Walk 64: Winwick Circular: Views to die for from Honey Hill

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 7 miles (11.27 km)

Time to walk: Around 3 hours. There’s nowhere to stop on this route so maybe take a few sarnies as there plenty of places to have a picnic if the weather’s good

Difficulty: Pretty much all off road &  flat apart from one stretch up Honey Hill. It’s well worth the climb though as we’ll see…

Parking: At the start of the walk on street in Winwick. The roads are very narrow so the best place is near the red telephone box. This hamlet is so small you can’t miss it

Public toilets: None

Map of the route: This one looks pretty complicated so just follow our guide

map

Well walkers today you are in for a real treat in the rolling hills of the north-west of our stunning county. Having been a member of Cold Ashby Golf Club, we know this area very well & on a clear, sunny day there’s no better place to be – did you know you can see 5 counties from around here? It also takes in a stretch of canal so that’s a bonus!

Our walk, which we did in early May 2015,  starts in the little known, but beautiful hamlet of Winwick

Have a look at the link above as it goes back many years to associations with Cromwell’s men at the Battle of Naseby

Rather than tell you everything we suggest you just go along & experience this stunning little place for yourself. Shhh…don’t tell everyone about it though

Wanna have a look? Then…

Let’s Walk…

1. As mentioned…Winwick‘s really hard to park in & there’s signs telling you to keep off the verges. So park up where the road widens near the telephone box…

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It’s a beautiful hamlet that the local’s are really keen to keep secret & we can’t blame them.  It only has a population of around 70 people & the Domesday Book mentioned it as Winewic, having a total of ‘3 ploughs, 16 villains, 5 borders, a priest…& worth 50 shillings in tax revenue’

Nothing much has changed in this sleepy area…

2. Head straight down the lane to the crossroads where the thatchers are doing a grand job on Bridge Cottage…

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2. Turn right here & head towards the church & Winwick Grange…

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W1

The church is on the right…

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3. We’re heading towards the entrance gates to Winwick Grange…

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…& our path is through the gate on the left…

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4. Follow the narrow grass path…

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…& now on the right we get a view of the magnificent Winwick Grange

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5. Cross the stile over the brook…

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…& we’re now in open rolling farmland walking towards the left of the large tree below…

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6. After passing the tree the exit out of this next field’s directly towards the pylon…

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…& over the first stile…

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..but then be careful as the second one’s broken – please fix it Mr Farmer!

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7. Now to get out of the final field pass to the left of the lone oak tree & out through the metal gate onto the track…

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8. Turn right & walk through the next gate, past the farm buildings & up towards Bridge 23 of the Grand Union Canal…

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9. Pass over, turn sharp left down to the canal & head under the bridge on the towpath…

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The Grand Union Canal starts in London & ends in Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks. It has arms to places including Leicester, Slough, Aylesbury, Wendover & Northampton

10. You all know how much we love Northamptonshire’s canals & we haven’t actually walked this stretch before…

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…but it’s a cracker & runs between Bridges 23 & 28

11. It’s always worth keeping your eyes & ears open as you’ll never know what you’ll come across. There’s some fab fungi along here…

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…& shortly after round the bend we arrive at Bridge 24…

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12. Our path’s taking us to Bridge 28 so just keep following the path…

Nice place to sit awhile

Nice place to sit awhile

Good views across lovely countryside

Good views across lovely countryside

Here's the next one

Here’s the next one

13. There was an interesting sign just after the above bridge…

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…& it’s certainly true as there are several large setts along here so be careful…

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Maybe not today

Maybe not today

14. Here’s 26 (we’re getting there!)

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One of the first boats we've seen today

One of the first boats we’ve seen today

Nice flowers along here too

Nice flowers along here too

…& very quickly we’re at 27…

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15. Narrowboats have certainly changed with the times…most of the ones along this stretch had solar panels…

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There’s also some mile markers that used to be simple stones…

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You see everything walking along the canals – where else would you dry your washing?

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…& finally we arrive at Bridge 28 (which is probably the least picturesque we’ve come across) where it’s time to leave the canal

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16. Pass under the bridge, turn left & head up the steps to the road & then across it…

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We’re now heading towards another small hamlet…Elkington so just follow the road to the junction…

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17. At the junction take the right fork into the hamlet

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Follow the road round to the left until reaching the red-bricked house on the left

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18. You can just make out the footpath sign in the above picture & for the next mile or so we’ll be back walking on The Jurassic Way

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19. The path’s narrow here & we’re now starting to climb towards one of Northamptonshire’s best viewpoints…Honey Hill

It initially passes through a marked paddock with a young orchard on the right

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Hello madame - she was very friendly

Hello madame – she was very friendly

20. Pass through the gate at the end of the paddock into the wood…

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…& down to the gate – go through this too

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21. The Jurassic Way then heads straight over the valley between the gorse bushes, which are looking splendid, & then continues the climb up the hill…

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W4

It's getting steeper now...

It’s getting steeper now…

22. At the top it opens out into a wider track…

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…& then follows the markers…

The summit of Honey Hill's away to the right

The summit of Honey Hill’s away to the right

The views are getting good!

The views are getting good!

23. Still climbing we arrive at another gate. Pass through this keeping the solitary tree on the right…

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The summit of Honey Hill is a short stroll across to the right & you can see 5 counties from the top!

Today we’re short of time so head straight on…

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It really is stunning countryside around here

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24. The field bends round to the right & although there’s no clear path markers, stick to the hedge & you’ll be fine…

Come on…move!

Come on…move!

Once you reach the hedge you’ll see a standing stone that commemorates the Jurassic Way & it’s a great place for it with such amazing views…

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25. Keep following the hedge & arrive at a gate out of the field…

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…where we’re now in an open field for around 200 yards to emerge on a road…

IMG_091726. Head straight on for about 100 yards & then turn right onto the track at the sign…

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27. On reaching the cattle grid just past the house stop!…& just take a few moments to admire the amazing views…

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28. Right…let’s crack on towards one of our old haunts..Cold Ashby Golf Club…

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29. Pass the farm…

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…through the new plantation to the gate. The farmer’s done a really good job here with the path

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30. At the end of this path we need to be careful as we’re going to pass across two holes of Cold Ashby Golf Club (we won a few comps there!)…

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Cold Ashby Golf Club is one of Northamptonshire’s most stunning & most challenging courses…does the wind never stop blowing here? It’s a place where we were members for many years & have lots of happy memories

31. Watching out for balls, cross straight ahead – tricky Par 3 on the left…

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..& then down the hill on the path across the next hole…

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If we remember right this is the 2nd on Elkington - probably one of the most diffic

If we remember right this is the 2nd on Elkington – probably one of the most difficult driving holes

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32. The escape from the golf course lies up the slope opposite where we came down…

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…turning left at the top & then right at the corner to keep the hedge on the left…

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33. This path is going to take us pretty much all the way back to Winwick across several fields so…head down & crack on!

There’s glimpses of the golf course all along here, but eventually you’ll arrive at the corner of the field where there’s a gate into the next one…

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34. This field’s more of a horse paddock & the path’s roped off between them both…

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35. Keep to the left of the next field until reaching a gated off area…

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…where it’s a left through the gate below…

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…which leads into another grass field where there’s a fairly steep diagonal right climb towards the trees

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36. On reaching the top turn right & follow the obvious track down the hill…

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… & through the gate…

Keep to the path!

Keep to the path!

37. Finally pass through one more gate & we’re on a hard surface again…

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We said when we left the golf course that we’d be following virtually a straight line back to Winwick, so carry straight on…

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…& through the next gate…

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38. It’s a bit of a climb up here, but there’s plenty of frolicking young lambs to entertain us…

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And a couple of equines too

And a couple of equines too

39. At the top of the rise you can see Winwick Hall in the distance – we’ll get a closer look shortly…

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Hello nosey Number 40!

Hello nosey Number 40!

40. At the end of the hard track pass through the gate & turn right to have a look at the Hall…

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Impressive gate!

Impressive gate!

Nice

Nice

Since doing this walk, one of our readers, Anita Rowley has said “There is now a Tea Toom at Winwick in the grounds of Winwick Hall on Sundays during the summer, May to September or, if there are large groups, by appointment. Entrance to The Polo Pavilion is via the North gate, not the main entrance”

Check out their Facebook Page by clicking on this link

41. Continue along the lane past the rather lovely seating area near the pond…

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…& continue round to the left back to where we parked near the telephone box

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Here’s the back entrance to the Hall

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Classy post box

Classy post box

So thats the end of a walk that’s got a bit of everything…beautiful countryside, fantastic views, a lovely stretch of canal & some cracking paths

On reflection, it’s probably best to do this walk on a fine dry day. The wind does blow in this part of the county & on a wild wet day it wouldn’t be so enjoyable

It’s another great one though so…

Go Walk!

 

5 Responses to Walk 64: Winwick Circular: Views to die for from Honey Hill

  1. I enjoyed your walk description and agree with your assessment of this part of Northamptonshire – it’s got a great deal to offer Ramblers : well marked paths, extensive views and ‘genuinely English’ landscapes.
    Anyone interested in more circular walks this area and other nearby routes in the Northants Uplands might like to visit ‘The Cold Ashby Rambler’ (see below).

  2. mary sealey says:

    Great site yet to do the above walk. I expect you have seen the rights of way map on Northampton cc site:
    http://maps.northamptonshire.gov.uk/#x=460962,y=273912,zoom=4,base=NCC,layers=Row|,search=,fade=false,mX=0,mY=0
    Mary

  3. Anita Rowley says:

    There is now a Tea Room at Winwick in the grounds of Winwick Hall on Sundays during the summer May to September or if there are large groups, by appointment. Entrance to The Polo pavilion Tea room is via the North gate in the pucture above by the crinkle wall not the main entrance. Check out the facebook page. ‘The Polo Pavilion Tea Room.

    • Hi Anita.

      Thanks for reminding me about the Tea Room – I remember Bruce talking about it when I was in the Radio Station (back there this Thursday!). I’ll update the walk later & also put a link to the Facebook page on the walk itself

      Many thanks again, kind regards

      Dave

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