Walk 169: Brixworth & Holcot Circular

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 11 miles (18 km)

Time to walk: Roughly 4 hours, but that includes taking photos & writing notes

Difficulty: On paths, well drained tracks, roads & fields, at the time of this walk (March 2021), there were some very muddy patches. There are some stiles, gates & bridges to negotiate

Parking: The walk starts at All Saints Church in Brixworth in Church Street which has it’s own car park

Public toilets: Brixworth does have 2 pubs & a couple of cafes, Holcot also has a pub The White Swan, but due to Covid restrictions at the time of writing, the toilets were not available. The walk does pass by the edge of Brixworth Country Park where the toilets were open

Refreshments: There are 3 cafes / takeaways in Brixworth. The community run Olive Branch inside the library, The Workhouse & the Little Workhouse as well as 2 pubs, The Coach and Horses, & The George. There’s also a small cafe in Brixworth Country Park

Map of the route:

The legwork for this walk has been done by Theresa White & is one of a series she’s done from Brixworth

Brixworth village is a large village just off the A508 in Northamptonshire approx 8 miles north of Northampton. If you fancy exploring the village please see Walk 168

This walk starts at the Saxon church in Brixworth. All Saints Church was built around 680AD. It ‘s historically & architecturally interesting, with a round stair turret, Romanesque tiled arches, a ring crypt & a recently restored weathervane

Let’s Walk!

1. Leave the church car park by the main exit, turning left onto Church Street, walking past the old butter/market cross & the replica stocks…

2. Follow the road around to the right past the old red telephone box & up the hill past Pitt Farm & Brixworth House

At the end of the road The Coach & Horses public house will be in front of you. The pub is Grade II listed & it is constructed of Northamptonshire sandstone & dates back to at least the time of George I. It was a stopping point for stage coaches where the horses could be changed for those travelling between London and Brixworth. In 1731 it was a 3 day journey by stage coach to London from Brixworth. By 1782, the journey time had improved to 24 hours

3. Cross the road & turn left, following the road around to the right & walk towards the roundabout

Cross the road & walk pass Mercedes AMG, where the design, manufacture & testing of Formula 1 power units takes place

4. Look across the road & you will see the recycling centre & a footpath sign

Follow the sign & take the path around to the left parallel to the bypass. Turn left at the telegraph pole with a footpath sign on it

5. Follow the sign & take the path around to the left parallel to the bypass. Turn left at the telegraph pole with a footpath sign on it…

6. Go up the stairs & across the bridge…

…& then walk through the gate into the field, which is frequently full of sheep

7. Look to the right on the other side of the field & you’ll see a footpath sign walk towards the sign. Cross the stile & you’ll see across the road the next footpath sign that you need to follow…

8. Once in this field you can see Pitsford Reservoir in the distance. You need to go diagonally left across this field, where there will be a set of double gates…

Go through the gates & carry on ahead & slightly right to go through another gate. Walk across the field & over the stiles

9. Walk straight across this next field. At the time I did this walk there were cows in this field, & a building was under construction on the other side. The stile you need to cross into the next field is next to the building & there was a well marked path across the field…

10. Look for a gap in the hedge..

…to pick you pick up the path into the next field, where there were some horses & a farm on the right.

Cross over the stile & into the next field  & walk diagonally across it towards some trees with a small gate The landowners have kindly put up some signs that confirm the route down to Pitsford Reservoir

11. Pass through a kissing gate, & continue straight, ahead keeping the hedge on your right. In the corner of the field there is a footpath sign & kissing gate down to the reservoir…

12. Join the path around the reservoir. Turn left, keeping the water on your right & walk towards the car park which is on the causeway. Pass through the carpark, & turn right, walking over the causeway & following the path up the road towards Holcot…

Walk 154: Holcot Circular Walk has some information about Holcot. The village church & pub are a short walk away at this point

13. At the Holcot village signs, look for the footpath sign on the right. It was half hidden in the hedge when I was there. Go through the gate…

… & cross the field and go through the next gate. Follow the path downhill looking for an old wooden footpath sign

14. Walk towards the sign & turn left AFTER the sign, & walk up the hill keeping the wooden railings on your right

Go past the memorial to Lynn Wilson who lived at The Grange in Holcot, & cricket pavilion. Cross the driveway & walk straight ahead, but look out for the footpath sign on the left instructing you to go left through the gap

15. Go over the next field & turn right at the end. Go to the end & through the gate. Now cross over the bridge & follow the path to Pitsford slightly off to the left…

16. Go up the hill over the bridge & up the steps go straight ahead

Then bear slight left & over the bridge. Follow the path on the left in the next field which  was full of sheep at the time of my walk. Turn right at the end of the field & follow the field edge round to the left

Go through a gate & walk straight ahead to another gate. Continue to walk straight ahead, & pass through another gate. Cross a bridge walk straight ahead. There will now be a farm on your right…

17. Walk through the gap in the trees, past a green agricultural building & follow the path, with the fence on your right, towards some houses

Here the path turns slightly left & you start to walk up a driveway

18. Shortly you pass the cottage in the picture below…

…& after a short distance there will be a sign on the right directing you to turn right to pick up the path back towards the reservoir once more

19. Keep the water on your right &follow the path all the way to the dam. Turn right & walk over the dam. When you get level with the sailing club, you need to take the road straight ahead leading out of the reservoir/country park 

(However, if you would like some refreshments or toilets, you could follow the path off to the right with the sailing club on your right behind the fence. Follow this for approx. 300 metres & you’ll see a signposted path to the left which will take you up to the toilets & cafe at Brixworth Country Park)

20. At the top of the road, walk slightly to the right & cross the A508. Follow the path around to the left, then around to the right on Northampton Road leading to Brixworth village

21. Turn left & walk down Merry Tom Lane. The sign at the top states it’s 1.5 miles to the Brampton Valley Way. Follow the track up & then downhill. You’ll pass Merry Tom Farm & shortly afterwards reach the Brampton Valley Way, where you need to turn right at the concrete bollards…

22. Follow the Brampton Valley way until you reach the Spratton Crossing car park. Walk through the car park & cross the road, where there’s a sign stating ¾ mile to Brixworth church…

23. Turn right & walk down the short path to the edge of a field with a wall to your right. Ahead is a footpath sign directing you to take the path that goes up hill & diagonally over the field…

In the distance you’ll see the spire of Brixworth church. At the top of the field look for a gap in some trees

24. Follow the path through the above gap into another field, where you’ll see a metal gate ahead. Pass through the kissing gate on the left, & carry on walking up the hill…

25. Walk towards an old rusting gate ahead…

…& then to the left of the gate towards the bungalow in the distance

26. Walk towards the houses that you can see. To the left of the bungalow you’ll find a gate…

Go through the gate & walk to the end of Saneco Lane, where you’ll see Church Street ahead where the walk started

So that’s the end of a lovely 11 mile stroll. taking in parts of several other different walks in that area too

Thanks Theresa

Go Walk!