Naunton, Guiting Power and Naunton Downs

An undulating walk from Naunton, along and above the valley of the Windrush.

  • Start Point:
  • SP 1187 2348. Black Horse, Naunton.

  • Length:
  • 7.54 miles
  • Ascent/Descent:
  • 791 feet
  • Description:
  • An undulating walk along mostly clearly marked and easily followed paths. There are a couple of steeper climbs but these are quite short. There are excellent views all around the walk.
  • Date Walked:
  • 27th January 2012

The Black Horse at Naunton.

Start from the Black Horse, grid reference SP 1187 2348. PDF of the walk and/or Google Earth Track of the walk.

Map No Grid Reference Distance Instructions
1 SP 1187 2348 500 yards

The car parks at the Black Horse are small (both the one alongside the pub and the one opposite) but it is usually quite easy to park on the road near to the pub. Head west from the pub and follow the south bank of the Windrush then along a path to where it becomes a lane after a gate after about 500 yards.

  • Go west along the road from the pub for about 50 yards then turn left into short side road.
  • Cross over the Windrush then immediately turn right over a stone block to follow the south bank of the river west along the Wardens Way for about 250 yards to SP 1163 2335 where the path goes through a wooden gate as it veers away from the river.
  • Continue west along the path for about 175 yards with a wall on the right hand side to a metal gate and stile where the path becomes a lane shortly after. The photograph above shows the view over the wall looking west on the snowy January morning of the walk.
2 SP 1150 2328 700 yards

Follow the lane to the junction with main road through the village, then turn left and climb up the lane to where the Wardens Way leaves the lane on the right after about 700 yards.

  • Continue along the lane (Dale Street) northwest for about 300 yards to its junction with the main street which runs through Naunton Village at SP 1128 2337. The photograph right looks west along Dale Street towards the church.
  • Turn left and climb the moderately steep hill out the village heading west for about 450 yards to where the Wardens Way turns right off the lane at SP 1090 2332.
3 SP 1090 2332 750 yards

Continue northwest along the Wardens Way for about 750 yards to where it joins a lane at SP 1030 2364.

  • Turn right through a gate off the lane following the Wardens Way signpost. The path runs along the top of the Windrush Valley with good views down to the right (see photograph). After about 250 yards at SP 1076 2337 go through a metal gate or over the stile.
  • Almost immediately, bear left through a metal gate in an electric fence and continue northwest gently climbing then descending for about 400 yards to go through a metal gate at SP 1042 2357.
  • Continue northwest with a small wood on the left hand side to an opening onto a lane after about 175 yards.
4 SP 1031 2365 190 yards

Follow the lane northwest downhill for about 190 yards to a T junction with another lane.

5 SP 1020 2379 1,100 yards

Continue northwest along the Wardens Way over fields and a stream valley to the road by the church in Guiting Power after about 1,100 yards.

  • Go straight over the T junction through the wooden gate opposite, signposted the Wardens Way, and continue northwest. Guiting Power church is visible directly ahead. (See photograph right)
  • After about 570 yards go through a wooden gate at SP 0979 9411 then descend into a steeply sided valley down wooden steps in the valley side, cross the footbridge over the stream at SP 0976 2415 (there is a small fish pond behind the dam on the left) then climb the opposite valley side to the wooden gate after about 100 yards.
  • Continue northwest for about 350 yards to go through a gate in a stone wall with the church directly ahead.
  • Head north alongside the church for about 140 yards to go through two gates into the lane serving the church.
6 SP 0952 2454 200 yards

Continue north along the lane (Church Road) passing the Village Hall and old school (now a nursery school) on the left to the junction with the lane after about 200 yards.

7 SP 0945 2470/span> 1,250 yards

Turn left and follow the lane (Tally Ho Lane) southwest away from the village for about 1,250 yards to a lane junction on the left. The photograph looks back towards Guiting Power from the lane.

8 SO 9113 3519 850 yards

Continue straight on southwest along the lane, then heading west round a bend and downhill with woods on the left to where the Windrush Way footpath is signposted at the bottom of the descent just after cottages on the right, after about 850 yards.

9 SP 0830 2346 950 yards

Turn sharply left and head east along the Windrush Way to where it turns to head south after about 950 yards.

  • Turn sharp left through a gate (signposted Windrush Way) and head east into a meadow towards woods to go through a metal gate at SP 0852 2342 after about 200 yards.
  • Continue east along the Windrush way through woods (see photograph) passing a large house (Tally Ho House) with attractive gardens on the left on the far side of the small valley to a wooden gate at SP 0886 2336 after about 370 yards.
  • Continue east for about 300 yards to a go through a gate leading on to a wide track.
10 SP 0914 2328 1,000 yards

Turn left to follow the Windrush Way uphill for about 1,000 yards to each the B4068 road.

  • Turn left following the Windrush Way sign and head southwest uphill through woods . The climb is quite long (see photograph) and steepens towards the end as it turns to head south.
  • After about 700 yards at SP 0886 2266 follow the path round to the left and continue climbing keeping the hedge/fence/trees on the right hand side for about 275 yards to go through a wooden gate onto the B4068 road.
  • Turn right onto the road and head southwest for about 100 yards to the footpath sign on the left hand side.
11 SP 0889 2241 900 yards

Continue south on the Windrush Way for about 900 yards to the A436 main road.

  • Turn left off the road (signposted Windrush Way) over a stile and head south for about 175 yards to cross a stile at SP 0887 2226.
  • Continue south reaching the highest point of the climb for about 250 yards to pass through a small gap in a hedge/wall at SP 0884 2202.
  • Continue south, then at SP 0884 2192 follow the signposted footpath diversion around Westfield House to reach the track lane by a gate just before the A436 main road at SP 0884 2169. The photograph shows Westfield Farm across the main road.
12 SP 0884 2169 1,050 yards

Turn left onto the lane/track to head east gently descending for about 1,050 yards to Downs Barns (now a clay pigeon shooting business). There are signs warning that shooting may be in progress but as long as you stay on the path there is no danger.

13 SP 0975 2176 1,500 yards

Continue past the barns onto a path which heads northeast then east down an attractive valley to the hamlet of Aylworth and the road which runs through it after about 1,500 yards.

  • Continue east as the path leaves the hard core track just beyond the barns onto a grassy path gently descending with a hedge on the right hand side. The path bears left to head northeast then at SP 1038 2201 turns more east again through a gate after about 650 yards.
  • Follow the path east for about 350 yards to SP 1068 2193 where the path bears left to head northeast through a gate onto a track.
  • Follow the track northeast into the hamlet of Aylworth. The track bears left onto tarmac then right through a gate up a short drive to the lane through the hamlet at SP 1094 2211.
14 SP 1094 2211 950 yards

Go straight over the road and continue northeast along the valley for about 950 yards to where the path bears left to climb a steep bank.

  • Go straight over the road and climb the bank through the gate then head northeast gently descending to join a wider track in the corner of the field after about 220 yards at SP 1114 2221 and go through a wooden gate.
  • Continue northeast for about 270 yards to cross a small stream over the path just before a wooden gate at SO 1138 2237.
  • Continue northeast gently descending for about 450 yards to another wooden gate.
15 SP 1167 2259 630 yards

Continue north east and climb a steep bank then go north through the grounds of Naunton Downs Golf Course to reach the B4068.

  • Through the gate bear left and head northeast up a very steep short climb which slackens and reaches a gate into a wooded path after about 150 yards at SP 1176 2271. The photograph show the view east from the top of the bank.
  • Go through the gate and head north along a wide track between light woods on either side opening out onto Naunton Downs Golf Course and gently descend and go round a gate to reach the B4068 after about 470 yards.
16 SP 1173 2314 610 yards

Turn right along the road then turn left down the footpath to descend into Naunton and return to the Black Horse.

  • The photograph shows the view looking over Naunton from the road. Turn along the B4068 heading east for about 170 yards to the footpath sign pointing left along a path heading north downhill back to Naunton at SP 1188 2313.
  • Go through a metal gate and descend north on a wide path between fences , going through metal gates at SP 1187 2327 and SP 1185 2338 into a lightly wooded area, and levels out to cross over the Windrush to meet the road in Naunton village. Turn right back to the Black Horse in about 50 yards.