Wildlife Circular Walk

Length: 6.3Km (4 miles)

Total Ascent: 92m

Number of stiles: 0.

Time: 11/2 Hrs

The Woods

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.
The churchyard of St Michael's has been managed to support wildlife, it's worth starting your walk with a visit to the churchyard to see the initiatives to promote wildlife.

Waypoint 1


Waypoint 2:
Once you have completed your tour of the churchyard turn right out of the Lych Gate. With the lake on your right and the high walk on your left walk up through the village.

Waypoint 2


Waypoint 3:
After about a mile you may spot some free range guinea fowl, and shortly after that you will arrive at a T-junction and a grassy triangle.
Turn right at the T-junction.

Waypoint


Waypoint 4
After c. another mile you will reach Ramsdens Corner on your right. The entrance is down a slight bank but very visible.
Ramsdens Corner is a site of scientific interest managed by the Wildlife Trust. There is more information here.
You will see or hear plenty of wildlife. Some Red Kites often fly above the wood, and you will also hear woodpeckers.

Waypoint 8


Waypoint 5:
Go through the gate and enter Ramsdens Corner. Keeping the hedge on your right follow the path across the field.

Waypoint 5


A small flock of very friendly rare breed sheep live in the field.

sheep


Waypoint 6:
At the end of the first field is a gate and / or stile providing access to the second field.

Waypoint


Waypoint 7:
The path meanders to the top left corner of the field where you will see a gate providing access to the wood.

Waypoint 10


Waypoint 8:
Once through the gate there are a few steep steps leading down into the wood.
The path through the wood is well trodden and easy to follow. The path follows the edge of the wood and at the corner it turns left to follow a stream.

Waypoint 11


In the spring the wood is full of bluebells. You will notice lots of bird boxes throughout the wood.
The stream is called the Holy Stream and in part that is where Stowe Nine Churches gets its name from - Stowe meaning Holy.
Beyond the stream you may see a mound that is now covered in trees. That is Castle Dyke a motte-and-bailey castle built in the 11th/12th century,

Waypoint 12


Waypoint 9:
The path gradually starts to turn away from the stream and go up hill.

Waypoint 13


Waypoint 10:
Exit the wood through another gate and turn right to go up hill towards the gate where you originally entered Ramsdens Corner

Waypoint 10


Waypoint 11:
When you reach the road turn left heading back to Stowe Nine Churches

Waypoint 11


Waypoint 12:
Once you pass the Stowe Nine Churches village sign you have a choice - turn left at Stowe Heights Farm and retrace your steps back into Church Stowe, or go straight on to Upper Stowe.

Waypoint 12


Waypoint 13.
When you reach Upper Stowe (there is no village sign at that point) but you will have the Church of St James's on the right and the Old Dairy Farm craft centre on your left. Both are worth visiting.
St James's has another lovely wildlife churchyard. At the Old Dairy Farm you could have a welcome cup of tea and cake, and visit the craft shops.

waypoint 17



Waypoint 14.
To return to Church Stowe retrace your steps 20 metres back along the road and you will see a gravelled footpath off to the right down between the trees. Take the path down towards the fields.

Waypoint 14


Waypoint 15.
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 16:
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 16


Waypoint 17.
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. Walk straight ahead and you will see St Michael's in front of you to arrive back at the starting point of the walk.

Waypoint 17