Roman Way Circular Walk

Length: 8.25Km (5 miles)

Total Ascent: 112m

Number of stiles: 1.

Time: 2 Hrs

The Canal

Map

NB: The underlying map is OpenStreetMap contributors and is used under their Terms.

Waypoint 1.
The walk starts at St Michael's Church Stowe. Careful parking is possible on the road close to the church.
You will see a footpath sign just by a small wooden gate that to the left of the lych gate.
Once you are on the footpath, take a look up at the church tower - you will be able to see two Saxon stones on the south and north corners of the tower towards the bottom. They are believed to be part of a Saxon cross. The one on the North corner (on the right as you look at the tower from the footpath) was discovered during the restoration of St Michael's in 2020.

Waypoint 1


Waypoint 2:
At the bottom of the hill, the path again passes through a small wooden gate into a field of crops. During the late spring and summer the path is easily visible through the crops, but is not well defined for a while after autumn ploughing or sowing. The photo below shows the direction the path takes after passing through the gate.

Waypoint 2


Waypoint 3:
After the brow of the hill in the field, the path heads slightly to the left and downhill. The modest valley down to the left hand side of the path at this point has been suggested as one of the possible sites of Boudicas last stand against the Roman occupation. The Iceni and other tribes were heavily defeated at this battle, even though they had considerably superior numbers. The battle finally put an end to resistance against Roman occupation in the south of the country. More information about it can be found here.

Waypoint


The path finally heads towards the nearest corner of the field beyond (photo below).

Waypoint



Waypoint 4&5
On reaching the tree-line, proceed across the small bridge and straight on up the field with the hedge on your left. At the top of the field, turn right and follow the track.

Waypoint 8


Waypoint 6:
Follow the track until you reach a metal gate with a small wooden gate to its left. Pass through the gate, over the rail and then the canal bridge.

Waypoint 10


Waypoint 7&8:
Just over the canal bridge there is a footpath sign on the left with some steps leading down to the canal path. Go down the steps. At the bottom of the steps turn left to walk along the canal tow path and pass under the bridge.
The next bridge you come to passes under the A5 - which follows the path of what was Watling Street in Roman times.
If you are thirsty or hungry at this point you might break away from the path to go to the Narrow Boat pub.

Waypoint 7&8


Waypoint 9:
Keep following the canal path (with the canal on your right). Once you are past the 5th bridge after joining the footpath the canal will round a bend, if you look up to your right you will see a small stand of trees on the top of the hill. This is close to a Roman Villa that was excavated at Whitehall Farm. More information about it can be found here



Waypoint 10:
Keep following the canal path until you reach the 6th bridge (since you joined the canal path), it is numbered '32'.
Do not pass under the bridge, but take the path up to the left to join the road.
At the road turn right passing over the canal bridge. You will now follow the road (Furnace Lane) for about half a mile until it joins the A5.

Waypoint 10


Waypoint 11:
Once you reach the A5 you have a choice:
a) Turn left and then immediately right to follow the sign to the Old Dairy Farm - taking you into Upper Stowe. Once your reach Upper Stowe rejoin this walking map at Waypoint 16.
b) Turn left along the A5 and follow it until you reach a sign for Weedon Motorcross.

Waypoint 11


Waypoint 12:
If you look across the road from Weedon Motorcross you will see a footpath sign and some steps going up to a field.
Cross the A5 carefully - it can be busy.
And then take the steps up to join the footpath. Keeping the field on your left and the hedge on your right follow the footpath along the edge of the field.

Waypoint 12


Waypoint 13:
Continue on the path past this footpath way marker.

Waypoint 13


Waypoint 14:
Continue to follow the footpath along the edge of the field until you see a gap in the hedge guarded by this rather glamorous scarecrow!

Waypoint 14


Waypoint 15:
Go through the gap in the hedge to follow the path across the field.

Waypoint 15


Waypoint 16:
The footpath emerges in Upper Stowe. Walk straight ahead.
As you walk through the village you will see the Church of St James's built in 1855 as a chapel of ease to St Michael's. It has a lovely wildflower churchyard which is worth exploring. before you cross over the road to the Old Dairy Farm where you might want to stop for a welcome cup of tea and cake.

Waypoint 16


Waypoint 17.
20 metres past the Old Dairy Farm take the gravelled footpath off to the right down between the trees.

waypoint 17



Waypoint 18.
After a further 50 metres or so, the path passes through a small wooden gate into a field with sweeping views over to Church Stowe (straight ahead) and over to Northampton in the distance to the right.

Waypoint 18


Waypoint 19:
Carry on down to the bottom of the field where the path passes through a second small wooden gate and climbs the hill towards Church Stowe.

Waypoint 19


Waypoint 20.
At the top of the hill, go through a third small wooden gate and follow the path straight on past the bench and war memorial onto the road through Church Stowe.

Waypoint 20