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15 Breathtaking Dog Walks in Brackley

15 Breathtaking Dog Walks in Brackley
Dog Walks

Tucked away on the southeast corner of Northamptonshire, bordering Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, is the pretty market town of Brackley.

Once hugely significant in the wool and lace trade, this historic town sprung up on the convergence of trade routes connecting the major cities of London, Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge. Nowadays though, it’s probably more famous for being the base of the Mercedes F1 team.

Brackley is a great hub for events and festivals throughout the year, catering to a variety of interests from motorcycles to food. It’s also a great destination for anyone with their pooch looking to explore a new town that’s easy-to-reach with a wealth of nearby walks.

Speaking of which, Brackley is only a stone’s throw from Banbury, so it’s worth researching the best dog walks in Banbury too, as many are within a short drive.

Country & Country Park Walks

Knightley Way

Brackley dog walk Knightley Way

The Knightley Way long distance footpath travels through Northamptonshire from Badby to Greens Norton, a fifteen-minute drive away from Brackley. Given the length of the walk, you and the pooch will have to get public transport to the start of the route or back to where you began after this long, linear walk.

Your walk will begin by passing Badby Woods and Fawsley Hall, and you will catch a glimpse of the handsome manor sat within its landscaped estate. After crossing the canal, you’ll stroll to the site of the castle at Preston Capes.

The rest of this walk is over farmland and fields and is everything you would expect from a long countryside stroll, including ample off-lead walking for the pup. The walk itself is fairly easy, but given the distance, you’ll need good footwear and good legs!

There are plenty of local spots to paw-se for a rest and refreshments, as this walk passes through Badby, Farthingstone, Litchborough, Foxley, and Greens Norton. If you wait until the end for a well-deserved drink, The Butcher’s Arms in Greens Norton is very dog friendly. If you need to park in Badbury, here’s where you can leave your car.

  • Walk Length: 19.3km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Badby
  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, slopes, uneven, woodland
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Badby, Daventry, NN11 3AR

More information: GPS Routes, Walking Englishman, LDWA Knightley Way

Turweston to Whitfield

Brackley dog walk Turweston to Whitfield

This wonderful circular stroll will take you from the leisure centre on the edge of town and out to explore the open countryside and farmland with the pup. There’s plenty of op-paw-tunities for the dog to roam off the lead as long as you follow the usual rules around livestock.

You’ll visit the aerodrome halfway around this route, which has a little cafe. The walking is fairly easy and suitable to bring children along for a picturesque rural ramble, but the route isn’t suitable for pushchairs.

The other great draw of this walk is that it passes several pubs. You will begin your walk by the Chequered Flag and pass The Greyhound and The Bell before you’ve even left Brackley. There’s also the Stratton Arms in Turweston and The Sun Inn on the edge of Whitfield.

When you reach The Sun, you can choose to take the track that goes onward to Whitfield itself to explore the village before returning to this route. We think the best place to paw-se for refreshments is the Stratton Arms as the river passes by their garden and makes for the prettiest pit-stop.

  • Walk Length: 10.4km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Brackley Leisure Centre
  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Springfield Way, Brackley, NN13 6JJ

More information: Brackley Routes

Stowe

Brackley dog walks Stowe

The divine Georgian landscape garden and park of Stowe is one of our favourite spots for a stroll, and being only 7 miles down the road it’s one of the best dog walks in Brackley. Pooches are welcome on a lead and will love the sights and smells of the gardens as much as their humans. There are two suggested doggy trails with poo bins and drinking bowls along their length.

Even getting to the gardens is a pleasant walk, as you take a ten-minute stroll down the drive. (Or hop on the shuttle buggy.) Both of the dog walks circuit Octagon lake, pass several of the temples, and cross the exceptional Palladian bridge.

You could follow either of these walks, but dogs are welcome to explore all of the gardens and park so you could also enjoy many hours strolling and exploring Stowe in its entirety.

After your walk, you and the pup can paw-se in the covered outdoor seating of the cafe, or pop in the gift shop. If you do browse in the shop, your pooch will probably receive a few free treats from the staff.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km or 4.2km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Bell gate drive
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, parkland
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5EQ

More information: National Trust, Stowe PDF

Westbury

Brackley dog walks Westbury

This charming little village less than three miles down the road from Brackley is easy enough to walk to in itself. However, once you’re here, you and the dog can pick one of several local walks that take in the picturesque countryside surrounding Westbury, including stretches along the River Ouse.

You could take all day to walk the 12 miles Westbury circular path, but we enjoy this shorter, circular walk that heads towards Turweston. If you fancied it, you could combine this walk with the Turweston to Whitbury walk listed above.

The stroll through Westbury is itself a delight, as you’ll pass many attractive cottages before you head into the meadows and woodland. You’ll cross the Ouse and some of its tributaries on this walk, and it’s the paw-fect place to stop and let the pooch have a paddle in.

Other points of interest include the airfield, and the route of the disused railway line. If you want to stop for a rest, paw-se at The Stratton Arms, or pop by the community cafe in Westbury.

  • Walk Length: 9.3km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Westbury
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, meadows, woodland, uneven, slopes
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Westbury, Brackley, NN13 5JN

More information: Westbury PDF, Westbury Circular Ride, GPS Routes

Evenley Common & Pocket Park

Brackley dog walk Evenley Common

Just off Bicester hill by the village of Evenley is the practically paw-fect pocket park. The area is common land, mostly consisting of grassland and scrubland. The area is well-maintained by local volunteers to keep it picture-perfect and ideal for wildlife, including butterflies and grass snakes.

The open green space is paw-some for fetch and running around off the lead, before you and the dog head into the scrub to admire the wildflowers, sniff through the undergrowth and a enjoy quick stroll through the patch of woodland. There are no mapped routes for this small park, but the trails are well-kept, relatively even, and easy enough to follow.

After your walk, head into the village to stop by the coffee shop or The Red Lion. The traditional pub is full of quirky antiques, and open fires. If you fancy a further walk, you can pop by the Evenley Wood Garden, another of our favourite dog walks in Brackley.

  • Walk Length: >5km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: South of Bicester Hill
  • Terrain: Trails, flat, meadows, woodland, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Bicester Hill, Evenley, Brackley, NN13 5SD

More information: Evenley Pocket Park

Greatworth

Brackley dog walk Greatworth

This circular walk through Greatworth and into the farmland and fields that surround it is a wonderful local route you might not have tried yet. The land here can get quite muddy, so this is a walk best saved for summer months when it’s warmer and dryer.

There’s a handful of stiles on the route, so be aware you might have to help the pup over one or two if they can’t fit under or around.

There are several walks you can take here, and exploring this town is full of hidden history you could easily miss. For example, two carved pineapple gate piers are all that remains of the fine manor that once stood here but ill-fatedly burned down on Christmas Eve in 1793.

Much of this hidden history is referenced in the field names. For example, The Park was once a deer park, whilst the Stone Pit and Dairy Ground’s purpose are more obvious.

The walk starts and ends at the village church and passes the local pub on the way. This family-run inn has stood since the 16th century and is frequented by many of the local farmers. You and the pooch will be warmly welcomed, and it’s the paw-fect pit-stop after a tiring afternoon’s walk.

  • Walk Length: 5.5km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Church Road
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, level, fields, trails, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Church Road, Greatworth, OX17 2DU

More information: Northamptonshire Walks, The Greatworth Inn

Sulgrave

Brackley dog walk Sulgrave

The charming village of Sulgrave is another hub for several delightful walks and is only 15 minutes drive away from Brackley. The longest of these walks starts at The Star Inn and quickly progresses to bridleways through the hedgerows and out into the countryside. You and the pup will have plenty of options for pit-stops, such as The Crown Inn.

There’s also a few unusual sights, including a field full of llamas, and American paraphernalia in the village. That being said, this is more or less a traditional countryside stroll where you’ll be surrounded by rolling fields and lazily grazing livestock. The return to Sulgrave down Moreton Road has an especially idyllic view.

Some stretches of the walk are on country lanes, so your pup will be on the lead occasionally. However, there are still plenty of op-paw-tunities for them to have a run around untethered on this walk. Afterwards, take some time to explore the village and discover its links to America’s first president.

  • Walk Length: 8.8km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: The Star Inn
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, level, fields, trails, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Manor Road, Sulgrave, Banbury, OX17 2SA

More information: Sulgrave PDF, Sulgrave Village Walks

Thenford Hill & Upper Wardington

Brackley dog walk Thenford Hill

Enjoy a ramble through the Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire countryside by wandering along this circular route from Middleton Cheney, which marks one end of the Millenium Way long-distance path. You’ll follow the Millenium Way for the first half of this walk, before leaving the way to head towards Upper Wardington.

There are fabulous views along the route and the small vantage point of Thenford Hill offers a beautiful panorama given the low level of the surrounding landscape. This is also a fantastic choice of dog walk for anyone local to Banbury.

There are plenty of op-paw-tunities for the pup to be off the lead here as you roam the gently undulating countryside. Just remember to keep them under close control when crossing the few roads you pass, or if you encounter livestock. You’ll also cross a stream, where you can paw-se for a moment to let your pup have a paddle.

This walk is easy, but it is a long route so make sure you pack a drink and good footwear. You can take a pit-stop in Middleton Chaney or Upper Wardington to use the local facilities, and perhaps pop by The New Inn or The George and Dragon.

  • Walk Length: 12.2km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Church Lane
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, level, fields, trails, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Church Lane, Middleton Cheney, Banbury, OX17 2NR

More information: Walking Britian, Walking 41 Club

Aynho

Brackley dog walk Aynho

There are several lovely local walks you can take in and around Aynho, which is only six miles away from Brackley. You and the pooch could take a short stroll around the village exploring all the historical focal points.

Otherwise, this longer romp through rural surroundings is well worth walking. At first, it may seem fairly usual. But taking these near-invisible trails will unearth hidden gems, from home-guard posts to wonderful views from the crest of a hill you’d barely realise you climbed.

If you haven’t already guessed, some of the trails on this walk are hard to make out as you stroll through the fields, meaning it might be best to have a map and compass handy.

Meanwhile, your pooch will love the excuse to freely explore their surroundings. There aren’t many local facilities, but there is The Drover cafe and the Cartwright Hotel in the village, which even offers dog-friendly accommodation.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Village square
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, level, fields, trails, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Aynho, Banbury, OX17 3BE

More information: Aynho PDF, Walking in England

Steane & Hinton-in-the-Hedges

Brackley dog walk Steane

Starting from the centre of Brackley, this walk takes you out west to Hinton-in-the-Hedges on the way towards Steane, with wonderful views over the park then back to town again. In Hinton, you can stop by the Crewe Arms pub. You also very conveniently happen to start and end this walk by The Chequered Flag in Brackley.

Quite early in the walk, you’ll pass a pond and stream, which might tempt your pup in. However, if they can resist the water they will be well rewarded, as when you round Steane park you need to cross the ford. This can be excellent fun for you and the pooch, as you can take the stepping stones across and the dog can take a decidedly wetter approach.

Take care when crossing the A422, which you will have to do once outside Brackley and again as you’re coming into Steane. Otherwise, this route is mostly traffic-free following tracks through farmland and woodland.

  • Walk Length: 10.4km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Brackley leisure centre
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, level, fields, trails, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Springfield Way, Brackley, NN13 6JJ

Woodland Walks

Hazelborough Wood

Brackley dog walk Hazelborough Wood

Hazelborough wood is paw-fect for a stroll amidst the trees and is a pocket of quintessential British woodland. In spring, bluebells burst into life between the majestic oaks and conifers. Despite the usual serenity, be warned that it can get noisy here as it is right next to Silverstone. So if you long for a tranquil walk, make sure it isn’t a race day.

There are a number of trails throughout the forest, but they are not waymarked and they range in difficulty depending on where you wander. They’re easy to access too, and you can park just off the A413. The car park is open 24 hours so you could walk here whenever you fancy.

If you want to spend a few more hours exploring the countryside, you’re only a short walk from Bucknell Woods, another of our favourite dog walks in Brackley. For refreshments, head into Silverstone where The White Horse and the Barley Mow are both dog-friendly and have lovely atmospheres.

  • Walk Length: 4.5km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Car park
  • Terrain: Trails, woodland, flat, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: A413, Brackley NN13 5TU

More information: Forestry England, Woodland Trust, GPS Routes

Bucknell Woods

Brackley dog walk Bucknell Woods

This patch of ancient woodland, combined with nearby Hazelborough Wood, makes up Whittlewood Forest. Once a royal hunting ground, Bucknell Woods is now a quiet and enchanting woodland with a web of trails and bridleways weaving between the trees.

Your pup will enjoy roaming off the lead with you here and exploring the sights and smells of this woodland and its fantastic floral displays. There’s also an abundance of butterflies and you might find your pooch merrily following one as it flutters past.

Bucknall has its own car park, and you could park there or at nearby Hazelborough wood and explore the two together. Both woodlands are large and with unwaymarked trails, so you could spend hours walking in either forest and never cover the same ground twice.

That’s why we suggest visiting them separately. After your walk, pop into Silverstone village or Abthorpe to make use of the local facilities, or pack a picnic for an alfresco lunch in the picnic area in the woods.

  • Walk Length: 5km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: Car park
  • Terrain: Trails, woodland, flat, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Bucknell Wood, Towcester, NN12 8TW

More information: GPS Routes, Woodlands Trust

Evenley Wood Garden

Brackley dog walk Evenley Wood Garden

This privately owned garden is the paw-fect spot for a dog walk with a difference. The garden welcomes dogs on leads, so you and the pooch can explore the acres of gardens and its unusual and rare plants.

The spot is especially famous for its snowdrops, which emerge in their thousands by February. But as these bright blooms fade away as the season develops, the other blooms make an equally fascinating display such as the 800m long Scilla “stream”, and over 300 roses and 150 lilies.

Walking here is flat and level and follows mown grass trails and is easy to walk around and explore the diverse collections of flora grown there. Picnics are also welcome as well as your pooches. You can even arrange a BBQ, as long as you contact the garden in advance. Light refreshments are also served from the pavilion.

  • Walk Length: As long or as short as you like
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Main entrance
  • Terrain: Trails, woodland, flat, slopes, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Evenley Wood Garden, NN13 5SH

More information: Great British Gardens, Evenley Wood Garden

Farthinghoe Nature Reserve

Brackley dog walk Farthinghoe Nature Reserve

Less than five miles from Brackley, you’ll find the charming Farthinghoe Nature Reserve. Pups are welcome to join you on a ramble around its 4-hectares as long as they are on a lead. The land was once used for the railway line between Brackley and Banbury but has since been transformed into a beautiful natural haven with deliberately diverse settings of woodland, glades, ponds, and meadows.

The area is lovingly maintained by the Brackley & District wildlife trust, who work tirelessly to keep the habitats as varied as they can and that the reserve remains the paradise it is.

Every month there is a guided walk led by one of the rangers. Pooches are welcome to join you on one of these walks where you’ll be shown all the best of the site, and some hidden treasures. Otherwise, simply head in and follow the trails on your own self-guided circuit. (Or sniff-guided if the dog goes first.)

Afterwards, head into Farthinghoe to visit the pet-friendly pub The Fox. Your pooch can take a water bowl and treats from the bar, while you have your own drink and snack.

  • Walk Length: 1km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Farthinghoe Nature Reserve
  • Terrain: Trails, woodland, fields, flat, uneven
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Purston Lane, Brackley, Northamptonshire, OX17 2BT

More information: Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, Mapping Farthinghoe

Waterside Walks

St James Lake

This short walk around the tranquil waters of St James Lake is a paw-fect walk for people and pooches of all ages and abilities.

The lake is set within a small park which you’re welcome to explore, and the whole site is an oasis for wildlife. A diversion to explore the adorably and aptly named Pocket Park adds an extra 1.2km to this route.

Otherwise, follow the trail that circuits the lake. The walk is on an even footpath and suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and there are benches dotted around the area so you can paw-se for a rest or simply to soak in the beautiful view over the water.

If you fancy a spot of refreshments, there are two picnic areas in the park, as well as the number of benches. If you fancy heartier fare, you are on the edge of Brackley and only a short walk from a number of establishments. The Green Room is the closest spot that allows pooches.

  • Walk Length: 0.8km to 2km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Hinton Road
  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even
  • Free Parking: Yes
  • Address: Brackley, NN13 7EQ

More information: St James Lake

More dog walks: Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire

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