Pitham Brook Path – 2.25 miles
Much of this walk takes place on paths – which are not Pub1ic Rights of Way – across land owned by the Ernest Cook Trust. The Trust very kindly allows access on six days a week to those who keep to the paths and act responsibly. (There is no access on Tuesdays).
Park at the car park at the top end of the High Street. On leaving the car park turn right down Mill Lane which runs along the north side of the Churchyard. The old Mill will be seen on the right. Cross the bridge – this is the River Coln that runs into the Thames near Lechlade, a few miles to the east. Don’t forget to look over the railings as there are usually many trout and water birds around.
About 50 yards further on the right is The Oxpens. This is an ancient agricultural building with wooden stalls which accommodated pairs of oxen, at one time used for ploughing. This has been restored by the Ernest Cook Trust, a locally based national land owning educational charity which owns all the land between Fairford and Quenington, and which also provided the garden and picnic place here which are for public use. Turn right and follow the permissive path through The Oxpens building (mind your head!) and follow the yellow waymarks that the Ernest Cook Trust has kindly provided. These lead us along the field edge parallel with one of the several courses of the river.
Follow the straight path for about three-quarters of a mile to a path T-junction, with a seat made from a hollowed-out tree trunk on the left. Turn right onto a path that travels over a series of five footbridges across the various courses of the river.
On the far bank, cross a stile and turn half-right keeping close to the fence round the electricity sub-station to a road gate. Follow the estate road as it twists up the slope before leveling at a gate: continue a further 400 yards to the public road and turn right.
There is no footpath on this lane but traffic is not usually heavy. Farmor’s School and Fairford Primary School are passed on the right. There is now a pavement on the right and continue along this to a three-way junction. Turn right into Park Street, this takes us past Fairford Cricket Club and back to the starting point.