The second of these circular walks starts half way down the hill opposite Paddocks Farm. The footpath takes you past Tythe Hall, originally a beautiful old 17th century tithe barn, converted in the 1980’s to a magnificent private house. Originally it would have held the tithes, a payment of one tenth of the produce from the local farmers for the upkeep of the parish church.
Over the stile, following the field downhill through what was part of one of the original mediaeval strip farming fields. At the time of the enclosure in 1612 there were 3 fields in Culworth and Westfield was one of them containing 483 acres. It can be very muddy at the bottom of this field in wet weather. Over the stream, across the field and over the old railway line. This line opened in 1913 and was part of the link line from Woodford Halse to Banbury. It connected the Great Central line to the Great Western line. Culworth station closed in 1956 and the last train ran along this line in 1966. Today this old railway line is in private hands and unlike some old railway lines is not part of a public footpath system.
After crossing the old railway line, up a small slope and then turn right along the field, parallel with the line. When you get to the old bridge (originally part of the footpath but now closed because of fears of it falling down) cross the field diagonally to the left hand corner. At the stile it is worth a stop to look back and admire the view back to the western part of Culworth. Turn left here keeping to a very well maintained footpath , but take care… this is badger country and their setts have extended to take in this footpath. Further along on the left is a well established badger area with many setts…. if you pass by in the evening you will be sure to see many badgers either playing or setting out on foraging expeditions.
Follow the path round by the fences… the paths here are very well marked and the wildflower border to the side is home to many species. There are some wonderful views here towards Edgcote House and Eydon Hall. Over the stile onto the road, turn left along the road for about 20 yards and then right at the footpath sign into a field with sheep. Walk diagonally to the right hand corner of the field, straight over the next field, once again well marked and down to the River Cherwell. Over a bridge (the first of 3 very substantial bridges ), turn left across a beautiful if very wet buttercup meadow towards another bridge; at this point keep straight ahead and don’t follow the bridleway sign. Over the third bridge, across a small field and then start coming back towards Culworth.
Through another very well marked wheat field. At this point keep to the right of the field of newly planted trees, keeping the hedge to your right . Keep going round, past the gate on the right in the corner of the field. The footpath is the next gap (signposted..just) Follow the path keeping the hedge on the right by the edge of a wheat field. This part of the walk does not have footpaths that are so well marked. Keep on the same path (ignoring the footpath sign on the right!),keeping the hedge on the right all the time. At the end of the field carry straight on… hedge on the left this time. At the barns take the footpath diagonally across the field (back to well marked), over a stile, across a field and out to the road, up the hill to the start.
This walk is a little more strenuous than Walk 1, but even allowing for stops and slower than average walking we still managed it in an hour and a half. Some of the walk is through fields with sheep so dog owners must make sure their charges are on leads. There are some wonderful views and the prospect of seeing badgers adds to the interest.