A Murcott to Horton-cum-Studley Circular Walk


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: -



  1. 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 the distance.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 several.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 far side.
  8. 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 Horton.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 Ragnalls Lane.
  11. 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 gate!).
  12. 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.