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Chipping Norton and Over Norton

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Chipping Norton and Over Norton
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 15 May 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guidestar1 Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guidestar1 Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guidestar1 Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guidestar0 Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guide
Oxfordshire, Cotswolds
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Chipping Norton and Over Norton
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guide boot Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guide
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12 °C, Overcast, Wind: 8 mph SSW
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A 3 mile circular walk from the pretty market town of Chipping Norton in the Cotswold Hills in Oxfordshire. The walk follows the paths out past the church and earthwork remains of the castle, then it heads up along the Cleeves Path to Over Norton, before returning via farmland to the town. (The walk can be combined with ‘Chipping Norton and Glyme Valley’ to make a 7 mile figure of eight walk.)

The walk has a few steady climbs and descents. There are several kissing gates (some of which are a tight squeeze!) and one short wooden ladder stile (with a gap alongside suitable for most dogs). The streamside and farm paths will be very muddy after wet weather. One of the fields near Over Norton is likely to be holding cattle so take care with dogs. Public toilets are available in the car park at the start of the walk. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts from the free long-stay car park off New Street (A44) in Chipping Norton. Approximate post code OX7 5PJ.

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Walk Sections

Start to St Mary's Curch
Start to St Mary's Curch

Start point: 51.9405 lat, -1.5478 long
End point: 51.9432 lat, -1.5479 long

From the car park, leave via the vehicle entrance to return to New Street, the A44. Turn left along this main road, heading downhill. After just a short distance, before you reach the Baptist Church, cross over the road to pass under an archway set within the terraced houses (Distons Lane signed to the church).

Follow this narrow lane between houses, and continue as it bends round to the left and then right through a staggered barrier to reach the church.

The parish church of St. Mary the Virgin dates from the 12th century and the current building retains features from the 13th and 14th centuries. The nave was largely rebuilt in about 1485, funded by a local wool merchant called John Ashfield, making St. Mary's an example of a "wool church".

St Mary's Curch to Castle Mound
St Mary's Curch to Castle Mound

Start point: 51.9432 lat, -1.5479 long
End point: 51.9441 lat, -1.5495 long

Fork left down the narrow footpath heading for the church entrance. Just before you reach the church, turn left at the cross roads of paths and follow this wider tarmac path heading down to a white gate. Skirt to the left of the gate to continue ahead down the lane.

Follow the lane as it bends to the left, with The Mount on the right, and then after just a few paces pass through a metal kissing gate on the right to enter the recreation ground. Go straight on keeping the tree line to your immediate right. At the far side of the field veer right, down a set of broad steps and at the bottom keep left on the mud footpath between trees.

Follow the path as it loops round to the right. On your right is Pool Meadow. This area was a medieval fish pond for the lord of the manor who resided in the nearby castle. Now drained, it provides a valuable marsh habitat.

At the far side of the meadow the path runs parallel with a beautiful stream on the left, ideal for a paddle in hot weather. At the top of this section of path, pass through a kissing gate and turn right onto a fenced wide footpath. Follow this path as it bends slowly to the left, with the castle mound on the left.

Castle Mound to Over Norton Road
Castle Mound to Over Norton Road

Start point: 51.9441 lat, -1.5495 long
End point: 51.9503 lat, -1.543 long

The earthworks on the left here are where Chipping Norton Castle once stood, a 12th century timber Norman motte and bailey castle.

Follow the path bending left with the back of the church on the right and the castle mound on the left. As you emerge at a staggered junction of paths, turn left through an open gate into Spring Hill signed with a footpath marker for Over Norton.

Follow this lane as it bends left and then as you meet the gates to the private property, keep right through a kissing gate to join the footpath through trees.

After some distance the path crosses a small brook and then passes underneath a concrete bridge. A few paces later, pass through a kissing gate into a hillside pasture and follow the obvious path uphill with the fence over to the right. On the left you’ll see a beautiful uniform line of poplar trees. Follow the path and pass through a kissing gate to meet the road.

Over Norton Road to End of Field
Over Norton Road to End of Field

Start point: 51.9503 lat, -1.543 long
End point: 51.9487 lat, -1.5428 long

Cross over and then turn left to follow the pavement heading uphill towards Over Norton. At the top of the hill, with Cleeves Corner on the left, follow the main road as it bends round to the right. Just before the bus stop on the right, fork diagonally right to pass in front of the ornate Over Norton Fountain – a Grade II listed structure.

Continue in the same direction, marked with a yellow arrow footpath sign, between stone houses. Pass by Woodhaven House on the left, heading for a wooden clad bungalow ahead. Bend left down a grass footpath and through a kissing gate into a field.

Veer slightly right to pass over the centre of the field (which may be holding cattle), heading for the metal kissing gate directly to the left of the large pond. Pass through the kissing gate and continue on the narrow concrete footpath heading steeply uphill. As you reach a house on the left, turn right through a kissing gate opposite and follow this path as it winds through a small belt of trees and across a stream.

Pass over a small wooden ladder stile to enter a field (which is likely to be holding cattle). Keep left and then right to follow the boundary at the top of the field. After a short distance you can fork right diagonally down across the centre of the field. (You’ll see our track followed the top of the field and then turned right further along – by a brick structure – as we were giving the cows and calves plenty of space from our dog). Pass through the kissing gate at the bottom of the field to reach the road.

End of Field to Car Park
End of Field to Car Park

Start point: 51.9487 lat, -1.5428 long
End point: 51.9414 lat, -1.5472 long

Turn left along the pavement to follow the long straight road back towards Chipping Norton. At the double mini-roundabout turn right on the road signed for Evesham and the town centre. Follow the High Street and then follow the main A44 road as it bends to the right. The entrance lane for the car park will be on the left.

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network Chipping Norton and Over Norton Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Chipping Norton and Over Norton"

short but sweet

By CP on 2016-11-06 14:28:06

very clear directions

By CP on 2016-11-06 14:30:56

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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