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Fotheringhay and Woodnewton

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Fotheringhay and Woodnewton
Author: Claire, Published: 16 Jul 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Northamptonshire, Corby
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Fotheringhay and Woodnewton
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 4.5 mile circular walk from the picturesque village of Fotheringhay in north-east Northamptonshire. The route leaves behind the pretty village with its stone built cottages, crossing arable fields to reach the neighbouring village of Woodnewton. The walk returns through more arable fields and a path running alongside Willow Brook, a pretty shallow chalk stream.

The walk is relatively flat with just a few steady slopes. The paths are generally field paths across arable land and these can get quite muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are several gates and one stile (which does have open fencing underneath that most dogs should be able to squeeze under). Approximate time 2 hours.

Fotheringhay can be found about 10 miles west of Peterborough and 4 miles north-east of Oundle. The walk starts from the main street where roadside parking is available. Park as close to the The Falcon pub as you can, with consideration for residents. Approximate post code PE8 5HZ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Vehicle Lane
Start to Vehicle Lane

Start point: 52.5271 lat, -0.4406 long
End point: 52.5298 lat, -0.4527 long

The walk starts on Main Street alongside The Falcon pub. With the pub on the left, walk along the village road passing between the many pretty stone properties. Ignore the footpath to the right by the telephone box (you’ll be returning via this later) and instead keep ahead on the main road.

Fotheringhay is famous for its old castle (which was destroyed in 1627), the home of the Dukes of York. Richard III was born there in 1452 and the settlement became a location of national importance. His death at Bosworth Field, the last significant battle in the War of the Roses, changed the village’s history irrevocably. Every year the birthday of Richard III is commemorated at the church with the laying of white roses.

Pass the old school house on the right and as the properties end with national speed limit signs ahead, turn right down a quiet lane. Follow the country lane for a little distance and then, as the lane swings hard right, fork left onto a signed footpath which crosses the middle of a crop field. The gap in the hedge at the far side brings you to a T-junction with a small vehicle lane.

Vehicle Lane to Willow Brook
Vehicle Lane to Willow Brook

Start point: 52.5298 lat, -0.4527 long
End point: 52.5343 lat, -0.4659 long

Cross straight over and go through the arch in the hedge opposite to reach the next field. Follow the path down the right hand field boundary. At the bottom you’ll come to a stone track with a footbridge opposite. Do NOT cross the footbridge, instead turn left along the stone track and follow it ahead and as it swings to the right.

After passing through a pair of ash trees (assuming they haven’t succumbed to dieback) you’ll reach a fork at the corner of a small copse of trees. Fork right here with the copse to the left and open fields to the right passing under the branches of the overhanging cherry trees. At the corner of the copse, keep straight ahead on the path through the middle of the crops, heading to the right of the tall clump of trees ahead. At the far side, cross the footbridge ahead over the stream (Willow Brook).

Willow Brook to St Mary's Church
Willow Brook to St Mary's Church

Start point: 52.5343 lat, -0.4659 long
End point: 52.5388 lat, -0.4791 long

Keep ahead following the left hand edge of the next field. Continue onto a grass track passing the water treatment works on the left and keep ahead on the tarmac access lane. You will come to a T-junction with Oundle Road in Woodnewton. Turn right and then, at the next road junction, keep left on Main Street signed to Apethorpe.

Follow Main Street and soon you’ll be passing between beautiful traditional cottages. The many houses of limestone, thatch and Collyweston slate have led to its designation as a Conservation Area.

Pass The White Swan pub on the right and then the impressive Manor House also on the right. A little further along you’ll come to the large 12th century St Mary’s Church. The churchyard houses the grave of Nicolai Polakovs, better known as Coco the Clown, who retired to Woodnewton in 1973.

St Mary's Church to Woodland Lane
St Mary's Church to Woodland Lane

Start point: 52.5388 lat, -0.4791 long
End point: 52.536 lat, -0.4469 long

Turn right immediately before the church into St Mary’s Hill. Follow the lane as it bends left and then right passing the very old Stone Cottage, with its undulating roof, on the left. At the T-junction turn right along Orchard Lane.

You’ll pass allotments on the left and in front of them you’ll see a row of young fruit trees on the grass verge – appropriate for the road’s name. You’ll come to a T-junction with Nassington Road. Cross over and take the footpath opposite (slightly right) which leads you through a gap in the hedge and through the centre of a crop field.

Cross the next field in the same direction, cross the ditch using the sleeper bridge and keep ahead on the path between fields with a line of ash trees on the right. As you reach the last tree (with an arrow attached) follow the path as it doglegs right then left to continue with a hedge now on the right.

At the far end pass through the kissing gate ahead and keep close to the fence on the right to reach a stile. Cross it and a sleeper bridge and keep ahead on the enclosed path between trees. You’ll emerge via a kissing gate to a T-junction with a woodland lane.

Woodland Lane to End
Woodland Lane to End

Start point: 52.536 lat, -0.4469 long
End point: 52.5273 lat, -0.4413 long

Turn right along the lane. As you reach a stone bridge over Willow Brook ahead, turn left immediately before it onto the field edge grass path with the brook running immediately to the right. Follow the path for some distance steadily swinging right and then as the path begins to swing left, turn right across a wooden footbridge across the brook.

Keep straight ahead on the path between crop fields heading just to the right of the church visible ahead. As you reach the hedge corner, keep ahead on the path with the hedge to the right. At the end of the field, pass through the gate to join the narrow footpath between houses. You’ll emerge, via another gate, to a T-junction with the main road through Fotheringhay. Turn left and in just a short distance you’ll reach the point where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

1 comments for "Fotheringhay and Woodnewton"

A beautiful and peaceful walk with plenty of history if you take the time to look.

By sueb on 26 Apr 2015

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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