Local Walks & Runs
On the farm
Heath Farm has 70 acres of stunning woodland and meadows to walk or run around in which we highly recommend you explore . The woodland is split up into various sections with different tree sections including apple, cherry and nut orchards all of which have mown avenues to easily navigate. The cottages are situated at the heart of the farm and there are extensive areas to explore in all directions. If you’re in the woodland you’re on our land!
We provide maps of the trails and walks available in the cottages.
We also have an extensive library of local walks and routes in the neighbouring countryside available in the games room.
The two top fields/woods (either side of the drive) are both relatively flat so you can take a comfortable stroll around the outside rides* and/or cut through any of the paths through/alongside the woods.
We have installed a number of benches to help those that need regular rests whilst walking. Head out up through the corner of the garden beside the beech trees (Right hand side If your back is to the courtyard). The first bench is half way along the beech trees. . Cut through the orchard and over the croquet lawn. Head through the gap in the hedge. Carry on straight past the outdoor yoga stage (on your left) along the avenue. At the end you’ll come across the second bench. Turn right and head down to the meadow and model flying strip. As you enter the meadow the third bench is on your right. You can then walk back towards the farm and rejoin the orchard and beech trees back down to the cottages.
Kings wood walk
Head out up through the corner of the garden beside the beech trees. (Right hand side If your back is to the courtyard) Turn right at the end (view of Wigginton from the gate) and go through in to the flower meadow * then
walk straight down alongside the top of the paddock (mind the rabbit holes). There is a nice view of the cottages from the corner. Then turn left in to the woods and follow the track (a bit uneven and slopes a little to one side) round to the flying strip. Or
cross the meadow and join the ride around the woods towards the flying strip. (this way is more level and even)
From the end of the flying strip where the hedge to the neighbour’s field is low there is a view across to Swerford. Turn left and head up the outside ride or the path through the woods (in the autumn you should find some blackberries). Join or turn into the woodland path which runs parallel to the main road then turn left in to the hazel coppice.*
Turn right along the diagonal path then turn left through the woods alongside the chicken run. You will pass our treehouse and arrive above the croquet field. To return turn right and cross the orchard or
Turn left and go round behind the hedge to take a detour round the nut collection* and see how many of the species you can identify.
Top Fields Walk
Head out through the garden to the croquet lawn. Follow the hedge left and enter the Hazel coppice heading towards the main road. Turn left in to woodland path through King’s wood. Cross the drive and follow the diagonal ride through the walnut and chestnut trees (cherry plums in August ) enter the path through the trees or else follow the ride between the old and new planting. Turn left down Wychazel wood. Then left and go past the bee hives and through flower meadow or take the path through the lower belt of trees. Both arrive at the hazelnut plat *. From here cut across the big yard to the cottages or turn left and follow the grass round and cross the drive and come back through the garden.
Walks with steep bits and possibly some mud!
Ten pound Oak Walk
Head out from the garden up alongside the Beech trees and turn right through the hedge in to the flower meadow*. Walk straight down. To the right are the cottages and paddock and view of Wigginton, to the left is the flying strip and view towards Swerford. Follow the ride round the edge of the field bearing left to go down and back up to the far corner, or take the path through the woods to the flying strip and turn right and right again down to the outside corner of the field. Here is the link down to Ten Pound Oak. (4) This is pretty steep and can be slippery. Go down and enjoy the view and turn right following our boundary fence along the bottom of Ten Pound Oak. You can continue all the way till the far corner and entrance to the clearing and spinney (7)* a bit muddy and then make your way back along the top rides.
You can return via (6) The Gap –medium steep and a bit muddy- turning right to come up through the Hazel nut plat and through the yard or round past the buildings and across the drive back through the garden.
Take the path through the middle of Ten Pound Oak just below ‘The Gap’ to arrive beside the pond (5). From here you can go up to the pond and then return to the cottages through the gate in to the paddock and up to the gate at the corner of Beechnut (or you can scramble up through the arch).
Turn right and then left to continue along the top ride below the pond from (5) again a bit muddy -until you reach (4) the steep link back up to where you started.
* The Spinney
You can go in to the spinney at (7). Muddy. Walk through the Beech and into the clearing. Head straight to the far end through the trees. You will see some low fencing around an area in the woods -this is ‘forest school’ for children coming from local schools. Walk alongside this (fence on your left) and then turn right up the hill. It is muddy all year around here and the path is not very clear. There are some rough steps dug in to the slope but it is still quite steep and slippery at times. You will pass a little hut (neighbour’s water pump) you will emerge at (8) the bottom corner of Wychazel wood. From here you can turn right along the outside ride and re-join the walk described above.
* Whack-em-all wood
If you turn left at the bottom of ‘The link’ you can follow the right of way (11) below the woods till you reach the Wigginton road. Turn left and then cross the road and enter the woods. Follow the track
up and carry on in to the next bit of woods. These woods have the oldest/biggest trees on our land. The path is a little vague at times and you may need to walk along the edge of the field in certain parts. You will see when you have reached the end. Come back the same way or if you fancy a scramble make your own route through the woods.
These are just suggestions/starting points. It is easy to ‘mix and match’ the walks or find your own way round following paths and rides as you fancy.
Walks and runs nearby Heath Farm Holiday Cottages
Swerford – approx 4 miles
This is a lovely walk with good views across the valley, mostly on hard surfaces, avoiding the grass and crops, if it is wet.
Cross the farm via the orchard and air strip – taking the path at the far end down to the Wigginton Road, turning right on the road. At the top of the hill where the road curves to the right, go left onto the “gated road”. After a mile or so (keeping to the left) the road ends a few yards from a lovely waterfall you will see ahead of you.
If you go left at the waterfall and take a right at the next intersection, less than half a mile will take you to the Swerford church.
You can return by retracing your route, or going to the east end of Swerford to the red phone box, and consulting your map for the public paths across the fields back to the Wigginton road. There is good bird watching along this route.
Wigginton and South Newington – approx 5 miles
Both villages have interesting churches to visit and The Duck on The Pond pub is in South Newington.
Again, cross the farm to the Wigginton Road and follow the road to the village. Use the road to the right posted to the village to reach the Wigginton church. From there you can take the road to South Newington or paths from the back of the church, along the River Swere (good birding), to South Newington village. This will bring you to the A361 where the pub will be on your right and the church in the village across the road on your left.
Choose your roads and paths for return, since walking along the A361 is not advised.
Great Tew – Approx 5 miles
You have to walk along the side of the B4031 towards Deddington for about ½ mile until you get to the start of “The Avenue” (opposite a farm turning) but the rest of the walk is fantastic. The avenue runs down through part of the stunning Great Tew estate and you enter the pretty village from the back. There’s the Falkland Arms pub where you can rest and get food and drink. The church is well worth walking up to also. The return journey is back up the way you came.
Hook Norton – Approx 9 miles
Consult your map to choose the combination of roads and paths you want to use to reach Hook Norton.
Walk through the village, which has a fine church, and carry on to the Hook Norton Brewery. The Brewery has a Museum, Gift Shop, and an excellent Tasting Bar. Lunch is available at local pubs.
It is easy to return using a different route home..
The Oxford Fieldpaths Society is the best place to find out about organised walks in Oxfordshire.