Canons Ashby parkland walk

Walking trail

A short family-friendly walk around Canon Ashby's ancient parkland. Take care as there may be livestock in some of the fields on this route. Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on a lead.

Canons Ashby Parkland tree trunk


canons ashby millenium mile map 2


Canons Ashby car park, grid ref: SP577506


Start from the car park entrance, turn right and go through the gate into the field, where you will see the large fenced oak. This oak is at least 500 years old and its hollow contains a huge mix of wildlife. Turn left heading towards the lakes.

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Canons Ashby parkland fenced oak


Make your way down to the lakes' edge. These lakes were dug for the Augustinian Canons over 800 years ago, so that they could keep fish to eat on holy days when they were forbidden to eat meat. As you walk along the lakes' edge, look to your right to see the ridge and furrow.

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Canons Ashby History Trail lakes edge to medieval ridge and furrow


Continue to follow the edge of the parkland, keeping the poplar grove on your left. Your first sighting of the mound should soon come into view. Towards the centre of the parkland you can also see the zig-zag avenues of Oak, Hornbeam and Lime. These were planted to mark the edges of the medieval fields.

Canons Ashby parkland mound


Head towards the mound. Don't forget to walk along the fallen tree on the way! In the field to the right you will see a small 19th century 'byre', identical to the one in the paddock near the house. A byre was used as a shelter for cows and is now home to barn owls and bats.

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Canons Ashby parkland byre


Once you reach the mound, turn right. This mound is a bit of a mystery; archaeological digs have found evidence of many different time periods so we are not sure of its origins. It could be prehistoric, or a Norman motte-and-bailey (fortified castle), or even the dumping ground for Sir Henry Dryden's many archaeological digs! You'll also see the ground littered with pine cones from Giant Redwoods, a tree first seen in England in the 1850's.

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Canons Ashby parkland mound archaeological dig


After turning right, head towards the gate on your left. On your way there is a well-trodden path. Follow it and you will pass a beech grove on the left. The roots are vulnerable and exposed due to the heavy footfall of cattle. We will need to protect it, if it's to survive for another 200 years.

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Canons Ashby parkland group of cows and walker


There is a medieval village in the next field. Go through the gate, making sure to close it behind you and turn left up the road. Walk for a short distance until you see a kissing gate into the field on your right. Go through the kissing gate and immediately on your left, you'll see an ancient pond which is a favourite spot of great crested newts.


Turn right on entering the field. Towards the centre you'll see lots of bumps in the earth either side of a long hollow way. This is the remains of the medieval village of Ashby's high street and the bumps on either side are medieval houses and yards. Most of the inhabitants of this ancient village either died or deserted the place during the outbreak of the 'black death' or plague.

Canons Ashby remains of medieval village


Follow the medieval high street towards the end of the field. On the way, you may want to see how many house platforms you can you count and which one you would like to live in. How about gathering the whole family to see how many people it takes to hug each tree and try counting the rings on the stumps to age them.


Go through the kissing gate in the right hand corner of this field and take care when crossing the road. This will take you back to the House, and Coach House reception. Next door is our Stables tea room where you can enjoy a refreshing cuppa and slice of cake before seeing our medieval priory. National Trust members can get their cards scanned at the Coach House to help us look after this local historical landscape.

Canons Ashby millenium walk step 10


From the courtyard begin to follow the path towards the car park. Turn left and take the path through the paddock. Go through the wooden gate and cross the road to the church. This was once a medieval priory, until its destruction during the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s.

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Canons Ashby paddock heading to the church


Canons Ashby car park, grid ref: SP577506

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Canons Ashby parkland walk


A family friendly walk around Canon Ashby's ancient parkland. Some grassy areas, gentle inclines and uneven ground, which can be boggy in places after wet weather, There is minimal sign-posting in this special area.

Canons Ashby parkland walk

Contact us

Canons Ashby parkland walk

How to get here

Canons Ashby, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 3SD
By train

Banbury station 10 miles (16.1km)

By road

10 miles (16.1km) north east of Banbury.  Easy access by car from M40 exit 11 and M1 exit 16

By foot

The Macmillan Way long-distance footpath passes close to the house

By bus

Bus service from Banbury, near the station, or a taxi bus from Weedon Lois (not Sunday)

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 70 passes the house

Canons Ashby parkland walk

Facilities and access

  • Mobility parking is in the main car park 200 yards from house
  • The garden has loose gravel paths which may make it hard for wheeled transport to navigate. There are steps and grass slopes to the lower terraces
  • An accessible toilet is available (opposite house entrance)
  • There are baby-changing facilities in the outer area of the ladies toilets available to all
  • Hippy chick side hip carriers available for loan
  • Enjoy freshly prepared food in the Stables tea-room
  • There are picnic tables in the paddock area to enjoy your own picnic
  • There is a natural play area in the paddock