Explore Foxholes : stroll through rolling countryside, woodland and quiet villages. Starting in Shipton-under-Wychwood, this 11 km circular walk takes in ancient woodland at the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s (BBOWT) Foxholes nature reserve.
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 Shipton railway station, head downhill on the A361 towards the village.
(1) After 600 metres turn right onto Meadow Lane and 200 metres after the last house, turn left onto the bridleway. Follow the hedge to the end, then turn right on to the worn path between arable fields. Follow the path towards Heath Farm, passing a small conifer plantation and cross a road, then following the hedge into Bruern Wood. Follow the woodland ride to the house, passing spring and the avenue of lime trees, then cross the road to follow the path beside a wood.
(2) At the path junction 700 metres from the road, turn the left to a small car park. Take the grass track opposite the car park entrance. Follow the path (which becomes a bridleway) into the wood until a crosspaths is reached.
(3) Turn left and follow the path. Take the next right through a large bracken glade.
(4) Turn left onto a narrow winding path and over some boardwalks. Once on the wide path turn right and follow the bridleway to the end of the wood. Continue straight on through a scrub-bordered corridor that widens after 500 metres to an area of rough grass.
(5) Just before the stream, turn left onto the footpath. Follow this with the stream on your right, then cross at a concrete culvert and follow the path with the stream on your left to a stile.
(6) Follow the arable field boundary past a small pine plantation, then through the field heading to the right of the farm cottages; cross the road then cross the ditch to join a track lined with horse chestnut. Follow this into Milton village. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 344ft - Shipton railway station
1 : mi 0.53 - alt. 325ft - Meadow Lane
2 : mi 2.79 - alt. 358ft - Car park
3 : mi 3.25 - alt. 479ft - Path
4 : mi 3.52 - alt. 456ft - Narrow winding path
5 : mi 4.41 - alt. 417ft - Stream
6 : mi 4.88 - alt. 404ft - Grange Farm Cottage
D/A : mi 7.6 - alt. 344ft - Shipton railway station
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Foxholes Nature Reserve
This tranquil woodland, a remnant of the ancient forest of Wychwood, is one of the best bluebell woods in Oxfordshire. The wet ash-maple woodland bordering the River Evenlode gives way to beech further up slope with oak and birch on the gravel plateau within the reserve.
In spring the woodland floor is vibrant with primroses, violets and early-purple orchids. More than 50 bird species, including marsh tit, nuthatch and treecreeper breed in the wood, producing a chorus of song through spring and summer.
Wild honeysuckle grows in the wood and is the food plant of the white admiral butterflies’ caterpillars. Look for the butterflies flying in the woodland. Numerous other butterfly species have been recorded in the wood, including ringlet, holly blue, and speckled wood.
Fungi are abundant here during autumn. Over 200 species have been recorded including boletes, russulas, milkcaps and false death cap. Look out for the bright red beechwood sickener poking out from the fallen beech leaves, the fly agaric – the classic red and white fairytale toadstool, and the blue-grey oyster mushroom, growing in tiers at the base of trees.
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
BBOWT relies on the support of our members to help us look after local wildlife. By joining BBOWT you can help to secure the future of special landscapes like Foxholes.
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