Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk
Walking the Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular is a fun adventure in the southeast corner of The Cotswolds AONB that will produce some lovely views of the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside. The route travels between the villages of Minster Lovell and Crawley, taking you past charming stone cottages and picturesque farmlands before leading you on a riverside walk along the banks of the River Windrush. There are a few climbs and descents along the route, but overall it is a perfect walk for a nice weekend outing.
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Route Description for Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk
The Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk is a pretty laid back experience, although there are a few steep portions of trail that you will need to keep an eye out for. Additionally, there is a good variety of terrain here and the trail conditions can be quite muddy in the winter/spring. Make sure that you wear proper walking footwear to stay comfortable while out on this adventure. There will also likely be animals grazing in the open farmland, so keep your dog on a leash when passing through these areas.
Even with the previously mentioned steep parts of this trail, it is still a relatively easy adventure that can be enjoyed by walkers of nearly every skill level. The stunning farmland scenery, charming villages, beautiful riverside setting, and interesting historical sites all make this a fantastic walking option for a fun weekend day out on the trails. So strap on your boots and get ready to explore the picturesque countryside at the southeastern edge of The Cotswolds AONB.
Beginning in the village of Minster Lovell, make your way to the northeast along the road for 0.6 km, working past the charming stone-walled cottages that line its quaint streets until you find a footpath guarded by a kissing gate on your right. Pass through the gate and continue along the footpath as it heads straight across the open field, where you will find another kissing gate at the opposite end next to Ladywell Pond. Pass through the gate and keep straight to the east for another 0.4 km to pass through a third kissing gate, after which, you will climb gradually over the brow of a hill and descend the other side to arrive at a series of stiles. Climb over each of these and continue straight as the footpath transitions into a stone track.
Making your way along the tree and hedge-lined track, you will arrive at a junction with Farm Lane in 0.5 km. Turn right here and follow the lane into the village of Crawley, where you can pop into The Lab Inn if you fancy some mid-walk drinks or snacks. Reaching the junction with Dry Lane, you will have the pub on your left and a fork in the road on your right. Turn right here and keep right at the fork, passing through the village to cross over the arched stone bridge spanning the River Windrush. Shortly after crossing the bridge, you will have the buildings of the old Crawley Mill on your right and a gated footpath on your left. Head through the gate to continue along the trail.
After 0.6 km along this lovely path, head right at the gated junction and keep straight to cross over Dry Lane and pick up the trail on the opposing side. Pass through the kissing gate and follow the trail into the forest, passing through yet another kissing gate as the trail descends sharply through the woodland terrain. After exiting the tree cover, you will be able to spot the winding River Windrush on your right and the anglers that will likely be sitting out on its shores casting a few lines. Heading through a gate, you will enter into another stretch of forest along the banks of the river and continue on for 0.3 km, as you make your way through the tranquil atmosphere of the forest and cross over a series of bridges.
After crossing over the river, you will arrive at a fork in the trail. Head to the left here and follow the path until you arrive at the grounds of what was once Minster Lovell Hall, an estate dating back to the 1440s. Take some time to explore the ruins and soak up all of the amazing history before continuing along the trail that leads to the west through the grounds of St. Kenelm’s Church. Keep straight along the fenced footpath and cross over the narrow bridge, making your way through a gate into the neighbouring field. Follow the field boundary on the right and pass through the kissing gate into the recreation area. Head straight into the middle of the park and bear right to pass through a gate and arrive back at the starting point of the walk. From here, you can either pop into The Old Swan for a refreshing drink or head home having completed the Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk.
Minster Lovell Hall
Situated along the River Windrush in Oxfordshire, Minster Lovell Hall was a manor house that was originally built around 1440 by William Lovell, who was the grandfather of the eventual 1st Viscount Lovell, Francis Lovell. Following the Battle of Bosworth during the English War of Roses, Francis Lovell’s estates were forfeited and the house changed hands a number of times in the following centuries, eventually falling into disrepair.
Consider a Walking Holiday in the Cotswolds
One of the best ways to experience this stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is by booking a pre-planned adventure tour in the Cotswolds. Find the famous self-guided Cotswolds Way and other amazing guided and self-guided tours on 10Adventures Tours.
Insider Hints for Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk
- This trail features a few uphill climbs and one steep descent, as well as a variety of terrain types that can become very muddy in the winter/spring seasons. Be sure to wear proper walking boots that are preferably water-resistant in order to combat the trail conditions.
- Livestock can often be found grazing in the fields, so please keep your dogs on a leash.
- The Old Swan near the trailhead and The Lamb Inn at the midway point are both great options for refreshments along the trail.
Getting to the Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk Trailhead
To reach the starting point of the Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk from Whitney, head west on Mill Street/A4095 for 1.3 km and continue straight at the roundabout onto Burford Road. After 2.3 km, turn right and keep on for another 0.6 km before making a right onto Minster Riding. In 152 m, turn right and continue on for 61 m, where you will find the entrance to the car park on the left.
Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk Elevation Graph
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Minster Lovell and Crawley Circular Walk Reviews
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