Walk 57: Boddington Reservoir Circular: You wanna a flake with that luv?

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 3.44 miles (5.53km)

Time to walk: About 1.5 hours with photo stops & there’s plenty to take

Difficulty: Easy, mainly flat walking but a mixture of hard road, gravel paths & grass fields

Parking: We parked up the side road opposite The Plough Inn in Upper Boddington

Public toilets: When we walked The Plough Inn was closed for an owner’s break so nothing really – hold on tight & walk quick!!

Map of the route: 

We have to confess we’d never heard of Boddington Reservoir which is on the Banbury road from Daventry in some of Northamptonshire’s most beautiful rolling countryside

Indeed it would be great to combine this walk with our Badby Wood or Hellidon (coming shortly) ones to spend a whole day in this part of Northamptonshire

Boddington was almost certainly founded in Anglo-Saxon times & its spelling has changed over the centuries. In the Domesday Book it’s noted as Botendon, whilst a survey of Northamptonshire from the 12th century says Bottelendon, & then ‘The Calendar of Close Rolls’ from 1244 states the name as Budinton. There are several others &, whilst the origin of the name varies greatly, it’s thought to be derived from “The hill of a man called Bota”

Boddington was the last of 3 reservoirs built around 300 years ago to support the South Oxford Canal – we’ll have a look at the first, the stunning Byfield Pool later

This walk had been recommended to us & is only short. We did it in January 2015 & it’s certainly one that can be done at all times of the year – another cracker!

Let’s Walk!

1. The best place to park is on road opposite The Plough Inn


The Plough Inn dates back to around 1550 & is a real traditional Northamptonshire pub &, if you fancy it, you can try your hand at Northamptonshire Skittles (fab game!)

It’s a real eclectic place consisting of two rooms, the main bar area & ‘Doll’s Parlour’. We’ve not sampled it, but apparently the ham sandwich is historic!

2. So, facing the pub, we turn left & follow the road out of the village down the hill…



It was early February, but the daffs are well on the way…


3. At the crossroads head straight ahead. There’s a glimpse of a very large wind turbine in the distance…


…& on the left is an equestrian livery – we’ll meet one of the residents at close quarters shortly, but for the time being he was having a good workout “to get him fit for the point-to-point races”



4. And now we’re about to get in trouble caused by a large shed on the right with some very nosy cattle peeping round the corner…



We decided to walk in the gate & have a look at these beautiful ladies who were a bit scared for a start, but then were happy to approach us…




5. “What are you doing????”…was the question that made us jump out of our skin!!

Whoa… that’s a big horse with a formidable lady on it!! Luckily she was happy with our explanation that we were just having a look at her gorgeous girls so let’s quickly move on down the road…


…where on the right we get our first view of the reservoir…


6. Shortly there’s a finger post on the right showing the entrance into the reservoir car park…





…& now it’s up the steps for our first glimpse of what’s a beautiful little stretch of water…


Great sky reflections

7. We’re going to head round the left side today although it’s possible to do a full circuit in the other direction…



There were some very hardy fishermen along here – even the tents couldn’t keep out the cold today…


8. At the end of the path, to get round the other side of the reservoir we exit onto the road, cross the bridge & then re-enter the woods…



10. Now for a short while the path leaves the edge of the lake & passes down a narrow cutting to another hard track…



11. On reaching the track we turn right & need to pass through the gate below which leads towards the Sailing Club…


Like we said above, head through the metal gate…do not do what we did & go through the wooden gate on the right



12. Anyway…back on the dry hard track we follow it up the hill & into the Sailing Club…



13. This is Banbury Sailing Club & it must be quite a spectacle when the boats are out on the water





14. It’s time now for a quick detour to have a look at Byfield Pool…



This tranquil reserve is just a delightful place. The pool was constructed as a water supply for the Oxford Canal in the 1790s. Water rail & tufted duck breed on the pool, whilst other ducks rest & feed here. Many other birds nest in the abundant scrub & wooded areas around. Listen out for chiffchaffs & sedge warblers. The surrounding reed beds make this secluded area an excellent site for dragonflies & damselflies, as well as large numbers of frogs & other amphibians


Be careful as it was slippery along here…




15. It’s definitely a place we’ll revisit in summer, but today it was frozen…but stunning!



We could definitely have stayed here longer as it’s a ‘magical’ place, but need to move on as the light’s starting to fade so be careful heading down the slope…



16. The path now becomes narrow, with the reservoir on one side & marshland on the other….




17. We’re now approaching the dam which we’ll need to cross to find our way back to the village…



18. So just follow the path round & up onto the dam & across it…



19. At the end of the dam we have a choice of routes…either turn right & continue around the reservoir, or head up the slope through the gate – this is our path…


…& once in the meadow we need to head diagonally right towards the large Ash tree…


20. Upon reaching the tree we arrive at the dead end of a hedge & there’s a sign telling us to turn left & follow the boundary to the gate at the end…



At the top we head through the gate onto the road…


21. Now this isn’t just any road…this is ‘Welsh Road’, the route used by the drovers of the Middle Ages bringing their cattle from Wales to the markets of London…


…& this is the ‘Road’ that’s going to take us back to the start of our walk

22. There’s pleasant views over the reservoir…



23. The road back is quite undulating & also busy so mind the traffic…



24. Although it’s a cold day in mid-February there’s already signs that spring’s not far away…



25. At the crossroads we turn left to head back into the village to where we left our car…


Well what a cracking little walk that was & we can’t wait to return in the summer when it’ll look completely different

Northamptonshire is such a beautiful county & this corner’s a real treasure & we still have more walks there to explore such as around Hellidon

It’s superb…

Go Walk!!


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