Day 3 - Alkerton to Hornton
Part 18b - Hornton (B&B) to Alkerton
From the farmhouse go to the track and turn left. The track bends rightwards and then turns sharp right and then left to reach to the A422. At the A422 turn right and cross the road at some stage before taking the turning to Shutford and the Recycling Centre. Continue to the Recycling Centre and then beyond this for about 600 metres to a stile on the right side of the road with a sign indicating Alkerton 1/4. Cross the stile and continue through two gates, after the latter of which the path curves left and downhill onto a track. Continue leftwards on this track and very shortly turn right and right again into the drive of the Old Rectory which leads you to the gate of the churchyard of St Michael's, Alkerton. Continue to the Church.
Part 18 - Alkerton to Shutford
Go out of the churchyard gates and turn immediately right. Go down the steps, turn left at the bottom and follow the road up to the War Memorial on the left. Cross the road into WELL LANE. As WELL LANE curves down rightwards go straight ahead onto the footpath (footpath sign SHUTFORD 2) at THE BARN HOUSE. Continue up the gravel drive and then on with hedge and then wall to your right. Go between ornamental fir bushes and between two rows of trees. At the end of the wall turn right downhill towards a gate and a signpost directing you left to SHUTFORD. Take this direction, go through a gate and on to a stile. Cross and continue, curving leftwards to pass beneath telegraph wires just after the beginning of a hedge to your left. At the end of the hedge turn right downhill on the far side of trees to your right to pass a spring emerging from concrete. Continue down the slope with the trees close to you on the right to a footbridge and gate. Go through the gate and continue a little above the fence to your right to a stile (footpath marker). Cross this and continue above the fence to a further stile (footpath marker) and then go on, again above the fence, to a stile at the field corner. Cross this, go along the fence to your right and then turn right. Cross the stream and go through the gate. Continue along the path, which curves leftwards, and after about 30 metres, turn left onto another path and go on, aiming for the field corner. Cross the footbridge into the next field (footpath marker on the far side of the bridge). Continue along the hedge on your left and go round the field corner. Turn left at a footpath post to cross the culverted stream and go slightly rightwards across the field ahead of you. Go through the trees and then along a fence to your right to a stile at the field corner (footpath marker). Cross over the stile and continue leftwards to a further stile and gate at the field corner. Cross or go through and continue essentially straight across the field to a stile. Cross this and a footbridge, turn left and follow the lane initially downwards and then uphill, going round a right-hand bend to reach a barn on your right. Turn left along the track towards Shutford village. Where the track meets the road turn right along the road to emerge from WEST STREET into EPWELL ROAD. Turn left and follow EPWELL ROAD down to CHURCH LANE on the right. To reach the Church cross EPWELL ROAD and go up the steps just beyond the George and Dragon Inn in CHURCH LANE.
Part 19 - Shutford to Balscote
From the church porch turn right to steps down to the road (CHURCH LANE). Turn right and pass THE GEORGE on your right. Cross the main road into IVY LANE (signed Unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles and BALSCOT, ALKERTON. Continue on down to just after the last cottage on the left (IVY LANE turns into LOWER END before you reach this point) and cross the rather high stile (footpath sign) or go through the gate. Go on down the field along the fence to your right and through a gate in the hedge just after passing barns on your right. Go slightly leftwards across the field to a further gate and the road. Turn left on the road and passing sewage works on the right and a turn to the left signed Alkerton and Shennington continue up the hill into Balscote. Pass THE HEDGES and then MANOR FARM ROAD on the right (THE BUTCHERS ARMS is on the left= to reach steps up to Balscote Church.
Part 20 - Balscote to Wroxton
Leaving Balscote Church turn right and then left out of the churchyard. At the Butcher's Arms on the right turn left down Manor Farm Road . continue through the Green. Just after the Green turn right onto a concrete track. There is a footpath sign on the left at the entry to this track and on the right hand a sign in stone for Round Hill House and Manor Farm Office. Continue on this track until you reach a road. Turn left and follow the road until after about 250 metres you reach a gate on the right hand side of the road which leads you into a quarry.
Go through the quarry working . The direct route may be subject to diversion, in which case you will probably have to turn immediately left, then after a distance turn right, walk along a field edge, turning right again and then left. At the end of the quarry turn left and then half right across field to a gap in the hedge, Go through this. At the old signpost cross the road ahead of you and turn right along the A 422. Turn first right into Main Street and continue past the Primary School on your right to the duck pond on your left. Passing this, take the right fork and continue down Church Street (passing the gates of Wroxton College on your right) to reach at a leftwards bend the Church of All Saints, Wroxton.
Part 21 - Wroxton to Drayton
Turn right out of Wroxton Church and left out of the churchyard. (If you would like to visit the Roman Catholic Church, turn right and continue up to the A422 and straight on for a short while after the road junction to the Church which is on the right-hand side of the A 422.) After a few metres follow Church Street round a right-hand bend and continue to the gates of Wroxton College on the left of the road. Dark Lane runs to the right of the gates as you face them. Go down Dark Lane and where the road bends right turn left onto a footpath (there is a footpath sign at this point on the right side of Dark Lane indicating Banbury 3). Follow the path as it curves rightwards past steps up to a house on the right and a gate into Wroxton College grounds on the left to reach a kissing gate. Go through this and up the slope towards the tower. Turn left at the tower and continue to a gate in the fence to your right (footpath marker). Go through the gate and 3/4 left down the hill. Cross a stile to reach a lake and continue with a metal fence on your left. At the end of the water go 1/2 left up the hill towards the obelisk. Cross a stile and continue to the obelisk. Follow the track (aiming slightly to the right of a folly in the tree-line on the hill ahead) down to a bridge. Cross the bridge and continue on, ignoring a gate to the left. Go to the corner of the wood on your left and then turn left and continue, skirting the wood on your left. At the far corner of the wood take the path 1/2 right up the slope to a gate. Go through the gate and slightly rightwards to the next gate Go through this and straight across the field to a stile (St Peter’s Church is on your right). Cross the stile and turn left and then right up the hill to a gate in the field corner. Go through the gate, turn right and then immediately right again down the road, with Glebefields Care Home above you to the left, to St Peter’s Church, Drayton.
Part 22 - Drayton to St Francis, Highlands
From the Church go up the hill and, passing GLEBEFIELDS Care Home continue on to the main road. Cross to Arden Close and turn right along the pavement, following the main road. Re-cross the road at the end of the pavement turn left and then right into BRETCH HILL. Cross and turn left into TRINITY CLOSE. At the first bend turn right away from the road and follow the asphalt path through the play area. Keep left where the path forks and continue with a wooden fence on your left to the main road (WARWICK ROAD). Cross the road, turn right and take the first slip left, just before where FERNDALE ROAD on your right joins WARWICK ROAD. Continue into SINCLAIR DRIVE and on to what is SINCLAIR AVENUE. Turn left uphill as SINCLAIR AVENUE curves right. Cross the entrance to HILLVIEW CRESCENT and turn right on reaching AUSTIN DRIVE. Follow AUSTIN DRIVE downhill to NUFFIELD DRIVE. Turn left and pass MORRIS DRIVE and RILEY DRIVE on the left to reach DAIMLER DRIVE. Turn right, cross the road and go into LONGELANDES CLOSE, past a gate and right onto the track. Follow this track (BANBURY FRINGE WALK) ignoring an uphill leftwards fork. Cross IRONSTONES, continue on the track andat a crossing of paths go straight on to the main road (which is HIGHLANDS: there is a sign HEARTWAY on the left as you meet HIGHLANDS). Cross HIGHLANDS and turn left uphill past St Francis’ Church. Turn right at the junction just beyond the church to reach the main entrance on the right.
Part 23 - St Francis, Highlands to Hanwell
St Francis’, Highlands to Hanwell
Turn left out of the hIGHLANDS entrance to St Francis’ Church and continue straight on uphill at the road junction. Pass HARLEQUIN WAY on your right and turn right down ROSEDALE AVENUE (just after a bus stop). Just after the entrance to BETTINA CRESCENT turn off the road and go down a tarmac path. Then cross the road into PASCALI PLACE and continue on the tarmac path downhill (footpath sign HANWELL 1 ½ ) and then uphill. Cross the road (this is WINTER GARDENS WAY) to reach the main road with a roundabout to your right. Cross the road and continue of the path (footpath sign). Turn left at a footpath marker. As the road comes into view to your left go straight on into the trees. Go straight on (not right) at the first footpath marker and, after two further markers, turn right through trees at a third marker and then left, keeping the trees on your left. Hanwell Church is straight ahead of you as you come into the next field. Go towards it straight across the field. Go into the next field and on to the south gate of the churchyard. Go into the churchyard and round the tower to reach the north door and enter the church.
Part 24 - Hanwell to Horley
Leave Hanwell Church by the north door and turn left. Continue up Church Lane to reach the main road. Cross the road, turn left and continue to the Village Hall on the right. Cross the track which runs to the right just beyond the Village Hall and go through the hedge (there is a footpath sign) into a field. Cross the field half right. At the far right corner go through the hedge to reach the B4100. Cross this road and continue on the road opposite towards Horley (the left-hand verge may at times feel the safer option). Having passed the cricket ground on your right, turn right at the Red Lion pub and go up the road via the footway on the right, past the churchyard on your left. Take the first left turn to reach St Etheldreda's, Horley.
Part 25 - Horley to Hornton
On leaving Horley Church by the west door turn left at the road and continue to where the road turns left. At this corner go up the steps on the right and over a stile. Continue with the hedge to your immediate right to another stile. Go over this and down the slope, skirting bushes and trees on your right and then, after the bushes and trees, go 3/4 right to a stile. Cross this and follow the path downwards through trees, across a small stream and then upwards into a field. With a barn 1/2 right ahead of you, go up across the field, initially straight on and then curving right, to a gap in the hedge. Go through this and continue half right to the hedge in the direction of the rightmost of two telegraph poles ahead of you. Cross the stile in the hedge and turn left down the lane (Clump Lane). After about 70 metres turn right through a gate into a field. Go half left across the field. Go through a gate, down steps and across a footbridge, Go through a further gate and slightly left up the field to another gate. Go through this and continue with the hedge on your right into the next field. Continue with the hedge on you right to steps leading to a gate. Continue through the gate to a further gate and continue through this uphill with a pond to your left, the path running slightly below the post and wire fence on your right. Go through a gate into another field and follow the path downhill as it curves initially right and then straightens to a further gate. Ignoring options to right and left go through this gate (signed Circular Path) and follow the path slightly rightwards to a further gate. Go through this and, passing Apple Cottage on the right, come out along Pages Lane to the Green. Continue along the road from Pages Lane across the Green and turn right uphill to reach the Methodist Church on the left of the road after a short distance. On leaving the Methodist Church turn right and follow the road down the hill to Church Lane, the first turning on the right. Go down Church Lane to reach the Church of St John the Baptist, Hornton.
Part 26a - Hornton to Hornton Grounds Farm (B&B)
Turn left at the south door of the Church of St John the Baptist, Hornton and leave the churchyard by the east gate. Go down Church Lane to the main road and turn right. Continue past the Primary School on your right. As the main road bends left continue straight on to West End (The Dun Cow Pub is a few metres down West End to the right) and the Children's Playground. Cross West End and take the bridleway (marked D'Arcy Dalton Way) with the Children's Playground on your right. Follow the bridleway as it curves right uphill (ignore the footpath to your left) and becomes an (often muddy) hollow way. Continue as the bridleway turns left towards Hornton Grounds Farm. Go through the farmyard with barns on your left and continue on the track, turning left to reach the farmhouse.