Cotswold Life - - COTSWOLD WAYS -

Start­ing at the li­brary car park, turn right onto Hens­ing­ton Road. Fol­low nar­row lane.

Turn right onto Ox­ford Street (A44) and fol­low it along, past the charm­ing pubs (for now!) un­til Mar­ket Street, where you turn left.

Fol­low Mar­ket St, then Mar­ket Place, all the way along un­til it be­comes Park Street. Look out for the signs com­mem­o­rat­ing the Sam­son Press on the left side of the street.

Fol­low Park St along un­til you reach Chaucer’s Cot­tage (if you reach the Blen­heim Palace gates, you’ve gone too far!). Take Chaucer’s Lane, on your right.

As Chaucer’s Lane bends right to be­come Har­ri­son’s Lane, take the foot­path on your left down the steps of Hog­grove Hill. Watch out for ele­phants in the fo­liage!

When you reach The Cause­way (A44) turn left.

Keep­ing on the left side of the road, go past the row of cot­tages, bridge over the Glyme Brook, and The Black Prince pub. Look out for the sign for the Blen­heim Or­ange Ap­ple. When you reach a foot­path on your left at Manor Road. Go past the short row of pretty cot­tages to the gate. Go through this to en­ter the Blen­heim es­tate.

Just past the iron rail­ings you should get your first view of Blen­heim Palace.

Head roughly to­wards the obelisk in the dis­tance.

The foot­path leads through a gate onto a perime­ter road of the Blen­heim es­tate. Fol­low this right, head­ing west, and then north­west, as it fol­lows the edge of the Queen Pool, then strikes out across the es­tate.

Just past the ru­ined house at its north­ern end, take the foot­path on the left; and then the lane left, head­ing south.

Turn right off lane, over stile, and strike out to­wards the tower at the cen­tre of the av­enue.

Visit the Duke of Marl­bor­ough mon­u­ment, erected by Sarah, 1st Duchess of Marl­bor­ough for her hus­band, who was granted the Blen­heim es­tate in honour of his vic­tory at the Bat­tle of Blen­heim by Queen Anne. See how much of the ex­ten­sive in­scrip­tion you get through!

Then turn south­east, head­ing to­wards Blen­heim Palace along the av­enue.

Go through gate just be­fore Van­brugh’s bridge. Don’t cross this. Turn back right along lane, south­west, and through gate on left.

Fol­low foot­path, as it forks left, through trees down to the shores of ‘The Lake’. From here you should be able to en­joy the splen­did views across to the bridge and palace.

Con­tinue along edge of the lake and visit Fair Rosamund’s Well, which is be­ing re­stored. Spend a while imag­in­ing the ro­man­tic trysts that took place here.

The path con­tin­ues past the north­ern leg of the lake,

Go through gate at end of this ‘dog­leg’ west­wards, then south­wards, along a lane. Watch out for the cy­clists!

Fol­low this along un­til you reach an ac­cess road on your right, next to a gate­house, lead­ing to the edge of the es­tate. Go through side gate, emerg­ing from the trees onto Park Road.

Turn right and fol­low this along, past a free park­ing spot pop­u­lar with lo­cals, a junc­tion, and two sets of build­ings, un­til you reach a foot­path on your right.

Take this, head­ing north­wards, across the fields.

When you reach the tree­line, turn left, then right, fol­low­ing foot­path through the trees un­til you emerge on a ‘chase’. Cross this, and then con­tinue along foot­path, through trees to next field, head­ing north­east.

Fol­low this all the way along to the road to the farm. Fol­low Blen­heim Es­tate foot­path signs which take you around clock­wise around a copse of trees. On op­po­site side, take gate on left, then an­other, turn­ing right along field, un­til you reach the other side of Park Farm.

Fol­low lane left and north. Take foot­path on left side, to­wards obelisk.

Fol­low foot­path north­east­wards past stands of trees, un­til you fi­nally reach the main av­enue of Blen­heim, with its dou­ble rows of trees ei­ther side.

Fol­low this down, tak­ing road as it bends left, head­ing south­east.

Fol­low road – you pass a stand of trees: Ice­house Clump.

Take left fork, then first foot­path on your left, back up the hill to town.

Go through gate at Manor Road, to emerge back in Wood­stock.

Turn right here and, a bit fur­ther along, cross road at The Black Prince. Here you have 3 choices: avail your­self of river­side re­fresh­ment if your legs can carry you no fur­ther; if you wish to re­turn to Hens­ing­ton Road car-park take the foot­path on your left that fol­lows the River Glyme and fol­low the re­main­ing direc­tions be­low (32 and 33); or, if you wish to go back into the town for re­fresh­ment, re­turn up the steps of Hog­grove Hill, then Chaucer’s Lane.

For those who fol­lowed the Glyme, take foot­path on your right, which heads south.

Cross Brook Hill, and fol­low Union Street back to the Hens­ing­ton Road car park. N

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