My favourite ramble which begins and ends at St Denys Church, Cold Ashby. This is a proper ramble with both hard and soft surfaces and good views from Honey Hill.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From St. Denys Church, which is usually open to visitors, set off West along Church Lane, passing the junction with Crabtree Lane and the Long Well on your right and Park Spinney Close and on your left, noting the ancient sweet chestnut tree in the adjacent field, until you reach the West Haddon Road.
(1) Cross the road with care (as cars can come fast) to Cold Ashby Bowls Club, where you will find a small gate up some steps to the right of the main entrance. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the playing field. So if your dog is with you, then turn right instead and then left up Stanford Road to regain the route.
Go through this gate. Then, walk past the well-tended bowling green on your left in the direction of the splendid children's playground and continuing through the Playing Field to the gates on the Stanford Road.
(2) Turn left on to the Stanford Road and continue towards Honey Hill. You'll pass Coe Farm on your right and Bunker's Hill Farm on your left. Pass the communications mast by the reservoir until you see the first sign for the Jurassic Way (6) This is where you will emerge on your return journey. Don't turn here but continue to the next sign.
(3) Follow the sign which directs you to Elkington via Honey Hill. It is rumoured several counties can be seen from there but exactly how many is still in dispute. You'll also see about 39 wind turbines, at the last count. The Jurassic Way officially skirts the summit, where you will see the stone which commemorates the opening of this useful long distance route. If you are fit enough, you can climb to the summit from where the views can be fully appreciated. From the summit, continue downhill on the Jurassic Way towards Elkington.
(4) Immediately beyond Elkington Covert, bear right and walk down a small ravine to emerge at Portly Banks on Manor Lane. At the next intersection, turn left and walk south along the Bridle Lane/Byway towards Winwick, passing the drive for Creeds Farm on your left and continue for just over a mile, passing Winwick Lodge, also on your left, to regain the Jurassic Way.
(5) Now, turn left and follow the path heading north, ignoring the byway which leaves for the West Haddon Road on your right and following the distinctive signage towards Honey Hill Farm. You will notice the Golf Course on your right. Cross it, cross the next field and then, climb up past Honey Hill Farm on a concrete track. Pass a bungalow on your right and regain Stanford Road at the sign you passed on the way out.
(6) Turn right and continue down Stanford Road to Cold Ashby where you cross, again with care, into Main Street. Pass Bridle Lane on your left and then, turn right into Crabtree Lane, where you can find a short connecting path between houses on your left between Crabtree Lane and Church Lane which returns you to your starting point at the Church.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - St. Denys Church
1 : mi 0.2 - alt. mi 0.2 - West Haddon Road
2 : mi 0.33 - alt. mi 0.33 - Stanford Road
3 : mi 1.4 - alt. mi 1.4 - Jurassic Way Sign to Elkington
4 : mi 2.18 - alt. mi 2.18 - Elkington
5 : mi 3.8 - alt. mi 3.8 - Rejoin Jurassic Way
6 : mi 5.54 - alt. mi 5.54 - Rejoin Stanford Road
D/A : mi 6.8 - alt. mi 6.8 - St. Denys Church
Please wear decent boots, carry waterproofs as there is very little shelter on this route.
Keep in mind that, though the waymarking is pretty good, arrows are sometimes obscured by vegetation.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
For further information on the locality and its history, please go to the website : The Cold Ashby Rambler.
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