For this walk we used: Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL45 – The Cotswolds. Distance: 5.25 miles. Route Map
This gentle circular walk passes through Guiting Wood and Kineton village, along footpaths, quiet lanes and tracks. It is our variation of the Pathfinder’s Guide walk: The Guitings & Guiting Wood, but this route avoids walking along so much road. Although it excludes Temple Guiting, it would be easy enough to take a short detour at the end to visit Guiting Power.
The starting point is on Critchford Lane near Kineton, where there is a free car park in an old sheep pen. We made our way around the route in a clockwise direction.
This area of the Cotswolds is steeped in history, excavations in the meadow uncovered the remains of an Iron Age farmstead dating back to the 1st century BC. The fields and tracks still have an old world feel, and Guiting Wood itself is a magical place. Impressions of deer tracks can be seen pressed into the muddy pathways. Kansas Pheasants run through the trees, their unusual light grey plumage contrasting with the earthy browns and greens of the forest. Among the curls of Birch bark, the pristine mossy floor is decorated with fungi. Surely this is where the fairies live!
Walking along the farm track to Kineton, we felt the sun beating down, it’s often at its hottest after 4pm. Although England isn’t a hot climate, it can really catch you out at times. The weather can change very rapidly from hot to cold, dry to wet. I was glad to be wearing my hat, and have plenty of water. A couple were walking in the opposite direction, and spotted the OS map dangling in its cover around my neck. They asked if they could have a look at it, as they wanted to walk to Temple Guiting and Ford. They were experienced walkers, but I thought it strange that they had no map, no water, no hats etc. I know it’s not wilderness and there are pubs in most villages, but still. They too were sweating buckets.
Kineton village has a pub, the wooden tables set out in the beer garden looked tempting, and I’d have liked an ice cold Coke, but as usual we carried on. We rarely go into pubs being teetotallers, we tend to just admire them from the outside, and then wander on sipping our warm water. A little further along the road we found the footpath to the right which crossed fields alongside a hedgerow. The Manor house came into view in the distance, and we wound our way down tracks crossing the little river, before making our way back along the Diamond Way/ Warden’s Way.
We will definitely do this one again.
Our Rating: 5/5