Elkington, Grand Union Canal & Cold Ashby from Winwick

A lengthy Northamptonshire walk that explores the countryside to the north-west of Northampton. The route uses a section of the Jurassic Way, the towpath of Grand Union Canal, fields paths and country lanes. Winwick is a small rural community of some 40 souls, according to their website, situated off the A428 north of West Haddon and west of Northampton.

Technical sheet
No. 293144
A Winwick (Northamptonshire) walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 13/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h35[?]
Distance Distance : 12.89mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 738ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 709ft
Highest point Highest point : 689ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 410ft
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Winwick (Northamptonshire)
Starting point Starting point : N 52.358156° / W 1.081637°
Download : -
A lovely wild flower meadow


(D/A)To start the walk; from the crossroads (grid ref. SP626737) take the road heading north and then take the footpath off to the left. Go diagonally right and through the gate onto a track. Pass through the gate on the other side of the track and carry on heading north, past Home Farm until you reach a country lane (grid ref. SP628747). Turn right along the lane and then bear left when you reach a fork to join the Jurassic Way. Turn left and continue until you see a footpath sign on the left (grid ref. SP632747) which takes the Jurassic Way all the way up Honey Hill. When you reach the top carry on along a tarmac road past Honey Hill farm to reach a road (grid SP639769).

(1)Turn left and continue until you see a footpath sign to Elkington. Follow the sign to the left and descend the slope; about mid-way down carry on through the gap in the hedgerow and eventually onto Elkington. On reaching the hamlet turn right along the road and carry on until you reach the canal bridge (grid ref. SP622766). Here you have a choice whether to carry on over the canal bridge and reach the towpath that way or, alternatively take the bridleway to the right immediately before the bridge. Carry on along it until the path swings to the left and you will see another smaller bridge over the canal. Cross this and then immediately right onto the canal towpath.

(2)Follow the towpath under the A14 and carry on until you reach the next road bridge. Go to the left before the bridge, onto the road. Cross the bridge and bear left along the Jurassic Way up and over the wooded Hemplow Hills. When you pass through the wood and into a field go straight across to the fence on the opposite side. Then turn right along it until you reach a gate. Go through the gate and straight ahead until after a slope you come onto a track. Turn left and walk to Hemplow Lodge Farm (grid ref. SP625788). Go to your left immediately before the farm and negotiate your way across a lawn, past a pond and eventually onto a bridleway heading east. Walk along it until a right turn. Then pass through the gate which very quickly comes up on the left and continue in the same easterly direction until you reach the road (grid ref. SP641785).

(3)Turn right and cross over the A14. Carry along the road until you see a footpath sign to the left (grid ref. SP640777). Follow this sign and continue until you reach Elkington Lodge. Go through this property and turn right immediately afterwards. Walk down the hedgerow until you are almost at the corner when you will see a well-hidden footbridge. Cross it and carry on following the hedgerow until you reach a side road (grid ref. SP653770). Turn right and eventually it will bring you into Cold Ashby.

(4)To leave the village take Thornby Road. Road. Walk along it until you see a minor road coming in from the right (grid ref. SP660759). Turn down this minor road and follow it round as it bends sharply to the left. Continue for a further 800 metres until, this time, you see a minor road coming in from the left. Turn right onto the track immediately opposite and follow it across country. At first it is tarmac under foot. Later you pass through a gate and it changes to a farm track. After passing through another gate it changes back to tarmac. Reaching a road (grid ref. SP645736) cross over and take the footpath to the left. This will bring you into Springfield Farm. Continue into the farmyard and take the track to the right following it through until you are back in Winwick. Hope you have enjoyed yourself.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 436ft - Start: Winwick village
1 : mi 2.46 - alt. 689ft - Turn left along road
2 : mi 4.31 - alt. 417ft - Follow towpath under A14
3 : mi 6.9 - alt. 535ft - Turn right along road and cross A14
4 : mi 8.81 - alt. 663ft - Turn left through Cold Ashby
D/A : mi 12.89 - alt. 436ft - Finish: Winwick village

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3.87/5
Number of opinions : 5
Description quality : 3.8/5
Routemap quality : 3.8/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Mon 19 Apr 2021 16:39:18 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 16/04/21
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

This is quite a long walk, and the last third of it is somewhat repetitive on the long byway. However there is good mix of hills, canals, meadows woods, so something for everyone one. 3 watch outs on the instructions. First on leaving the village make sure you follow the northeast route, not the north west road by the church, both have a foot path off to the left. Go up the hill with the hall on your right and you will see the path. Second when you come out of the woods and cross the field do not turn right by the hedgerow, but follow straight on, there are 3 sets of gates in the field with no fences!. When you come to the path turn left and walk up the hill to the farm. Finally when you come off the byway and come to Springfield farm turn right and go down the hill, do not go through the farmyard.
The pub in Cold Ashby is shut and for sale, no other refreshment stops at all so bring your own for this one

on Fri 25 Oct 2019 13:42:43 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 25/10/19
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

As former Path Warden for Cold Ashby who regularly walks this section of the route and checked it recently, I can confirm that the footpath does go along the field edge, with the hedgerow on the right, after crossing the somewhat hidden small footbridge on your way from Elkington Lodge.
You will know you are on the path when you reach a small wooded area surrounding a rather neglected pond. The path skirts the edge of the wood (keep the wood on your right) and you reach a much more obvious, larger footbridge at the end of the wood on which you will see the waymarks.
Continue to follow the field edge until you reach another obvious waymarked footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn right (south) on the wide bridleway (it is certainly not a ‘side road’!) until you reach the gate adjacent to Manor Farm. Ahead you will see our small green and our iconic red phonebox ( it now displays the legend, ‘DEFBRILLATOR ). Turn left and walk down Main Street. Take Thornby Road (with the church on your right). Then follow the author’s directions to complete the walk.
Note: The small wood is visible as a single tree symbol on the OS map but the pond is not marked. A slight deviation in the path is shown where you skirt the wood.

Hope this helps as this is otherwise a well-planned walk which allows the walker to appreciate the attractions of our local landscape .

Ashby Rambler

on Sat 24 Aug 2019 17:14:47 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 24/08/19
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Did this walk on a hot Saturday so started it before 8am and also started it from Cold Ashby as it was easier to park there. It was an enjoyable, if slightly long, walk but had some great views and while there were some hill they weren’t too bad. We also hit some young cattle after turning off the Thornby Road, they were a bit frisky but after I had waved my arms at them a bit they soon lost interest. The directions were pretty good, when you go through Hemplow woods and have a choice of paths follow the one going straight on and then follow the diversion down to the road. Also as someone else said when you get to Hemplow Lodge go through the gap in the hedge rather than walking across the lawn and because you are coming from a slightly different direction you turn right rather than left.

on Tue 14 May 2019 13:26:54 CEST

At Hemplow woods after the climb there are 2 paths, footpath is straight ahead and the other bends round to the left. We were unsure which one to take so we went straight ahead, this takes you eventually to the path that leads to the house with pond and lawn, but we think this was the wrong path to take. The waymarked sign at the house actually puts you onto the lawn but a couple of metres lower there is a gap in the hedge and we took this route to avoid walking on the lawn.
After going through Elkington Lodge we found the well hidden footbridge but were unsure which hedgerow to follow as there did not seem to be any sign of a pathway or evidence of anybody walking along them. We decided to follow the hedgerow on our right but this did not seem to have had any activity on it for a long time. When we eventually reached the end we arrived at a track not a side road as described in the guide notes, but we turned right up it and eventually arrived in Cold Ashby. On leaving Cold Ashby we entered the field and it had cows in it, they immediately started gathering and started coming towards us quite quickly, my wife was very frightened and upset over this and walked a lot quicker than I have seen her walk before, I stayed back and would turn to face them to try to halt their progress, it did work but it could be a little unnerving for some. Apart from that we enjoyed the walk, and its fair to say we are fairly new to walking these type of routes so mistakes are bound to happen.

Admin hiker
on Mon 13 May 2019 20:43:35 CEST

Sorry to read that.
Would you like to give us some suggestions to improve the quality of this track?

Aurélie - Community manager.

on Mon 13 May 2019 09:23:48 CEST

Global average : 2.67 / 5

Date of walk : 12/05/19
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Disappointing
Walk interest : Average

From Hemplow Woods to Cold Ashby poor directions and part of the last bit hardly any trail or guidance to follow.

on Mon 18 Jun 2018 10:44:32 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 17/06/18
Description quality : Good
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

A 13mile walk that has some testing climbs and easy walking. The views in places are excellent. The route is well marked in all but a few places.

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