Walk 2549 - printer friendly version
Roade to Weston Underwood Walk
Author - Bob Hawes
Length - 10.5 miles / 17.1 km
Ascent - 0 feet / 0 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SP760515
Lat 52.156557 + Long -0.89049633
Postcode NN7 2NY (approx. location only)
This linear route provides a good introduction to the Northamptonshire countryside and can be completed by those without their own transport. Depending on the time of the year, this walk varies from easy to moderate as most of the mid-section is across fields that are ploughed and cropped. At times these can be very muddy or difficult to find the path through the crops. The route starts from the A508 in the Village of Roade (Grid ref. SP760515). There are a number of buses (operated by various companies) that run from Northampton or Milton Keynes to Roade. If you travel by bus, alight at "The Cock" public house.
Start your walk from the War memorial. Standing on the green take the left hand fork (South East) down Hartwell road, which you follow for approximately 250m. As the road turns sharp right, carry straight on (East) along the smaller road for about 50m. It ends at a farm track. You follow this for 450m. (Northeast) to the field boundary. Pass through the gateway & turn sharp left (North). Keep the ditch on your left hand side and follow the path around the field. After about 1 km. there is a junction between a footpath and a bridleway (Grid ref. 768 322).
Stay on the path you are on and continue around the outside of the same field. You then reach a small wood called "Fox Covert". Follow the footpath through it and then turn left. You are now on the "Mid Shires Way". Turn right following the field boundary down to a gateway which can be very muddy. Turn right again (East) and cross two fields. Again both gateways are also very muddy. At the next gateway turn left. Follow the path through another gate and then cross the M1 Motorway via a bridge/ farm track Grid ref. 777 528).
Continue to follow the pathway down to Quinton Green. Go straight across at the minor road and follow the field boundary for 100m. Then follow the bridleway signs straight across a cropped field with no clear path in a northeasterly direction to a field junction (Grid ref. 790 536). Pass through the field junction and turn left (North) to follow the edge of the field for approximately 300m. until you reach a junction between a Footpath & Bridleway. Turn due east and walk straight across a cropped field. Follow a clear path through a small newly planted wood along a field boundary and then straight across one more very large cropped field to arrive at the end of a small road in Piddington between a large barn and two farm houses. A sign on the edge of the road says "Countryside Stewardship Scheme" (Grid ref. 802 538).
Turn left and walk down into Piddington for about 200m. Stop at a seat on your left for a drink and something to eat, or continue onto the Pub. After the pub continue down the road for approx. 50m. until you see a footpath sign on your right (East) between some houses. Follow this through to reach a clear path across a large field. Cross over two small footbridges and one small field onto the B526 which you follow to Horton (Grid ref. 819 545).
At the T junction turn left (North East) into Horton. In 100m. turn right (East). Carry on past Horton House Sports Club and after about 700m. the road turns sharp left with a small road/track continuing straight ahead (East and then South East). Follow this track for about 2.5km. It goes from tarmac to stone and then to a mud track way down to the junction with a large wood & the disused railway line, all the while heading South East (Grid ref. 843 532).
There are many path through the woods including a new Bridleway that is not shown on maps. Most of the paths and tracks are not public right of ways so be careful. I walked along the disused railway track, which in places is very wet & muddy. In some places it is signed as a permissive path whilst in other places it is not. Continue to follow the old railway line after it leaves the woods heading southwest going under a bridge until you reached the junction with a bridleway which is on a farm track (Grid ref 862 522).
Turn right (South) and follow the track all the way into Weston Underwood - a walk of about 1.5km. Turn right at the junction with the minor road beside the Flamingo Park Zoo and then walk back to the "Cowpers Oak" public house in the middle of the village for lunch and a well earned pint. From here there is a limited bus service back to Northampton and Milton Keynes. Alternatively you could follow the minor road into the small town of Olney (1km. in a easterly direction) where there is a good selection of pubs, cafes, shops and a much better bus service.