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Eynsham and South Leigh Circular

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Eynsham and South Leigh Circular
Author: Rebecca, Published: 09 Sep 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guidestar0 Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guidestar0 Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guidestar0 Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guidestar0 Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guide
Oxfordshire, Eynsham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Eynsham and South Leigh Circular
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guide boot Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guide
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6 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 9 mph NE
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This 5.5 mile circular walk starts at the Abbey fishponds area of Eynsham in Oxfordshire, and loops over to the quiet pretty village of South Leigh, past the Manor House where Dylan Thomas lived and started Under Milkwood; and visits the interesting church of St James the Great with its extensive wall paintings. The start of the walk is a little bland, but swiftly enters open fields and steadily becomes more interesting.

The walk is along field paths and green lanes; with some road walking along very quiet lanes. It's a largely level walk with only two very gentle climbs and a number of stiles. Although it skirts one livestock field (with the livestock fenced off), the walk does not cross any livestock fields. Allow 2.5 hours.

Eynsham has a number of shops, cafes and pubs and there are picnic tables in the Fishponds Park; and there is a pub in South Leigh.

Eynsham is a large village, a few miles north west of Oxford and just south of the A40. The walk starts in the free Fishponds Car Park on Station Road. Eynsham is also well served by buses - the S1 runs frequently between Oxford and Witney; and there is also the less frequent No. 11. Get off in the Market Square or Acre End Street and turn down Station Road (Swan Hotel on the corner) and walk down to the Fishponds car park. Approximate post code OX29 4HX.

Walk Sections

Start to Newfield Cottages
Start to Newfield Cottages

Start point: 51.7782 lat, -1.3779 long
End point: 51.7777 lat, -1.3914 long

Leaving the Fishponds car park, turn left and walk down Station Road. Just before the roundabout, turn right down the signposted footpath which leads into trees.

Continue along this path as it skirts the Oasis Business Park (built over the site of the Eynsham railway station), following its twists and turns, until it opens onto a wide footpath. At this point you're walking along the track of the old railway line - a branch line which ran through Eynsham and South Leigh through to Witney.

Follow the waymarked footpath as it passes through field edges and alongside woodland until it reaches Chilbridge Lane with semi detached cottages (Newfield Cottages) to the left.

Newfield Cottages to Road
Newfield Cottages to Road

Start point: 51.7777 lat, -1.3914 long
End point: 51.7735 lat, -1.4182 long

Turn left on the lane, passing in front of Newfield Cottages. Walk down the lane for 0.6 miles, past Lower Farm, until it ends and continues as a footpath past a gate by the Nunnery.

Follow the waymarked footpath, rising at one point to cross the remains of the railway embankment, until you reach a road. (If you study the iFootpath map, you can trace the route of the railway route across the fields.)

Road to Field House
Road to Field House

Start point: 51.7735 lat, -1.4182 long
End point: 51.7742 lat, -1.4226 long

Walk straight ahead down this very quiet road for 0.2 miles and, at the second footpath post on the right, turn right up a driveway.

You pass the Manor House where Dylan Thomas lived in the late 1940s and wrote much of Under Milkwood.

The driveway curves right in front of Field House and leads to a pedestrian gate into a field.

Field House to Stepover Stile
Field House to Stepover Stile

Start point: 51.7742 lat, -1.4226 long
End point: 51.7783 lat, -1.4297 long

Just past Field House, go through the pedestrian gate and turn left and follow the grassy green lane of Bonds Lane.

(If you want to divert to the pub -Masons Arms, take any of the left-hand waymarked paths off Bonds Lane and turn right when you reach the road and walk up to the pub. Leaving the pub, either retrace your steps to Bonds Lane or continue up the road to the church).

If not diverting to the pub, follow Bonds Lane for 0.3 miles until it leads through a farmyard and on into the village. Bear right in the village towards the church and enter the graveyard.

The church is worth a visit for its wall paintings. John Wesley preached in the church in 1725 and, returning to South Leigh in 1771 when a non conformist community had developed, led a service in a private house.

Bear right through the graveyard to a stone stepover stile.

Stepover Stile to Lane Crossing
Stepover Stile to Lane Crossing

Start point: 51.7783 lat, -1.4297 long
End point: 51.7774 lat, -1.4196 long

Leave the graveyard here and shortly pass through a kissing gate to walk along the side of a pasture, fenced off from any livestock in the field.

Through a hedge gap, cross the corner of an arable field and then walk alongside a hedge on the left-hand side of two fields to exit onto a lane.

Lane Crossing to Chilbridge Road
Lane Crossing to Chilbridge Road

Start point: 51.7774 lat, -1.4196 long
End point: 51.779 lat, -1.3903 long

Cross the lane into the field opposite and walk up the next two fields to enter a third large field. Walk up the clear path ahead through the field, gently uphill towards a copse. Continue past the copse on your right and the path turns into a lane.

As you reach a short terrace of houses on your left, turn right and walk down the lane away from the farm buildings. After about 0.3 miles, turn left through the metal kissing gate (just before the rubble heap of a demolished farm building). Follow the path across two fields, to exit through a metal kissing gate onto Chilbridge Road.

Chilbridge Road to End
Chilbridge Road to End

Start point: 51.779 lat, -1.3903 long
End point: 51.7782 lat, -1.3779 long

Turn left on Chilbridge Road and walk for 0.5 miles until it ends at a mini roundabout in Eynsham. Cross straight ahead into Acre End Street and turn right (at the Swan Hotel) to walk down Station Road back to the starting car park.

If you have time, take 10 minutes to explore the Abbey fishponds site - interpretation boards provide helpful historical detail about Eynsham Abbey and the fishponds.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network Eynsham and South Leigh Circular Walking Guide Original GPX source file

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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