A walk round George's Loop

BindweedOn this walk you will see things to fascinate you, whether they are crops or lambs in the fields, glorious sunrises and sunsets, glistening cobwebs or wild creatures going about their business.

"George's Loop" (Home Farm is farmed by George Fenemore) covers about two and a half miles, using public footpaths and bridleways across gently undulating farmland, home to deer, foxes, hares, rabbits, and a wide variety of birds. This is a working farm, supporting crops and livestock, including sheep, so please remember the Countryside Code: 

  • keep dogs on a lead and fully under control
  • close gates behind you
  • keep to the paths
  • take your litter home.

Route - see map

From the Duke at Clifton pub, walk towards Deddington until you reach Home Farm, the last building on the left.

1. Enter the farmyard through the last gate and walk between the barns. Just beyond, on the right, is a small copse - look for jays in the upper branches of the trees, and squirrels on the ground.

2. Stay on the track as it bears right and left. Rape, wheat, barley or beans are grown in these fields, cowparsley, grasses and hedgerow flowers grow on the verges, and hares can often be seen here. In spring and summer the sky fills with the sound of skylarks.

3. The track is now bordered by a deciduous hedge mainly of hawthorn and blackberry, interspersed with oak trees and the odd pollarded willow. The windswept fields on the right are regularly grazed by roe deer.

4. As you reach the end of the hedge, ignore the track on the left. Carry on straight through the next gate and go diagonally across the field. Roe deer, hares, rats and foxes inhabit these fields. At the far side, keep to the hedgerow until you reach Bowman's Bridge and the brook at the bottom.

5. Above Bowman's Bridge you will see, or hear, the rookery and in the long grass beneath the trees you may find the delicate cuckoo flower, so called because it flowers when the cuckoo arrives.

6. Before you reach the bridge, turn left through a wooden gate and walk along the edge of the field, keeping the hedgerow to your right. In early summer look out for the tiny purple and white flowers of heart's-ease, or wild pansy.

7. Poppies and chamomile are also abundant here and crab apple trees grow in the hedgerow. Old pollarded willows support a variety of plant, animal and insect life. In winter the fields beyond are often flooded, attracting hundreds of gulls and waders.

8. Go through the next gate and keep straight on until the track bears round to the left and is bordered by recently laid hedges. A short way along the hedge go through the gate on your right - if you reach the oak tree you have gone too far. You now have about a mile to go and it is from here that you have the best chance of seeing foxes and, possibly, a badger.

9. After the next gate, as you head towards Clifton, the path is bordered by hawthorn, blackberry, bindweed and elder. The hedgerow supports an astounding variety of birds and you may see hunting kestrels or sparrowhawks. Garden warblers provide the most spectacular birdsong in summer, and dragonflies join the insect population.

10. At the fishing lake on the right, a pair of herons can often be seen standing silently at the water's edge, or perched on a branch of the island willow. Back on the track, the high hedge is home to the wren, robin, chaffinch, greenfinch, thrush, blackbird, wagtail and woodpecker, while swifts, swallows and house martins are also regular summer visitors to the village.

11. The bridleway finally comes out in Chapel Close, which brings you back to the Duke pub, and the end of the walk.