Aston Rowant

Chiltern Hills
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Aston Rowant

Distance: 6.1km
Elevation: 176m
Time: 2-2.5h

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This trail boasts beautiful views high above the surrounding Chiltern countryside. This is a great place to bring a picnic and enjoy the views!

Getting there

Use postcode OX49 5HX to find the Cowlease Wood Car Park. Park anywhere as it is free all day. Unfortunately, there is not any public transportation leading to this trail.


When to do

April - September

Backcountry Campsites




Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type



Detailed Description

Walk to the southern end of the car park, on your right as you drove in, and find the trail in the left corner. Look out for the easy-to-follow white arrows on trees, pillars, and posts marking the route along the way. Take the left fork at the trailhead and follow it through the trees for 950m until you reach a wooden kissing gate. Pass through the gate and enjoy the views! Be sure to watch for red kites flying above, and herds of deer below.

Walk downhill across the field directly in front of you, pass through another wooden gate, and continue following the trail through the field in the same direction. The next wooden gate will lead you through a gap in the hedge and onto private lane. Turn left and follow this lane for almost a mile as it passes by a small farm on your right, climbs uphill to the left, and continues past another house at the top before you reach a metal kissing gate. Head through the gate and walk to the road. Turn left and follow the road for about 50m, ignoring the first bridleway almost opposite. Enter the second bridleway on the right, next to the large gates and parking area, into the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve.

Follow the path straight ahead and stop to enjoy the view from the picnic benches. These benches, and another bench in half a mile, are great places to enjoy a picnic or a snack!

From the picnic benches, turn right. Then, after about 25m through the wooden gate, turn left. Walk downhill for just over 0.8km following the trail along the right-hand side of the field, passing through 3 more gates along your way.

The final gate leads into a rough parking area with the entrance to Hill Farm on your right. Walk straight ahead along the lane until you come to an open area with parking. Turn left here onto the Ridgeway, leaving the motorway behind you.

Walk along the Ridgeway for 0.5km until you see a footpath on your left. Pass through the wooden gate, across a small flat field, and through another gate into the woods. Continue through the small patch of woodlands and exit through a gate into the next field. Turn left, still following the white arrows, and follow the field edge for the next half a mile. Finally, you will reach a large wooden gate in the far right corner of the field.

Enjoy one more glimpse of the views behind you before passing through the gate and up a steep, often muddy, hill. Pass through the gate at the top and continue uphill directly through the field in front of you until you reach the road.

Take the trail directly opposite and follow it all the way back to the car park on your left.

Insider Hints

  • Wear waterproof shoes in spring or after heavy rainfall.

  • Remember to come prepared with food and drink as nearby resources are limited.


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