The Oxfordshire Way from Kingham

A station-to-station walk from the Gloucestershire border

This is a one-way walk with a difference: your outward journey will be by train, then you'll walk back to Charlbury. This ensures that you won't be stuck waiting for a train at the end of the walk! You can start the walk at one of three stations: Kingham (11 miles), Shipton (7 miles to Charlbury), or Ascott-under-Wychwood (5.5 miles). Shipton and Ascott have a very limited, weekday-only service, so you might find it easiest to start at Kingham. From the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown, walk down Church Street, then along the churchyard path until you come out on Church Lane. Follow Church Lane to the end, and walk down to the bottom of the hill to the railway station. Catch a train from Platform 1 (the opposite side) to Kingham.

Download printable PDFs with route instructions: Part 1 » Part 2 »

  1. At Kingham station, head out onto the main road and turn right. Take care - this is a busy road. You will cross briefly into Gloucestershire here. When the road bends right to Bledington, turn left in the direction of Foscot. Turn left about 20m beyond the bridge and go through two wooden gates.
  2. Turn right along the field edge. Follow the right hand hedge for nearly half a mile. Go through a gap in the hedge and follow the enclosed path. When this path comes out onto a field, turn left and follow the hedge to the brook at the bottom of the field. Turn right and follow the bank of the brook to a little stone bridge.
  3. Turn right at the bridge and head up towards the woodland. Once inside turn left and follow a narrow path through the wood. Continue through the wood on a clear but narrow track to exit with views of Bruern Abbey, and come out onto a road. (Bruern Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey founded by Nicholas Bassett in 1147. The abbey was dissolved in October 1536. In 1720 a baroque country house was built on the site of the former abbey.)
  4. Cross the road and go through a gate into the parkland of Bruern Abbey. Bear left, passing an old fenced enclosure on your right, and on through a gate and field to another gate into a broad ride through Bruern Woods.
  5. Go straight on through a tunnel through the very edge of the wood by a log bench, and continue straight on keeping the hedge line on your right through two fields to a road.
  6. Cross the road and go straight on along the enclosed path to a gate, and across the field to a gap in the hedge, then on following the path across two more fields.
  7. At the hedge corner turn left on to a track and follow the right-hand hedge downhill to Meadow Lane. Turn right into the lane and continue straight on past modern housing to the A361 in Shipton-under-Wychwood. Shipton has stone-built houses around a triangular green, mostly dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. It has two outstanding buildings: Shipton Court and the Shaven Crown Inn. Shipton Court is one of the largest early Jacobean houses in the country, built about 1603 by the Lacy family. Although it has undergone a considerable amount of modernization, its essential character remains. The entrance front, facing west and visible from the A361, is elegant and well- proportioned. The Shaven Crown, built originally as a hostelry, became a guest house for Bruern Abbey and later an inn, and so has a 500-year-old tradition of sheltering and sustaining travellers. The warehouse at Shipton railway station is a reminder that Shipton was once an important stopping place on the line.
  8. Turn left along the A361. Cross the River Evenlode and the railway and start up the hill. By the entrance to the last house on the right is the beginning of a bridleway that starts as a private drive.
  9. Turn right along this bridleway. The hedged track becomes a left hand field edge to the railway level crossing into Ascott-under-Wychwood.
  10. Cross over the level crossing with care and turn left along the bridleway. Cross the bridge over the Evenlode and carry on along the lane. Langley Mill, beyond the winding river, is set in the angle of an ancient weir, enclosed by willows. Look for the grassy terraces and hollows between the path and the river bank - all that remains of the motte- and-bailey castle of centuries ago.
  11. At the junction, turn left and walk through the village, past the church on your right until you come to the level crossing. Ascott-under-Wychwood links the two settlements of Ascott Earl and Ascott d'Oyley. It has a small and simple early thirteenth century church. The manor house stands on an ancient site, within the bailey of the castle of Ascott d'Oyley, built in the middle of the twelfth century. It is mainly a 16th and 17th century building, but still has some medieval buttresses. Some of the original wooden mullioned windows have survived, and the farm buildings include a seventeenth-century barn with a dovecot in the gable and a brick and half-timber granary standing on staddle stones.
  12. By the level crossing, turn left in the direction of Chipping Norton and follow road over the bridge over the Evenlode.
  13. Turn right along the bridleway. Follow the field edge path with the river to your right. At the Evenlode bridge, bear left following field edges on your right.
  14. After the second field, bear right to cross a ditch. Go through a gate and follow field edge. Try not to get surprised by trains passing!
  15. Carry straight on across left field edges for two fields and then across to a gate onto a track. Continue on track to Pudicote Lane.
  16. Cross Pudlicote Lane and carry straight on along bridleway to Catsham Lane. (You can divert left here to the cafe and deli in Chadlington, or right to the medieval chapel at Shorthampton.)
  17. Cross this lane also and carry straight on along the right hand field edge and left field edge uphill and down the other side to a ditch and woodland.
  18. The bridleway goes straight on up to Spelsbury but the Oxfordshire Way turns right here and then left to follow the left field edge all the way to a track called Grove Lane. At the field corner TR along Grove Lane until you see a metal kissing gate on your left.
  19. At the metal kissing gate, turn left and bear slightly right across the field to a footbridge. Carry on across next field to a copse.
  20. Skirt the copse on your left to a second metal kissing gate. Follow the left edge of the next fields to cross a ford. Continue straight on across the next two fields to a footbridge and then straight on across final field to a lane.
  21. Turn right up Pound Hill, which turns into Thames Street and then Market Street, to the centre of Charlbury.
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