Welcome to our Winwick walk!
This is a great walk in very rural Northamptonshire countryside that also includes a couple of quiet miles along the Leicester Branch of the Grand Union Canal and a short climb over Honey Hill. It is so isolated around this area, that there is a good chance you’ll not see anyone during this 6.5-mile walk.
So, if it’s “me time” you need away from all the hustle and bustle, then this is the walk for you!
Our walk starts in the tiny hamlet of Winwick. The local website claims that “Winwick is rural England at its best” and states “our rural community is so small; we are frequently omitted from maps”.
The hamlet may be small, but they do welcome walkers. As you drive in to Winwick you'll find road signs for Ramblers Parking and beside the parking area is a lovely circular bench by a pond, which made a good point for us to eat our lunch. Peacocks and peahens were chatting to each other while we ate, but while we kept an eye out, they kept out of sight.
We found this walk through the Northamptonshire Walks website where there are detailed photos and text instructions to guide you around the walk. As we’re testing a new walking GPS guidance system, we plotted the route on Komoot.com and used this to get us round. If using Komoot, the link to our essentially-england.com Winwick Walk can be used on your phone or GPS device.
The walk goes down Elkington Lane back to the crossroads. On the way, we pass the red-bricked gateway to Winwick Hall. The gateway has a beautiful, black Queen Victoria post box fitted, which is strange as there is a red post box in the opposite wall. Plus a telephone box and a couple of dovecotes.
At the crossroads, the route turns right past the front of a lovely, thatched cottage. With the Winwick Brook on the left, continue along the road, passing the church to a stone gateway. Cut through the metal kissing gate to the left of the gateway and follow the footpath signs along a grass track. Soon after joining the footpath, there are good views over to Winwick Grange on the right.
The footpath crosses several fields and eventually joins a stony track by some farm buildings and holiday cottages. When we did the walk in May 2022, there was no gateway or stile out of the field, and we ended up climbing over the fence!
Turn right onto the path and continue until it crosses bridge 23 of the Leicester Branch of the Grand Union Canal. Turn left to leave the track and join the towpath, where the route turns left again. Our Winwick walk follows the canal in a north-easterly direction for about 2 miles.
We have done a few walks along the Leicester Branch and found it to be a much quieter canal. There are fewer walkers, fewer boats, no main line train line, and less road noise. This peaceful section of canal gives good opportunities for wildlife spotting!
Unfortunately, the route leaves the canal at bridge number 28. But don’t be too disappointed as we move on to the next highlight: views!
Walk under bridge number 28 and turn left up some steps to join Yelvertoft Road. Turn left to cross the bridge and follow the road up to the small hamlet of Elkington.
At a road junction by a small grass triangle, turn right on to Manor Lane, following the signpost direction of “Winwick By Way”. By the red brick house named “Portly Banks” turn left on the Jurassic Way bridleway.
Initially the bridleway is narrow and may get a bit muddy after wet weather, but once past open paddocks and a small orchard and through woodland the path widens and gently climbs Honey Hill. The remainder of the walk is now on the Jurassic Way long distance path. Just keep following the footpath signs.
According to the UK Mountain Guide, Northamptonshire has twenty listed mountains, of which Honey Hill is one. He’s another memorable fact; Honey Hill at 214 metres (702 feet) is the 2498th highest peak in England.
Enjoy the short climb as there are some lovely views from the top!
A standing stone near the top of Honey Hill celebrates the opening of the Jurassic Way in September 1994. The views start making an appearance as the footpath joins a road and about 100 metres later turns right down a stony track towards a house.
After the house, use a gate to avoid a cattle grid and continue down to Honey Hill Farm. Follow the footpath signs on to a grassy track under the trees between two field boundaries. The Jurassic Way continues through several fields until it joins a gravelly road, where the route turns left back to Winwick.
I’ve got to mention the stunning wavy wall opposite the Ramblers Parking point. It’s called a Crinkle Crankle wall. This style of wall is often found in Suffolk. The shape of the wall gives it greater strength over a straight brick wall of the same thickness and does not need buttressing. This form of wall dates to Egyptian times.
This example at Winwick Hall has lovely turreted gate posts, which appear to have steps in them. I have to say it’s a very pretty hall as well!
We hope this peaceful walk in glorious rural Northamptonshire countryside has whetted your appetite and that you'll be off exploring shortly.
Have a nice walk!
Northamptonshire is a largely rural county in the centre of England, renowned for shoemaking, stunning countryside, and very pretty villages. It makes a great place for walking and cycling and is ideal for a relaxing holiday or short break.
Below, we've collected some holiday cottage ideas. Personally, I would love to stay in Stoke Bruerne, right next to the canal. Stoke is a friendly, pretty village with a couple of pubs, an Indian restaurant, and easy walking from the door.
To browse holiday cottages in other parts of England click here, or you could use our Booking.com search box.
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