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Saturday Begbroke Run

A slightly longer run than usual, around 7 miles and fairly flat, especially along the canal. Although the canal passes through industrial estates in Kidlington, these are hidden from view. Do not fall in!

Assuming a start in Woodstock, run past the secondary school and open air swimming pool, turning left along the ancient Sansom’s Lane. After about 200m turn right following the footpath due East, with the hedge on one’s right. Eventually a house with a large garden appears on the left and the path diverts around the boundary and emerges at the road to the house. Straight on to meet the A4095 and go across to the next main road, the A4260 from Banbury to Kidlington. Here someone has converted a former electrical substation into a very small dwelling. Straight across again, bearing slightly right, across a ditch and head to the end of the field keeping right of the barn. Through a gap in the hedge and turn right on the trackbed of the old Woodstock railway, which was later an access road to the quarry. A surfaced road is soon reached at Shipton-on-Cherwell, turn right then left at the T-junction down towards the canal, but instead turn right through the churchyard of Holy Cross church, down some steps and follow the path until the road is reached at Thrupp. Join the Oxford canal and head South, past the Jolly Boatman pub, under the main road at Kidlington, until Roundham Lock and a hump backed bridge over the canal appears at the end of Begbroke Lane. Leave the canal by the bridge and turn right along Begbroke Lane, but almost immediately take the new cycleway on the left, constructed for the benefit of workers heading to/from the Science Park. After around 400m head straight on across the field, the cycle path turns left. The path leaves the fields at a service road to the main A44 in Begbroke. Turn right then left to cross the dual-carriageway A44 on the North side of the roundabout. Take the Spring Hill Road exit to the roundabout, past the offices of Solid State Logic, then right along St. Michael’s Lane, left past the church of that name, and over a brick stile at the end of the lane. Follow the footpath for about 300m and go through a gap in the hedge. There are several paths back to Bladon from here, all of which can be rather muddy in Winter. One route is to turn right along a farm track and follow it curving to the left through a wood and along Rowel Brook. The houses of Bladon appear in the distance and eventually the main road is reached. Turn left, cross the road and the grass to the footpath on the right of the Blenheim Park Eagle Lodge and park exit. Go through the gap in the stone wall and through the gate into the field. Head past the Bladon Lodges on the right and Cowyard offices on the left. Straight across at the pedestrian crossing into Woodstock.