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Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows

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Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows
Author: Rebecca, Published: 06 Aug 2018 Walk Rating:star0  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadowsstar0  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadowsstar0  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadowsstar0  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadowsstar0  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows
Oxfordshire, Eynsham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows boot  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows
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0001_sunny  Eynsham Wharf Stream and Water MeadowsToday's weather
4 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 1 mph N
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Starting in the centre of Eynsham in Oxfordshire, this 5 mile circular walk meanders through low lying fields, taking in the Eynsham wharf stream, a stretch of the Thames, two locks, weirs and a boatyard. It then passes under the Swinford tollbridge and finishes with the medieval fishponds of Eynsham Abbey as you return to the start. Walking at dusk you may see barn owls hunting as well as deer and foxes. In the early summer, some of the fields are full of meadow flowers - the large field (before the boat yard) is sensitively managed by the Oxford Preservation and always puts on a wonderful wildflower display.

It is a relatively flat walk with a few steps up and over footbridges, some kissing gates to negotiate but no stiles. There is some road walking (with pavements) and you have to cross a B road twice. Many of the fields may have sheep or cattle. In one field (just before the boatyard) in the late summer, there is often a bull in a herd of cattle - however, it is a well walked stretch with boats often moored up, so the bull is usually disinterested in humans passing by. In winter (or very wet summers), the walk can be made impassable by mud and standing water in places; and if the Thames has broken its banks, it becomes dangerous on those stretches. So if there has been a prolonged wet spell or flooding, it is best left until a drier spell. By contrast, in the summer, it is usually dry enough to walk in trainers. Allow 2 to 2.5 hours for the walk.

For refreshments, there are pubs, cafes and a small supermarket in the village. There are public toilets in the Back Street car park, a short walk from the Market Square.

Eynsham is a large village, a few miles north west of Oxford and just south of the A40. Eynsham is well served by buses which stop in central Eynsham, near the start of the walk. The S1 runs frequently between Oxford and Witney; and there is also the less frequent No. 11. The walk starts in the centre of the village at the Market Square. If you are coming by car, there is free on-street car parking plus the nearby Back Street car park which has a 2 hour limit. Approximate post code OX29 4HW.

Walk Sections

Start to Wharf Stream Info Board
Start to Wharf Stream Info Board

Start point: 51.7804 lat, -1.3736 long
End point: 51.7802 lat, -1.3663 long

Standing in the market square, with your back to St Leonard's Church, turn right to walk along the High Street for a short distance. Turn left into Queen Street. (On the corner of Queen Street is the grade II listed Lord's Farmhouse, now in the stewardship of the Oxford Preservation Trust).

Take the first right turn into Bitterell. At the end of Bitterell, continue ahead on the tarmac footpath (with housing on the left and a fenced recreation ground on the right) to reach the Wharf Steam Way information board and main road.

Wharf Stream Info Board to Right Turn
Wharf Stream Info Board to Right Turn

Start point: 51.7802 lat, -1.3663 long
End point: 51.7804 lat, -1.3621 long

Walking straight ahead from the information board, cross the main road and go through the kissing gate. Bear right to follow the footpath around the perimeter of the allotment site.

When the path reaches a wide track, turn left. (Looking right, you can see the Siemens factory which makes superconducting magnets. The factory occupies the site of the old Eynsham wharf).

Go along the track for 0.1 miles to a point where a short waymarker post with a Wharf Stream Way roundel points you right towards a metal gate and old plough.

Right Turn to The Linesmen
Right Turn to The Linesmen

Start point: 51.7804 lat, -1.3621 long
End point: 51.7797 lat, -1.3574 long

Turn right here, leaving the track and go past the gate and plough. Continue along the path in the field, keeping the field hedge on your left.

At the end of the field, go up the short rise to stand on the remains of the railway embankment of the Oxford to Fairford line, with the sculpture of the Linesmen.

The Linesmen to Wharf Stream Footbridge
The Linesmen to Wharf Stream Footbridge

Start point: 51.7797 lat, -1.3574 long
End point: 51.7766 lat, -1.3547 long

Leaving the Linesmen, walk ahead down the other side of the embankment. Walk ahead, keeping the field hedge on your left.

When the field hedge ends, do a small dogleg to the left into another field and carry on in the same direction, now with a barbed wire fence on your right, until you come to the wharf stream footbridge.

Wharf Stream Footbridge to Eynsham Lock
Wharf Stream Footbridge to Eynsham Lock

Start point: 51.7766 lat, -1.3547 long
End point: 51.7747 lat, -1.3565 long

Go over the Wharf Stream footbridge. Head across the next field, on a slight leftward diagonal, heading towards the River Thames and the gate to the Eynsham weir and lock.

Eynsham Lock to Boatyard
Eynsham Lock to Boatyard

Start point: 51.7747 lat, -1.3565 long
End point: 51.7653 lat, -1.3594 long

Go through the metal gate across the weir over the River Thames, over the island and Eynsham lock to join the Thames Path on the other side of the lock gate.

Turn right towards the Swinford tollbridge, passing under its arches, and continue through the next couple of fields - alongside the Thames - until you reach the boatyard.

Boatyard to Pinkhill Lock
Boatyard to Pinkhill Lock

Start point: 51.7653 lat, -1.3594 long
End point: 51.7609 lat, -1.3629 long

Enter the boatyard and turn left to walk up its drive to the main road (B4044).

Turn right and walk along the pavement for 0.1 miles until the Thames Path sign directs you right down a path between two gardens. Follow this path back to the river and follow the track as it turns left, over a small hump footbridge and on to Pinkhill Lock.

Pinkhill Lock to Footpath Sign
Pinkhill Lock to Footpath Sign

Start point: 51.7609 lat, -1.3629 long
End point: 51.7665 lat, -1.3702 long

Cross Pinkhill Lock and bear left across the island and over the weir. (As you cross the island, there is a medlar tree near the lamp post - in the autumn this is laden with fruit).

Once through the kissing gate after the weir, turn right and skirt the right side of the field for a short distance to reach another kissing gate on a low bank. Go through this gate and follow the path for about 0.7 miles. The path is largely tree-lined as it veers away from the river but after crossing a footbridge, it crosses the right-hand side of a small field and goes through a kissing gate to become tree-lined once again. After a straight stretch, you reach a footpath fingerpost by a lane, pointing back the way you have come labelled Towpath 1/4 mile.

Footpath Sign to Kissing Gate into Field
Footpath Sign to Kissing Gate into Field

Start point: 51.7665 lat, -1.3702 long
End point: 51.7703 lat, -1.3691 long

From this footpath post, turn right to walk across the field, keeping to the left, to reach its far left-hand corner. In this corner, cut through the hedge onto the lane just before a bridge. Once on the lane, cross the bridge; and 15 or so paces on, you come to a kissing gate in the hedge on the right.

Kissing Gate into Field to Footbridge
Kissing Gate into Field to Footbridge

Start point: 51.7703 lat, -1.3691 long
End point: 51.7762 lat, -1.3681 long

Go through the kissing gate, taking note of the direction that the arrow on the footpath roundel is pointing. Cross this field to a kissing gate on the other side; and maintaining the same direction, cross two more fields (with another kissing gate along the way) to reach a footbridge with gates at either end in the far left-hand corner of the third field.

Footbridge to Road Crossing
Footbridge to Road Crossing

Start point: 51.7762 lat, -1.3681 long
End point: 51.777 lat, -1.3702 long

Cross the footbridge and walk across the next field, on a slight right diagonal towards the kissing gate on the other side. This kissing gate and a handful of steps lead you out to the road.

Road Crossing to Fishponds Entrance
Road Crossing to Fishponds Entrance

Start point: 51.777 lat, -1.3702 long
End point: 51.7774 lat, -1.3741 long

Cross over the road with care and take the footbridge on the other side into a recreation field. Turn left and walk up the recreation field, with the stream (the Chilbrook) on your left. Behind the treeline on your right is the site of Eynsham Abbey.

When you reach the end of the recreation field, the field narrows to an entrance into the fishponds area.

Fishponds Entrance to End
Fishponds Entrance to End

Start point: 51.7774 lat, -1.3741 long
End point: 51.7804 lat, -1.3736 long

Follow the path into the fishponds area. Wend your way through the fishponds site to the car park on the other side, where information boards describe the history of the site and Eynsham Abbey. If you can spare the time, take 10 minutes to explore the site further.

Leaving the car park, turn right and walk up Station Rd, noting the old school house on the right just before the turning into Swan Street. Turn right into Swan Street and follow this back to the Market Square where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author Carley and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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