Pilgrimages in the Ray Valley Benefice: Charlton-on-Otmoor-Wendlebury-Charlton-on-Otmoor

Approximately 7 miles/2hrs 30min – Download this page here.

Start at Church of St Mary the Virgin, Charlton-on-Otmoor, listed in Simon Jenkins’ “England Thousand Best Churches.” Sit a while for quiet prayers and gaze upon the magnificent rood screen.

Turn left out of the churchyard and then immediately left into Church Lane.

At the end turn right along The Broadway and then left into New Pond Road. On reaching the Islip to Merton road go straight across into Mansmoor Lane (watching out for fast moving traffic.)

After about 400 yards, just past a tin farm building, go right on the footpath.

Head for the far left corner of the field, over the style and into an ancient meadow with ridge and furrow – a haven for wildflowers.  Head to the gate in the far left corner and into a second ridge and furrow meadow. The footpath goes left at 45% to a footbridge. In the next field, go straight across to a style.  The fifth field has the M40 motorway as its far boundary. Head at an angle across to this boundary and then walk to the left up to the far right corner, emerging on to a concrete track.

Turn right and under the motorway bridge and alongside the railway line. Ahead you will see the pedestrian bridge over the railway. Go across the bridge and then turn right. The path then goes left, leading into Wendlebury.  Turn right on the road through the village and just after the Red Lion turn left into Church Lane.

The Church of St. Giles, Wendlebury is on the outskirts of the village. A small church, rebuilt four times since it was founded in the 13th century. It is clearly a church for the community and has a welcoming atmosphere. Time for a rest and quiet reflection.

Re-trace the route back to the railway bridge. Do not cross the line but take the footpath on the right hand side, leading to the motorway bridge. Having gone under the bridge turn immediately right to cross the field to the far right hand corner. Emerge on to a concrete track and turn left. On reaching iron gates of farm buildings, turn right through a gap in the hedge and then immediately left on the bridleway. Follow around the perimeter of the field, exiting through a gateway with woods on your right. Turn left on the bridleway, a wide grassy track with ancient oaks. At the end of the bridleway turn left, with the Mansmoor Road railway bridge ahead. In the distance you can see Charlton church.

Continue on Mansmoor Road, returning to Charlton on the same route as the outward leg.