Coleshill Purple Walk
The Cuckoopen Plantation, Coleshill, Oxfordshire, SN6 7PTRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Splendid views of the White Horse Hill and Uffington Castle are a highlight of this gentle trail through the traditionally farmed estate land at Coleshill. Ramblers can also take a short detour to visit the magnificent Great Coxwell Barn and the nearby 12th century village church.
- Bus stop
Start: The Cuckoopen Plantation, Coleshill, grid ref: SU 243 939
Park at the Cuckoopen Plantation. Follow road towards Faringdon and cross the road to Ashencopse Farm drive. Continue straight on to the farm. From here you will find the best views of White Horse Hill.
When the light is right this enigmatic creature can be seen perpetually leaping across the distant Ridgeway escarpment. Close by, the Iron Age hill fort, Uffington Castle crowns the landscape. Mystery surrounds the Bronze Age figure that has been cut out of the chalk downland. Initially, it was thought to be Iron Age or Anglo-Saxon possibly built to celebrate King Alfred's victory over the Danes. But new testing methods on soil samples showed that the white horse was much older and about 3,000 years old.
A shorter walk can be taken by turning right at Ashencopse Farm and following directions back to Coleshill across the park as described in Coleshill's red or green walks.
Turn left immediately before the farm and keep the farm buildings to your right. Turn right into a field.
Walk diagonally across the field, cross two stiles and continue diagonally across a second field and over another stile before entering into a small wood. Turn left and over a footbridge and a stile.
Bear right, then left and walk around field following hedge. Follow a track which bends to the right until you reach a gate. Go through the gate and cross three fields through gates and over a stile until you reach Great Coxwell village.
Turn left over a stile and cross a gravelled driveway past some private houses following the footpath past "Cedar Lodge". Go through a gate into a paddock. Bear right to a double stile where you will continue across a field to a stile to the left of a white house.
To continue the walk, turn left at the track. To visit the Great Barn and the 12th century Church turn right onto Puddleduck Lane and into the village.
Step inside and wonder at the magnificent wooden structure of this striking Cotswold rubble stone and slate building. The Barn is the sole surviving part of a thriving 13th century grange that once provided vital income to Beaulieu Abbey. Standing alone on the edge of the village, it is a place of tranquillity and peace. It was a favourite of William Morris who would regularly bring his guests to wonder at the structure. Morris called it 'unapproachable in its dignity'.
Cross the road and follow Brimston Farm drive. Turn left before the right hand bend. Cross a field and a stile passing Fern Copse on your right and walk uphill to Cuckoopen Plantation. Turn left at the woods and follow the perimeter to return to the car park.
Take time to savour the views of the traditionally worked farmland crested by Badbury Woods to the west.
End: The Cuckoopen Plantation, Coleshill, grid ref: SU 243 939
Great British Walk
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)
- Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- OS Map: Pathfinder 1135 Faringdon
A flat walk through farmland, along tracks and footpaths which may be muddy or uneven, especially after rain, so suitable footwear is recommended. There are gates and stiles along the route which crosses the B4019. The walk passes through farmyards and fields, where stock may be grazing, so please keep dogs under close control.
- How to get here:
By car: The Cuckoopen Plantation is located near Coleshill, on the B4019 between Highworth and Faringdon.
- No immediate local public toilet facilities, shops, or public houses
- Nearest toilets at the estate yard at nearby Coleshill.
- Telephone: 01793 762209
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/great-coxwell-barn/