The ‘Needs to Know’
Distance: 4 miles (6.44km)
Time to walk: Roughly 1 hour 45 minutes
Difficulty: Mostly flat & on a mixture of surfaces
Parking: Carefully on the road in Hinton or, if you want to give them your custom, in the car park of the Crewe Arms pub
Public toilets: The Crewe Arms at the beginning & end of the walk
Map of the route:
Hinton-in-the-Hedges is a small village which lies two miles due west of Brackley. There’s several suggestions as to where the name comes from but it most likely means “high chief’s farmstead amongst the hedges”
There’s been a settlement here for many years as the earliest church was Saxon & evidence of a Roman settlement has been found. Beside the Brackley Road is a grassy mound that’s thought to be where a castle once stood
The village also has a nearby airfield which we’ll see on this walk. As with many airfields in the surrounding area, Hinton was built in 1940 by the RAF Bomber Command during World War II & closed to military activity in 1945
This was another task I set 003.5 Richard Parkes who said he’d used the airfield many times undercover – he was certainly in the dark at the end! Let’s see what he thought…
1. I started my walk outside the Crewe Arms, a beautiful pub which dates back to the 15th century. I visited it after the walk & you’ll see the pictures of the walk get darker & darker & at the end I finished in darkness!
Facing the Crewe Arms from the main road head left & up the hill until reaching the church. I loved this tree that was decorated for Christmas…
2. Welcome to the Most Holy Trinity Church…
The civil parish of Hinton-in-the-Hedges consists of just the village & a few outlying dwellings, with the civil hamlet of Steane being under the jurisdiction of Farthinghoe
However, the Church Parish covers both the churches at Hinton-in-the-Hedges AND Steane – a merger that took place in 1752
This small church has a tower that dates back to Norman times & three bells that are older than the Reformation
3. Walk to the top left of the Churchyard & go through the gate. Continue in the same direction to a further gate which we go through…
Our path continues up the hill in the same direction
4. Walk through the gap in the the field edge…
…& carry straight ahead to the next boundary line where we cross a bridge & continue up the hill ahead
5. On reaching the hard track turn left & follow it for a while…
To your right we start to see the famous airfield, During the winter months you may see some parachuting
6. As the hedgerow on your left comes to an end, turn left & continue to follow it…
Don’t miss this turn as you will end up on the airstrip…… (I speak from experience!)
7. At the gap head right towards the airstrip once more with the trees on your left
Now continue forward, following a well-trodden path
8. This path brings you to the very top of the runway…
Cross the runway. This is a working airfield so just be careful! We’re heading over the field ahead of us to the large gap in the trees ahead…
9. Walk through that gap & carry straight on down towards the telegraph pole…
Next negotiate the gate & keep ahead once more
We’re now passing a camping area & paintball activities….. all sorts happen over this area it seems!
10. On reaching the next gate, go through & head in the same direction up the road…
…passing a wonderful house
11. At the crossroads continue straight ahead…
…passing the hideout on your right
Go & explore this, but watch your footing & enjoy!
12. Don’t pass the 40 speed limit sign in the picture below. Instead turn right & follow the field edge with the the hedges on your left
On crossing the track you should see the way marker opposite, Follow this with the hedgerows on your right.
13. Soon you’ll reach the road…
Turn right, This road will take us back to Hinton….. what a road though as its got a couple of gates which means you’re very unlikely to see any cars
14. Pass a fantastic barn conversion…
…& go through the gate, Please make sure you close it afterwards & then follow the road / track ignoring any temptation to turn left or right
15. Keep on the track through another gate & just keep going straight
For me the light was now fading fast – & I must crack on!
16. Continue past the 30 limit signs & enter the village, passing & ignoring the footpath sign on the right…. keep to the road, following it as it bends right & down into the village
17. On reaching the island, turn left…you can see how dark it was getting
Follow the road round as it bends right
18. Keep going until you reach a footpath sign on the right, just pass the last house…. Follow that sign!
Its so dark now!! –
19. Cross over the bridge & follow the path up the hill beside the house which leads to the driveway…
20. Walk down the driveway…
…& head down the road to the right. At the bottom of the road turn right once more to arrive back at the pub
Now it’s time for that beer. This was the first time I have misjudged the fading light as I stayed to long at the hideout….
What a lovely simple walk!