With Marta. 11 miles. Very hot. It felt like hard work. Dry underfoot apart from under the M1.
We started from the Admiral Nelson, crossing the canal to the towpath, and following it as far as Braunston Bottom Lock.
|Looking back towards Braunston|
As well as some very attractive thatched cottages, the village has a Manor House, which was worked on by Lutyens, in the first third of the twentieth century.
Its gatehouse was a meeting place for the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, including Robert Catesby.
|Timber-framed gatehouse - Catesby rode 80 miles from London to bring news that the Gunpowder Plot had been discovered 5th November 1605. He was caught up with, refused to surrender and was shot dead three days later.|
We were in need of a break and a snack, but first we crossed several open fields before finding a suitable shady tree. After this we headed across more fields slightly downhill towards the M1 and the mainline railway of Watford Gap.
There's a bridge under the railway, but you have to cross the A5 - fortunately it is not too busy.
The path took us over the canal and up the towpath past the flight of locks and marina. A lovely oasis, spoiled by the noise of M1 traffic.
We followed the footpath into Watford, where we turned left along the main road, uphill as far as Church Street. Another left turn took us to a junction where we turned left, then right just past a barn, where wagtails alighted on the roof and swallows were flying around.
The path goes across some parkland, and makes towards Henley's railway bridge, which the then owner of Watford Court built so that the railway would be at a distance from his house. Watford Court was built in Elizabethan times, and demolished in the 1970s.
|Henley's railway bridge|
You come to a cross paths (crossroads for paths) where you take the right hand path past Silsworth Lodge - this can be identified. The path goes round the buildings, turning north briefly before going east towards West Haddon, and entering the village near the primary school. The path goes along a short street named The Green.
Turn right, go to the mini-roundabout, and turn left up High Street. Take the next left, Crown Lane, or walk through the churchyard. At the top of Crown Lane the path for Winwick leaves.
We bought lunch in the local shop, though there are a couple of pubs as well. Faced with the choice of sitting on a bench in the sun, or grass in the shade, the shade won, easily.
The final section was pretty straightforward, following the signed path north through fields and under the West Haddon bypass (A428).
The path arrives at a surfaced track near Glebe Farm. Follow this and turn right on the gated road which leads all the way to Winwick. We turned right at the crossroads in the tiny village and walked uphill past the Hall to the seat by the pond where we'd left the car.
Thanks to Northants CC leaflet - available only online as a PDF, alas.
Map and details