This pretty long circular walk explores Blenheim Park with great views of The Lake and the Palace. Then, follow paths (Palladian and Wychwood Ways) in the countryside following River Evenlode until you reach the remains of a large Roman courtyard villa. You finally go back to Woodstock using a section of Oxfordshire Way.
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.
Park your car in Woodstock (Union Street car park for example). The walk starts from Woodstock Hall close to "The Bear Hotel" and the post office.
(D/A) Walk Park Street for 150 metres and turn right in Chaucer's Lane (dead-end signpost). Then, ignore Harrison's Lane which bends right but go down the stairs in front of you. At the road, walk along the pavement in Oxford Street for 150 metres until you join a green entrance gate that leads to Blenheim Park. At the junction, bear right to the concrete path with great views to Queen Pool and Blenheim Palace far away.
(1) When you reach a building (renovation work), bear left following the concrete way for 100 metres before you go through the stile on the right and ascend straight the grassy slope which leads to the Column of Victory you catch sight of far away.
(2) From the top of the hill, the column (134 feet) and the view are really impressive!!! Descend the grassy way leading the Grand Bridge. Don't cross the bridge (No free public access), head to the concrete way on the right for 100 metres and bear left when you see a small gate. Follow the path which slightly goes down until you reach a famous and impressive Cedar of Lebanon tree (probably from the 18th century).
(3) This is an iconic feature site because it's known as the "Harry Potter tree"! Enjoy the view of Blenheim Palace and the Grand Bridge as well! Continue this path, go past Rosamund's Well (Built by Henry II) until you reach a junction at the end of the Great Lake.
(4) Ignore the way which goes up on your right, bear left, go through a gate following the path in fields leading to the road. Turn left, walk this road for almost half a mile enjoying beautiful Oak trees.
(5) At the junction, bear right, go through a green massive portal and turn right immediately. Follow the road for 300 metres before you turn left at the fork (Long Hanborough signpost). Go slightly down the road for 250 metres until you reach the footpath to Combe on the right. Go across the open field (can be muddy!), then, walk along the edge of the woods following "Wychwood Way" signs. Go across fields again targeting St Laurence Church far away.
(6) Go past playing fields, walk across the cemetery until you reach Combe. Have a look at the beautiful church! Then turn left, walk along Park Road and continue straight ahead to the paved road (Church Walk) for 250 metres. Then, continue Robin Hill on your left until the road bends sharply left.
(7) Leave this road and take the footpath "North Leigh" in front of you. Cross the bridge over the railway (Grintleyhill overbridge) before you cross a footbridge over the River Evenlode.
(8) Cross two other footbridges, then, go straight along the brook !
(9) At the next junction, leave Wychwood Way, . Close to the hamlet, ignore the track and bear right along the fence.
(10) After 200 metres, enter the woods and . This way overlooks the River Evenlode for 500 metres.
(11) At this unwell-marked junction, bear right just before the footpath signpost, descend the path a bit steep along the fence following the yellow arrow which leads to an open meadow. Cross the meadow until you reach North Leigh Roman Villa.
(12) Visit the remains of the villa with a gorgeous nearly complete mosaic tile floor!!! Then, head to the path next to the hedge on the left which joins a track. Turn right, follow this track for 300 metres crossing a bridge (White Hill bridge). When the track bends right, enter the path across the meadows and go straight ahead for half a mile until you find a footbridge that crosses River Evenlode.
(13) Past the bridge, go through the gate on the right to "Oxfordshire Way". Then, follow the straight path along fields for 700 metres.
(14) Cross over Combe Road and continue the path "Oxfordshire Way" in front of you for one mile. Cross over a second road (Akeman Street) still following "Oxfordshire Way".
(15) You finally reach a high wall and stairs. Go through this wall, and turn right immediately. Go through a gate at the end of the woods and go across the field for 350 metres. Past another gate, follow the track on the left along the woods.
(16) At the gravel road, turn right (footpath signpost) for a few metres and go through two gates on your left leaving this road which leads to Park Farm. The path goes straight across the park, sharply goes left before it bends right to reach an asphalt road. Walk this road on the right side between trees. It bends left and goes down until you reach the building next to Queen Pool you've seen at the beginning. From now on, you just need to use the way you know to go back to Woodstock.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 328ft - Woodstock (Union Street car park for example)
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 285ft - Building (renovation work)
2 : mi 0.79 - alt. 335ft - Column of Victory
3 : mi 1.36 - alt. 295ft - Harry Potter tree
4 : mi 2.02 - alt. 308ft - Junction
5 : mi 2.55 - alt. 394ft - Entrance gate
6 : mi 3.5 - alt. 377ft - St Laurence Church
7 : mi 3.88 - alt. 344ft - Footpath North Leigh
8 : mi 4.43 - alt. 262ft - Two footbridges
9 : mi 4.6 - alt. 302ft - Junction
10 : mi 4.89 - alt. 361ft - Woods
11 : mi 5.22 - alt. 377ft - Unwell-marked junction
12 : mi 5.59 - alt. 266ft - Remains of the villa
13 : mi 6.36 - alt. 266ft - Footbridge over River Evenlode
14 : mi 6.82 - alt. 335ft - Combe Road
15 : mi 8.09 - alt. 361ft - High wall and stairs
16 : mi 8.67 - alt. 364ft - Gravel road
D/A : mi 10.42 - alt. 328ft - Woodstock (Union Street car park for example)
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Global average : 3/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 2/5
Routemap quality : 3/5
Walk interest : 4/5
Global average : 3 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Disappointing
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good
A very nice walk that was a little marred by some disappointing instructions at some key points. It felt as if the writer knew the area well and expected people to know which direction to go when there was a choice of paths.
This circular walk mainly explores Blenheim Park, its monuments and distinctive characteristics including the Grand Bridge, the Column of Victory, Rosamund's Well and an impressive Cedar of Lebanon tree!
An Oxfordshire walk that captures typical landscapes of the county. The church at Bladon is also the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill. The route uses established paths.
Oxford Hill Witney to South Leigh circular walk. A leisurely walk with some nice scenery, a lake and a bird sanctuary. The Masons Arms pub at South Leigh. Mostly B roads and single-track roads.
This easy circular walk provides a good way to discover two lovely villages with thatched houses, particularly Great Tew! On you way, you will also explore the quiet countryside and enjoy lovely churches and a beautiful giant sequoia!
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.