and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jurassic Way 3 - Charwelton - Braunston

With Marta. About 9 miles in all. Fine, sunny, coolish wind, muddy underfoot in places. Good food and friendly welcome at the Admiral Nelson in Braunston.

We set off from Charwelton, crossing the road from the packhorse bridge. The path starts on a driveway, but soon turns right across a field, and heads north towards a minor road.

At the minor road, do not take the footpath directly opposite, but turn left and walk for a few yards to another footpath across a cultivated field. You don't go over the disused railway embankment!

The path is clearly marked for most of the way, over cultivated fields and grassland.  Just as we arrived at a hedge a large deer leapt out in front of us and dashed away downhill out of sight.  A little further on we met a track and needed to run right - this may have been because we followed the field edge instead of cutting through diagonally.  A bit of map reading needed there.  Keep the radio masts well to the left.  We had to walk to the right of the dome showing through the trees - part of Windmill Farm.

The path brought us to the village of Hellidon, source of the River Leam,  an attractive out-of-the-way place.  We turned left at the Red Lion, then along Stockwell Lane (signposted 'Village Only'.

The church is to the left of the road, and accessed by some steep steps.
We followed the lane through the village, until it became a gated road to Lower Catesby.
After the houses signposting disappeared again. We had to turn right across a field and then follow the boundary over several fields with stiles, but no way marks. Today these fields were some of the muddiest and smelliest I've walked through for some time! We could see Catesby Viaduct, which confirmed that we were pretty well on track.

Our route across the disused railway line led through a gap where once stood a bridge, and at last the ground underfoot was firm enough for us to stop for a quick banana and coffee break.

From here the path was clearly marked through rapeseed and wheat fields, over a few streams via wooden bridges,
uphill to Bates farm building and down into the village of Staverton., over the A425.  We took the street to the right of the pub, then past The Green , where there is a Jurassic Way marker, showing the distance to Banbury - 22M, and to Stamford - 66M.  At the moment we're averaging perhaps 9 miles per walk! Staverton is one quarter of the way along.
From The Green we went along Oakham Lane, turned right then left into Braunston Lane, which we followed as it became a bridleway.  We walked along the bridleway until it turned sharply to the right. At this corner the path led slightly to the left through a field and was easy to follow - over the A45, through more fields, across another dismantled railway line by a bridge and down to the Grand Union Canal, and the Admiral Nelson Inn, where we stopped for lunch before making our way to car number 2.
Top Lock, Braunston through the pub window. Narrowboats were going through in pairs to minimise water use.

Map and details

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