A beautiful sunny and very frosty morning was an ideal time for this walk. Many of the walks along the footpaths round Culworth prove a bit tricky in the winter –walking across ploughed fields, even if the footpaths have been initially marked, can be rather tedious... the mud is very sticky, so this one I thought would be ideal since most of it is through pasture land.
We started from the Banbury Lane, past the sewage works and Culworth Garage, taking the footpath on the left, past the old barn with its seemingly increasing amount of scrap metal dumped around it. Keeping to the footpath, with the hedges on the left, you circuit the arable fields (there is a small path so your boots won't get too muddy!). When the hedge runs out cross over to another derelict barn (scrap free) and take the path across the field to a gap in the hedge. Through the gap, turn left, following the path through a gate and then by what appears to be an old cart track to the stile near Magpie Farm which leads to the main road.
Across the road and along the Sulgrave Road. Here there is a choice of2 paths, both running parallel to the road. The one on the left is a conservation trail accessed by one of the most sophisticated gates around here, and the other on the right is the traditional footpath. Both end up just a bit further along the road. A short road walk to the village stores and then take the path on the left (Stockwell Lane) to the recently landscaped garden of Mill Hollow. The footpath was moved to accommodate this extension on what was originally the site of the old mill ponds. The development of this garden has proved fascinating. This time we noticed 2 swans which seem to have taken up residence on one of the lakes that have been created. The footpath circuits the garden and then leads to the path, improved a few years ago so that cyclists could have a safe ride from Culworth to Sulgrave, which passes the organic fruit farm of the old windmill. There are intriguing glimpses through the trees of paths and mysteries in the old windmill's grounds.
You can carry on to the main road back to Culworth or take the footpath on the right across the field, diagonally to another stile. There are some stunning views here over the Northamptonshire countryside. Then crossing the main road take the footpath by the side of The Paddocks smallholding. Continue, keeping the fence on your left, over the stiles on the left, 2 of them, and then across to the road. We finished our walk by keeping to the footpath straight head, turning right towards Park House, then turning left, keeping the fence of Culworth House on your right. Through an old park gate on the right, between two old garden buildings, one originally an old pumping house, across a rather boggy path –plans to build a footbridge here have been initiated, across the field to the stile into the cricket field and back into the village.
The walk took us a leisurely hour and a half. It could be a bit muddy around the arable fields and although suitable for dogs care is needed through the sheep and horses in Sulgrave. You are rewarded with peace and quiet and some wonderful views across some of the highest parts of the locality.