Rosemary Wilson is a Cotswold Voluntary Warden, Chair of East District and an enthusiastic walk leader.
Rosemary shares one of her many favourite walks with StayCotswold – “Cornwell and Chastleton”.
Ask me for a favourite walk I struggle as there are so many to choose from. Ask me for an easy walk with lots of interest then the following is a cracker!
The start, right on the A44 between Chipping Norton and Moreton-in-Marsh does not offer much in the way of expectation but once you descend along the track towards Hollis Farm you enter a different world. The cattle in the barn, always inquisitive, will poke their heads out to welcome you.
As you turn to walk towards Park Farm admire the view along the valley and imagine a summer evening in the modest garden. The view is soon lost as you descend towards the stream and up towards a gate. Once through the gate there are pens with geese and hens happily pecking and scratching the ground.
Then you reach the village of Cornwell, not quite like other Cotswold villages. It was derelict in the early part of the 20th Century but rejuvenated by a wealthy American lady who employed the architect Clough William Ellis.
If time allows go inside the church, along a track just before you reach the village. The stout wooden ceiling was built to last and the lighting wouldn’t look amiss in a grand home.
Be sure to have a look at the front of the manor before doubling back to take the quiet road you passed as you entered the village.
Take care crossing the Stow road and you soon find yourself immersed in another age, the earth mounds being the clue. An Iron Age hill fort in use some 2,500 years ago. This sheltered location enclosing 3.5 acres gave protection to both cattle and people.
As you descend across the next field you can see the top of Chastleton House, a fine Jacobean property tucked away in this corner of Oxfordshire. You can walk through the National Trust car park and along the path to take a closer look. Even better check the opening times and pay a visit.
The rest of the walk is on a good track with views across towards places like Batsford and Stow-on-the-Wold and beyond. As you reach the end of the track the A44 can be heard, turn right to keep on the wide grassy verge and you can soon cross over to your start point.
This walk can be downloaded at: Cornwell to Chastleton walking route (PDF via cotswoldsaonb.org.uk)