Napton on the Hill circular walk

A Napton on the Hill walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 13/11/18

A short circular walk that offers some wonderful views of the Warwickshire countryside. The route passes through the village of Napton on the Hill with its fine windmill.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 4.49mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 164ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 164ft
Highest point Highest point : 489ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 318ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Napton on the Hill
Starting point Starting point : N 52.253623° / W 1.332615°
Download :


Please note that since publishing, the Bridge Inn, which is the stating point for this walk, is currently closed. There is parking in Napton near the church if the Bridge Inn car park is closed.

(D)From the car park of the Bridge Inn, turn left onto the main road to proceed over the canal bridge then take the first lane on the right after approximately 150 metres. Immediately ahead, but slightly to your left, take the metal kissing gate and go up the field, and on through a second kissing gate, keeping the hedge right to take another gate in the field corner continuing on a rising path. Take the next gate walking half left diagonally across the field and through a second gate to cross a small field to a lane. To your right you will have a good view of Napton Windmill, which can be traced back to 1543 but is now a private residence not open to the public.

(1)Go left down the surfaced lane bearing left at the fork, passing "High View" and "Hill Rose" cottages turning downhill into Chapel Lane and bearing right at the concrete bollard past an attractive thatched cottage - The Old Bakery - on your right, to reach the road. Continue gently downhill through the village turning left at the bottom into Dog Lane.

(2)Go past St Lawrence School coming after a few yards to a waymarked bridleway just before the last houses on your right. Proceed along the bridleway ignoring the first stile on your left and continuing on to take the metal gate ahead of you into a field. Keep ahead with hedge right through two fields and two metal gates, then following the waymarkers left through a third gate for 80 metres then right through the next gate. Keep ahead with hedge right, through two fields eventually turning right onto the Millennium Way at the metal gate.

(3)Keeping hedge right you will notice a farm appearing a few hundred metres to the left. When you draw level with the farm you will be at a gate, which leads to a minor road. Here you will notice the distinctive black Millennium Way waymarker. Take the gate and go right up the road which is in effect continuing in the same direction as the path you have just left. After some 500m come to a T-junction, go ahead signposted Napton / Stockton. Eventually, pass three cottages left (The Fens) and immediately take driveway on left (taking the small gate to the right of the wrought iron gate).

(4)Proceed up driveway going right behind garage with hedge right to come to stile. Take stile going half right up centre of field to come to a rather makeshift bridge in the dip. Cross the bridge and go half left up field to exit by far left corner gate to road. Go right on road over canal bridge then immediately left down onto the Oxford canal.

(5)Go left under the bridge and ahead with canal right. Looking ahead you will have a fine view of Napton- on-the-Hill with its high set windmill. This canal was designed by James Brindley and eventually links up with the Grand Union canal further north. Follow down a flight of locks and pass The Folly Inn on your left. Continue on the towpath skirting around Napton Hill until you come to bridge 111. Pass under the A425 South to Daventry road taking the gap immediately left to reach the end of the walk at the Bridge Inn.

Please note that on 5 Nov 2018, work was being carried out on the above portion of the canal making it impassable. Please check for canal work before venturing on this route.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Start: Bridge Inn car park
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. mi 0.5 - Go left down surfaced lane
2 : mi 0.9 - alt. mi 0.9 - Turn left into Dog Lane
3 : mi 1.81 - alt. mi 1.81 - Turn right onto Millennium Way
4 : mi 2.42 - alt. mi 2.42 - Turn left along driveway
5 : mi 2.85 - alt. mi 2.85 - Go left under canal bridge
D/A : mi 4.48 - alt. mi 4.48 - Finish: Bridge Inn car park

Useful Information

A five mile circular walk from Napton offering wonderful views and the opportunity to see at close quarters the famous Napton Windmill. Over half the walk follows a delightful section of the Millennium Way, which is clearly waymarked with the distinctive black circular markers. The walk starts from The Bridge Inn, situated just by the Oxford Canal close to Napton-on-the-Hill on the A425 (grid ref. SP456619).

In the Middle Ages, Napton was one of the largest towns in Warwickshire with a population of approximately 1000 people, which is more or less the same as today. The name Napton is derived from the Anglo Saxon meaning hilltop settlement. A brief history of Napton on the Hill can be found at . During the second half of the walk you enjoy a delightful section of the Millennium Way.

Contributors Website or Email -

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.07/5
Number of opinions : 10
Description quality : 4.2/5
Routemap quality : 3.9/5
Walk interest : 4.1/5

on Mon 07 Jan 2019 12:10:09 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 06/01/19
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Average

Pleasant walk.

We started further along the walk in the village and cut off the last corner by going over the hill past the windmill which was nice.

on Tue 01 Jan 2019 10:04:42 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 30/12/19
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Start of the walk - Bridge Inn car park does not exist the Bridge Inn is now a residential house, parked across the road in a lay by which was not ideal as its run down ,would be better to start from the church in Napton. Number 1 was confusing from D the path was opposite more then left. Point 2 the bridleway was fine once you reach the fields and gates they were almost impassable due to mud tractors had cut up and recent wet weather and farmer had chained one of the gates but managed to get over a wooden fence everything else fine defiantly recommend Folly Inn lovely welcoming pub

Moderator hiker
on Tue 13 Nov 2018 15:54:36 CET

Thank you for your feedback, we'll incoporate these points into the walk description to make sure it is as clear as possible for future walkers

on Mon 05 Nov 2018 18:56:00 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 05/11/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

In Birmingham the weather was dull on this Guy Fawkes day. As usual I travelled to the walk venue via B and minor A roads - Wythall - Hockley Heath - Old Warwick Road - outskirts of Warwick and Leamington Spa , circling Southam to the walk start point. Napton is neat village with a Post Office/general store (for refreshments to take with you) and I parked across the road from here.. The instructions are good for this map. A couple of things. At POINT 4 - turning left immediately after The Fens houses I was faced with an impressive "heavy guage" wrought iron gate. I missed the small gate to it immediate right so carried on only to trepass on a private drive which led to a dead end field (but it looked genuine to me !!) A local resident came to her and soon politely put me right and I returned to POINT 4 of the walk and proceeded in an orderly fashion. The weather, now, (12:00) was brilliant sunshine with lovely views towards Napton OT Hill and the church and windmill. There was a second problem at POINT 5 - not my navigation or confusing map/route. As I ventured along the beautiful and quiet Oxford Canal as per the notes from bridge 115, I found that I could not proceed much further than the locks before bridge 114. The Waterways people were carrying out major civil engineering etc works so there was NO way past this point. I decided to return to 115 and make my way back via 4,3,2,1 points on the map. As it looks like MAJOR works they may be there fro sometime - so I suggest we all check Canal "road works" before venturing on any tow path routes. Other than that I really enjoyed Hikideas
plan and map and will be using them regularly in future with confidence.

on Mon 10 Sep 2018 11:30:52 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 10/09/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good

Hi We did this walk. Enjoyed it, especially the canal part. Have some comments however: For future walkers the Bridge Inn is no more. It used to be positioned where the A425 crosses the Oxford canal close to Napton. We parked at St Lawrence church on the hill, but found it difficult to orient ourselves for the walk - might just be our map-reading skills (or lack of!), and probably missed some good bits like a clear view of the windmill. Also this meant the walk ended with a steep climb. Next time we plan to park at the Folly Inn on the canalside. Only other comment is that some of the field gates were chained or tied shut with string by the farmer and were very tricky to climb over as no stiles.

on Mon 09 Jul 2018 09:39:40 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 08/07/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Very good

The starting point is the Brisge Inn that doesn't exist anymore. There is a note in bold further down the page that explains this but I hadn't read this at first. It would have been better to have updated the directions than leave as a bold sentence that could (and was) be missed.

The long walk along the canal is a bit difficult due to the hedges being overgrown and the path getting narrow due to banking errosion. Not easy for someone who isn't that steady on their feet.

on Wed 27 Jun 2018 10:45:40 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 27/06/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Great views of surrounding countryside

on Mon 28 May 2018 18:25:11 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 28/05/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Average

The Bridge pub is closed for renovations so we found an alternative parking space near the 2 on the route map.

on Mon 19 Mar 2018 10:29:28 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 03/03/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Walk up to Windmill is VERY steep - longer but easier following road. Views on walk are very good as is Folly Inn pub on canal

Moderator hiker
on Tue 27 Feb 2018 15:35:53 CET

Thank you for your feedback on this walk. If you would like to share any of the other walks you mentioned around Napton on Hikideas, using the walking route planner, your contribution would be most welcome!

on Mon 26 Feb 2018 10:00:59 CET

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 24/02/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Apart from cattle damage at field gates and climbing road to Windmill (for spectacular views) its an easy walk.
We parked near Church. There are also at least 3 other walks near Napton with half their routed alongside canal
The surrounding hills provide a great view.

Moderator hiker
on Sun 11 Feb 2018 11:06:55 CET

Thank you for the useful feedback on the Bridge Inn, we've updated the walk sheet to let other hikers know

on Fri 09 Feb 2018 18:09:22 CET

Just to let you know, The Bridge Inn, stating point for this walk, is now closed. There is parking in Napton near the church if the Bridge Inn car park is closed as well.

Moderator hiker
on Sat 06 Jan 2018 09:45:33 CET

Hi Andy,

Thank you for your feedback, that's really helpful. I've made the changes you outlined to the walk route, so hopefully it will be clearer to follow now

Best wishes,


on Fri 05 Jan 2018 19:03:50 CET

Hi ,

Did the walk again and sussed out where I went wrong.
So in (D) the first paragraph / second sentence the first field has had a fence built across it with a kissing gate so you go through 3 gates not 2 before you do the half left bit.

Also in (2) they've built some more houses so where you say in the first sentence on this section 'just past the last house' you need to amend it to 'just before the last houses'

Hope this helps.


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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.