From the car park in Banbury, via the shopping centre for a quick coffee, and a visit to the Tourist Information Centre to pick up another map, we made our way south along the canal, from Banbury Lock, in the direction of the water's fall, past various narrowboats and a few sculptures.
Long John Silver or Captain Hook? I shoulda blurred out the background.
The start of a new adventure - with Banbury Lock in the background, the Jurassic Way starts - though we couldn't find a sign for it.
Someone's made a real effort with this waterside garden.
We're on the correct path. Just as well.
At this bridge the Jurassic Way leaves the canal and turns left, north-east heading towards the Cherwell, and the M40. The bridge crossing the Cherwell has a plaque.
We could hear the noise clearly for quite some distance afterwards, as we walked across fields, over a railway bridge and past some agricultural buildings.
At a minor road we turned right, then left towards Warkworth. In Warkworth, we turned left to a footpath opposite Manor Farm. The path took us towards Overthorpe, passing a church at some distance on our right, then skirting Overthorpe along a tree lined path from which we could glimpse some splendid gardens. We then turned right towards Middleton Cheney across fields and past allotments, down to cross a stream and up into the large village.
I hadn't realised Middleton Cheney was big enough to have a secondary school, or so many small shops. According to the village website, there are plenty of ghosts in the village as well.
From the cafe we went along Church Lane, and found the footpath between houses. Soon after leaving the village, we crossed a field before walking alongside another one with llamas and sheep, and a tree surrounded by fallen apples which from a distance looked like unseasonal yellow flowers.
Onward and across the B4525, over more fields, where the way is pretty clearly marked, then through a wooded area. The map was useful to check where to cross a narrow section of wood before turning right along the edge and past Chacombe House before arriving at the village itself. The path climbs up into Chacombe through some woodland where signs are very clear. You leave the village from the junction of Silver Street with Silver Street North. You can see the church across the field, and there's a picnic area and a large stone.
under the railway
some curious sheep
We had a small problem finding the way very close to Wardington, and came out about fifty yards too far along Thorpe Road, but it was plain from then on, as the path led us round the village, but at one point (in the Close) there was a sign simply saying footpath. We asked a local resident, who almost sent us back round the village, but finally showed us the nearest path, between some houses, and luckily the Jurassic Way was signposted at that point. Then there was one occasion when a sign was actually pointing ahead instead of left as it should have done. This made us walk all of an extra couple of hundred yards, but finally the route to Edgecote was clear. if we'd looked at the map instead of blithely following signs, we'd have been fine.
We met the road where there are a couple of cottages, then took the road to the right and followed it until it turned to the left into the village of Edgecote, just after the church.
From here we took a track, through a gate downhill to cross the Cherwell ( very small here), then up a gentle slope and into Chipping Warden.
|Rain on lens again!|
pdf fromNorthants C C - Banbury to Ashby St Ledgers
A video of this section - by voxley19 from August 2008 covering many of the same landmarks.