A short, 2.6-mile Lower Heyford circular walk from Lower Heyford train station to Steeple Aston along part of the Oxford Canal towpath and through open fields connecting these two picturesque Cherwell villages.
This walk starts at Heyford train station car park, which offers 28 free spaces (you'll normally find one at the weekend although it can be a little more tricky through the week). Climb the steps to the railway road bridge and cross over the train track and the Oxford Canal. At the end of the railings, take the path on your left back towards the canal, picking up the Oxford Canal Walk in a northerly direction.
Follow the trail around the outskirts of Lower Heyford until Mill Lane crosses the canal via a swing bridge to your right. Pick up the footpath signposted on your left, passing through a gate and following the track across a flood plain before entering fields with lovely views back towards Lower Heyford. Follow the path until you reach the railway bridge (more often frequented by cows than commuters!)
From here, the path heads in a westerly direction, travelling through a small clump of trees and along the southern edge of several fields, offering excellent views of Steeple Aston ahead. You'll also get a great view of the curious Rousham Folly, also known as the Rousham Eyecatcher, with its three distinctive ironstone arches. Designed by landscape artist William Kent in the 18th century, it was built for the owners of nearby Rousham House to enjoy while eating their dinner.
Eventually, the path picks up a farm track leading to The Dickredge and Heyford Road, the main route through Steeple Aston. Follow the road to the left, passing Lawrence Fields on your right, Nizewell Head on your left and The Crescent on your right before the road begins to head steeply downhill. A footpath runs parallel to the road and rejoins it just before a set of traffic lights. Turn left at the lights, taking care as you follow the B4030 back to Heyford station and your starting place.