A Murcott to Horton-cum-Studley Circular
I was beginning to feel that the number of
walks left to describe around Otmoor was diminishing but you just have to look
at a map showing the incredible number of rights of way to realise that there
are still plenty of options.
So it was that in mid October I found
myself in Murcott with a plan to do a circular walk to Horton-cum-Studley and
back. To my surprise the ‘yellow arrow’
path markings were not plentiful along the way and I needed to make full use of
the map to keep to the right of way.
The walk starts and finishes on the bend
opposite the old chapel by the bridge in Murcott. It is a about five miles long and takes two
and a half to three hours at a leisurely pace.
For refreshment there is of course The Nut Tree at Murcott or
alternatively The Lodge or the Village Stores at Horton (I confess to buying an
ice-cream at Horton!).
A map of the route is below: -
- Go 10m up the green lane opposite the chapel over a footbridge
and into the field on the left.
There are two paths marked across the field. Take the left-hand one straight across
towards a wide gap in the hedgerow opposite heading towards Manor Farm in
- Through the gap cross to the right-hand side of the ditch
stretching ahead of you and then follow the ditch keeping it on you
left. Eventually you pass another
opening on your left and then a small copse with willows in the middle
surrounding a pond (not visible when I passed due to high vegetation).
- After the copse another wide gap opens onto a cultivated field
with Manor Farm buildings and a white tank in the far left corner. Go straight across towards the far side
where you may make out the rail of the footbridge opposite.
- Over the footbridge and bear left over a stile through the
hedge into the next field. Follow
the right-hand boundary to another stile in the far right corner adjoining
the edge of Whitecross Green Wood.
- Over the stile and bear left along the side of the wood – over
a footbridge through the next hedge continuing beside the wood and then
turn right along the next field boundary (it’s a new post and wire affair)
soon after a Nature Reserve pathway into Whitecross Green Wood. Listen out for deer in the wood –I heard
- Keeping the ditch and fence on your left go past a small wood
on the left, through a gap in the next hedge and on to the edge of the
wood. From here go straight across
the field to the far hedgerow and a white stone /concrete farm track which
you can see coming down the hill in the distance. It actually runs down the far side of
the field though you cannot see it.
- Turn left on the track and follow it through the hedge to
Gardener’s Barn the house and grounds in front of you. As you cross the drive to the house
leave the track and go straight across the field to the footbridge on the
- Over the bridge and keep to left-hand field boundary until you
reach the farm track which starts in the far corner. Follow it all the way to Mill Lane
- The way on is along a footpath on the right half way down Mill
Lane. The sign is partially
obscured by vegetation and only visible looking back. The path goes down the right side of a
house fronting onto the lane.
However if you need a break continue into Horton and the Village
Stores/ The Lodge for sustenance.
- Back on route follow the path in Mill Lane (signposted to
Ragnalls Lane) alongside the house and garden and then a broken down brick
wall to a gate into a small field.
Keeping to the right-hand fence come to a stile and go over into the
adjoining field and turn left on a fenced path which winds its way around
a spinney, over another stile, around another small field and through an
opening into the garden and drive of a house with a black painted board
garage alongside and a sky blue coloured house next door. The short driveway takes you into
- Turn right and follow the lane about 1000m. Shortly after a large haystack on the
right and another of round bales on the left Ragnalls Lane bears left.
Turn right here into a field and follow the track running down its
right-hand boundary. There is a
poor Right of Way marker partially obscured on the right-hand gatepost (no
- Continue past the far hedgerow and a green lane on the left
until you reach a newly excavated ditch (the main track turns right and
then left but ignore it). Instead, turn left and follow the ditch keeping
to its left-hand bank past three field boundaries. At the second bridge over the ditch turn
right and head diagonally across into the far corner where you can just
make out the chapel. Aim slightly
right of the oak tree with the bare forked top and cross the footbridge
back into the green lane and Murcott.