Finstock and the Evenlode

An easy, enjoyable walk through glorious scenery

This exceptionally picturesque walk passes Charlbury's four pubs plus the popular Plough Inn in Finstock. It takes in Cornbury Park, the River Evenlode, and the Cotswold Line railway.

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  1. Start in the centre of Charlbury by the Bull and Rose & Crown. Turn down Church Street in the direction of Witney, past the Bell Hotel, and continue to follow the road as Park Street.
  2. After around 500m turn right down the lane to Cornbury Park, crossing the railway and the river. Cornbury originated as a royal hunting lodge in Wychwood Forest. By 1383 a stone wall was being built around the park and in 1642 Charles 1 gave Cornbury to the Earl of Danby, taking it out of the royal forest. Cornbury Park Estate is now owned by Lord Rotherwick and contains some 647 acres that have been designated as a National Nature Reserve. There are a further 654 acres surrounding the reserve that have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
  3. At North Lodge, just before the main gates, turn left along the new footpath, and follow the path next to the fence line on your right, through gates down to the fish ponds and across the dam.
  4. At the far side of the dam, by the Southill Business Park, leave the drive and follow the fence right through trees. Turn to follow the path through the tree-lined avenue, crossing tracks to take the track straight ahead by stone wall. Beyond end of wall, bear left on field edge track with hedge on your right and follow down and uphill to gate. Bear right crossing the Manor House gardens, through gap in yew hedge to a stone stile. Take care - this is a fast road.
  5. Turn right onto the road, then left past the old Crown pub. Walk down the hill to the Plough Inn at the bottom (at a triangle junction).
  6. Opposite the Plough Inn, follow a track called Dark Lane. Continue along this wooded lane passing a footpath turn to the left.
  7. After half a mile, a footpath heads to the left and a byway to the right; continue straight on to the River Evenlode, and follow the river right. Cross on the footbridge by the railway.
  8. Take the short tunnel under the railway and cross the field to the stile into Fawler village. Walk up the lane to the main street, then follow the main road left.
  9. Turn right after a short distance up a track. Follow this track gently uphill along a field edge to a crossroads with another track.
  10. Turn left and follow the bridleway through a wood. The path emerges onto a small residential track which in turn gives out onto a main road.
  11. Follow the main road (Woodstock Road) to the left to the five-way road junction.
  12. Take the road at 12 o'clock, Hixet Wood, signposted 'No access to Town Centre'. Follow this road until it turns into Sheep Street, passing the Three Horseshoes, back to the start of the walk.
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