a couple of Cotswold villages en route, Shipton-under Wychood and Ascott-under-Wychwood. There are no hills and just the one uphill slope a few minutes from the end when Charlbury is reached. Paths can be very muddy in places, especially after a period of heavy rain and appropriate footwear is recommended to tackle these sections. The route is waymarked with occasional signs warning of private land where relevant. Heavy rain can also result in hazards not apparent from a map, such as a partially flooded field in January 2013 as shown in one of my photos. The route near to Dean Grove crosses fields belonging to a local farm and livestock may be seen grazing in these fields.
From Kingham railway station, walk along Station Road and turn right along the B4450 which crosses a bridge over the River Evenlode. When the road bends to the right, turn left down a minor road towards Foscot and follow the waymarked signs for the Oxfordshire Way, initially across a field, then through woodland before bearing left and then right alongside a ditch on the left with the River Evenlode just beyond. A small bridge over the river leads invitingly to "No Man's Land" the name shown on the map, but this route does not go that way. The next section through Cocksmoor Copse represented very slow progress one day in January 2013 due to a mixture of squelchy mud and water underfoot. Trying to invent your own alternative route through trees to the left may not be the best option as the vegetation is quite dense and liable to include brambles. Passing Heath Farm on the left, the path crosses Lyneham Road where the Oxfordshire Way meets with the D'Arcy Dalton Way. Go straight ahead here and follow the route across more muddy fields and along paths to reach the next village, Shipton-under-Wychwood. This point marks the second section of road walking. At a T junction turn left and walk along the pavement next to the main road which goes over the railway line at Shipton railway station. As a public footpath sign indicates, the route continues to the right, just past a house. Emerging from a muddy path between hedgerows, the railway line has to be crossed to reach the next village, Ascott-under-Wychwood. A bridge over the river leads to the village and the waymarked signs for the Oxfordshire Way indicate a left turning along a road which passes a church on the right and a former pub on the left. Next, cross the railway line again, this time at a level crossing and turn right along the next public footpath, along a road initially. When the Manor House is reached on the right shortly afterwards, take the path to the left and cross another bridge over the river to continue on the right.
From here to Charlbury, follow the route ahead, mostly either across open fields or alongside hedgerows,. The route crosses two roads which serve as landmarks. The flooded field in one of my photos occurred about a mile from the end near to Dean Grove an area of private woodland near to the stream called Coldron Brook which feeds into the River Evenlode. Once Charlbury has been reached the path emerges from a field by the river again and you need to walk up the road ahead, Pound Hill, and turn right, downhill over the river at Dyer's Hill Bridge along the B4437, and the railway station is then on the left.