Walk 13: Weston Circular: Picturesque South Northamptonshire villages (2) in the Tove valley

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.58km)

Time to walk: Roughly 1.5 hours although we were stopping to watch the lambs playing at ‘King of the Castle’

Difficulty: Mainly track & field walking with a final stretch along a good hard footpath. A few inclines, but nothing strenuous. There are a number of stiles with gaps for dogs to pass, although some very large dogs may struggle. Some of the route could be better sign posted, but follow this guide & you’ll be fine

Parking: Considerately on road parking in Weston near The Crown

Public toilets: The Crown in Weston when open

Map of the route :

This is a joyous short walk & perfect for combining with some refreshments, or a meal at The Crown at the start, or end

If you like massive views & total peace, then this is a walk for you. Apart from two people in Weedon Lois we never saw another soul & the only noise came from the sheep & birds. Plus add in two beautiful South Northamptonshire villages, what more could you want?

Let’s Walk!

1. Our walk starts from the main street in Weston, which lies approximately 9 miles to the west of Towcester. The name Weston is extremely common & means ‘west farmstead or village’

Park opposite The Crown Inn, which looks unimpressive from the main road…

…however walk up the side to find the more impressive facade. The Crown dates back to the 17th century & we ate there after this walk – the pizzas looked impressive!

2. Walk east along the street away from the pub past the bus shelter…

The street is full of wonderful stone cottages & old farm houses, some dating back to 1588. The village has no church, but persecuted Baptists sought refuge here in the 17th century. At Cathanger Farm across the fields, they held secret baptism services. The farm is now a ruin, but you can still see the remains of the baptismal tank

3. On the left’s a large stone wall & then the gates of the impressive Weston Hall. The house has been owned by the Sitwell family ancestors since 1714, although has recently been placed on the market. The manor house dates to the 17th century & was enlarged in the 1770s. In the early 19th century it was remodelled in a Tudor style

It was the home of Sir Sacheverell Sitwell from 1927 until his death in 1988. It was here that he wrote many of his 130 books on travel, art, music & poetry

Until recently it was the home of William Sitwell, the well known food writer & critic who ran a supper club at the house

4. Opposite the Hall’s the beautiful village green. The cottage on the right was being re-thatched…

Walk around the green & between the cottage & Armada House which dates (appropriately) back to 1588

5. Walk straight ahead on the narrow path with the ditch on your right…

6. After a few yards look for a bridge on the right that crosses the ditch into some horse paddocks…

Turn immediately left & follow the edge of the field to the next corner where you’ll find a kissing gate with chunks missing out of the wood…

7. Carry on in the same direction through the next paddock…

…where there’s another disfigured gate & fence. The only explanation we have for this is they were being chewed by the horses

8. Continue ahead through the next paddock, where there’s a stile to be crossed. Dogs should be able to pass under this one

And finally we’re out into the beautiful Northamptonshire rolling countryside

9. This is really easy walking as it’s a case of just following the hedge until it arrives at a gap & a bridge over the ditch

Cross the bridge & continue to the right, passing what looks like an attempt at a cairn, & following the stream on your left…

10. The path & stream arrive at another kissing gate…

…& then enters a small grassy field. Continue straight ahead along the worn path towards the metal gate & passing the “lookout house” on the right

11. Cross over the stile beside the large gate & walk in the same direction to another large metal gate. There’s something strange poking out of the ground…

There’s just no explanation is there??

12. Walk through the large metal gate. Have a look at the sign on the back of the gate which tell you you’ve been walking through Spires Meadows

Ahead of you now is what I’d call a delightful, typical English landscape. Tracks go off to the left & right, but our route is straight ahead, still keeping the stream on your left

13. I did this walk in early April & the lambs were in extremely playful mood…it was’King of the Castle’ time

14. Keep on the main track as it bears right & then left, ignoring the footpath going off to the left…

Just around the corner the track arrives at another metal gate. Pass through this & the second one a few yards further on…

15. Look at the footpath direction arrow on the second gate…it’s pointing slightly diagonally right across the field – that’s the route (although you could just follow the track keeping the hedge & water on your left)

So the best directional tip I can give you is head to the left edge of the buildings in the distance. As you climb up the field you can see a church tower start to come into view – you need to be aiming to the gap between the tower & the large clump of bushes in the picture below. It’s easy to spot

16. On reaching the bushes, walk ahead through the gap…

…& then turn almost immediately left around the corner of the hedge & almost double back on yourself

17. Now, facing back in the direction you’ve come from, but with the hedge now on your left, walk diagonally right towards the telegraph pole in the picture below…

On reaching the telegraph pole, walk down the hill to the bridge in the corner besides the large tree

18. Cross the bridge…

…& continue up the left side of the next field

19. The field turns left but the path continues slightly diagonally left across to see a bridge under a large tree (in the picture below)…

20. After crossing this bridge, keep straight ahead to the next one…

Once over this, aim for the corner of the hedge with the large tree, straight ahead

21. On reaching the corner continue with the hedge on your right. There’s a small pond on the right too…

Weedon Lois now lies ahead. Once again there’s no footpath signs, but the route is straight at the church tower & an old oil drum in the middle of the field

22. Look for a gate in the fence & pass through it into the next field…

Across to the left is a series of lakes which is Green Farm fishery, one of the best in the area

23. Continue in a straight line to cross the track leading into the fishery & through the double gates over a bridge

24. This is our final field & it’s all uphill! Once again, head straight for the church tower…

…crossing the stile into the narrow path next to the graveyard…

25. Exit the gate at the end of the alley & turn left..Welcome to Weedon Lois

The village was known as ‘Wedone’ in 1086 & ‘Leyes Weedon’ in 1475. The ‘Leyes’ part is probably a reference to ‘a well of St Loys or Lewis in the parish, but it may just be a reference to the manor. Other sources say the name means “Heathen Temple Hill”

Speak to some locals too & they’ll tell you the real name of their village is Lois Weedon

26. Walk down past the Church of St Mary & Peter, the oldest parts of which date back to around 1100…

The vicar barricaded himself in against the Roundheads who galloped into one of his services to arrest him. They wounded him through a trapdoor &, seeing blood dripping down, left him for dead

The Holy Well here was once famous for curing blindness, leprosy & horse diseases

27. It’s time now to head back to Weston & the whole of this next stretch is done on a hard path beside the quiet lane. Head up the hill & out of the village – don’t forget to keep looking either side to see some amazing views & there’s even a seat for you!

28. Continue along the lane. There were masses of daffodils when we did this walk…

..& soon you’ll arrive back in the village

29. Walk down the hill & along the main street & back to the start of this walk…

So that’s it…what a stunning short walk across some beautiful countryside with amazing views. Now…it’s 5.30pm &…The Crown’s open

Go Walk!

 

1 Response to Walk 13: Weston Circular: Picturesque South Northamptonshire villages (2) in the Tove valley

  1. Elizabeth Hornsby says:

    An extension to this walk is going up Kettle End in Weedon Lois (a side road on your left just before the Church coming from Weston direction) and a footpath (which is clearly marked) goes along the edge of a field, then halfway across the field you turn left and followed a clearly delineated footpath to the edge of the field, across a road and into the next field (footpath markers in both directions on road), cross two more ridge and furrow fields and arrive back in Weston. makes the walk a little longer and more picturesque.

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Hornsby Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s