This is a nice mainly flat walk that takes in some of the Thames Path north from Radley up to Sandford Lock and Kennington from there it loops back via Radley woods. There is a bridge over a railway with lots of steps and a bit of road and pavement walking. To make up for that the Thames Path was extremely muddy when I walked it in late January 2019.
Distance: 10.25km / 6.36 miles
Total Climb: 65m
Walked: Early January 2019
Options: You can start in a few locations around the route, all with a pub handy. The track recorded starts at the village hall in Kennington and The Tandem pub opposite. We used the route for a BBC Radio Oxford walk which started from the Bowyer Arms in Radley, which has parking. A third option is the Kings Arms at Sandford Lock, which has a pay and display car park.
10.2 km, 02:22:58
These notes follow the recorded track from Kennington Village Hall and Tandem Pub, any notes relevant for the other options are at the end.
Head south on Kennington Road taking a left turn in to Bagley Wood Road. Follow this along for quite a distance, going straight over at St Swithun's Road. Take the track that runs to the right hand side of the continuation of Bagley Wood Road. This will bring you to a recreation ground. Continue across the playing fields and Memorial Field with its strange tufts then down the hill. You make a short right turn in to Radley Large Wood to follow the pathway back up the hill. There are lots of paths through the woods, I followed the western boundary of the wood. This brings you out at Sugworth Lane which you cross. Then over the fields following the path and back in to Radley Little Wood. Follow the path around the western and then southern boundary and it brings you out at a permissive path around the grounds of Radley College. You continue in to the ground and the path turns left and takes you down to rejoin Kennington Road.
Follow the Kennington Road south towards Radley, this picks up the Oxfordshire Green Belt Way. Turn left in to Church Road past the cute Radley Church and its bizarre hedge, carry on down in to the village.
Turn left in to Uxbridge Square (this is where the Radley route joins in) and cross the railway. Follow the road east passing through Lower Radley, the Thames Path is signed here, follow it right and then left again towards the Radley College Boat House.
When you reach the river turn north and follow the Thames Path through the grounds of the boat club, crossing its little footbridge and out across the fields. The route is very well trodden from here, following the river bank. It has a few sections that are falling in to the river and there was rubbish left by fisherman which is pretty depressing. The path gets squeezed between some woods and the river and when walked in January was extremely muddy (as you can see in the Flickr album) so care is required. The pathway eventually brings you out at a car park Sandford Lane.
Options: From here you have an option, the tracked route follows the main stream of the river crossing the bridge to the right, but you could continue straight on to the Sandford Lock Hydro Scheme. The path rejoins the tracked route after the weir.
Cross the river stream staying on the Thames Path. This takes you to Sanford Lock, stay on the western side of the lock (this is where the Sandford Lock option for the walk joins) and head off through the fields north of Sandford Lock.
You will cross a bridge to take you on to another little island, at the north end of the second bridge you follow the main path on, this is where the option to see the hydro scheme rejoins the route. Through a gate and out over fields, just pick the driest looking path, after a little while you will see a path peel off to the left and head towards a towering footbridge over the railway. Over the bride and then you find yourself behind the Tandem Pub, the village hall is opposite.
Well done, you are back at the beginning. Unless you walked the two option routes, in which case click here to go back to the top.
Radley Walk - If you are starting from Radley, walk north along Foxborough Road for a short way up from the pub to the turn for Uxbridge Square and pick up the route described above. Click here to jump to the relevant section of the route description.
Sanford Lock Walk - If you are starting from the Kings Arms in Sandford then you don't have far to go. Just walk out on to the river bank and lock and cross over to other other side. The Thames Path resumes (as does the tracked route) from the north end. Click here to jump to the relevant section of the route description.