With Christmas a distant memory, January can feel like a slog. Our solution? Bundle up in our wellies and wax jackets and head out for a bracing walk. Soho Farmhouse have created some walking and cycling routes to explore the Cotswolds countryside so if you’ve booked a January-blues-busting stay at the Farm, try one of these, or simply step outside your front door and head for the nearest green spot.

 

SHORT WALK

GREAT TEW AND GREAT TEW PARK. 1 HOUR, 4.5 MILES

A stroll between hedgerows leading to Great Tew Park, with its views into the valleys beyond, then on to Great Tew village. Stop for a pint in The Falkland Arms or tea at Sweetpeas, before a short uphill walk to St Michael’s church and a 15-minute stroll, mostly downhill, back across fields to Farmhouse.

1. The Gatehouse (A). From the Gatehouse, turn left up the lane for 15 minutes. At a T-junction, opposite the Great Tew Park gates, turn right, with the wall on your left. At the wall’s end, cross the road, and go left into a field on a broad path, heading downhill.
2. Great Tew Park (C). The Park is an early 19th-century de facto arboretum planted by John Claudius Loundon, an architect who designed much of Great Tew. Continue to follow the path as it swings left of a wooden double-gate, straightens out and then continues into Great Tew.
3. Great Tew (D). Continue in the same direction as the path meets a track and goes uphill. Great Tew’s thatched, ironstone cottages make this a designated Conservation Area – William the Conqueror granted the manor here to his step-brother in the Domesday Book.
4. The Falkland Arms (E). A short climb brings you to the 500-year-old Falkland Arms on your right. Stop for a print in its pretty pub garden or by the roaring log fire.
5. Sweetpeas (F). Turn right to walk in front of the Falkland Arms, passing Sweetpeas tea room on your right, as you swing left following the small village green all the way around to the other side of the school. Go steeply uphill, following the road.
6. Church of St Michael. At the top of the hill, detour left to Michael’s Church. Back on the road, fork left, cross the main road and follow a signpost to the right of New Gardens Cottage. Follow field edges downhill, then left at the bottom, to reach the lane and our Gatehouse (A)

MEDIUM WALK

GREAT TEW AND LITTLE TEW. 2 HOURS, 6 MILES

Stroll up to Great Tew Park, through Great Tew, then uphill to beautiful Little Tew and its flower- covered cottages, before heading across fields (don’t worry, there are paths and signs) and past Tracey Barn Farm and back to Farmhouse.

Follow 1-3 of the Short Walk
4. Village Green. Walk in front of The Falkland Arms to find Sweetpeas on your right. Swing left following the curve of the village green and look for a gate in the hedge on the other side of the green. Go up the field, aiming to the right of the farmhouse and cross the farmyard.
5. Little Tew (G). Go across another field – straight, then angle right at a post – to the road. Cross with care and go diagonally left and directly across a crop field. At the lane turn right and downhill into Little Tew. At a junction signposted Enstone turn left.
6. Riverside (H). Follow the road for 1km then after The Lodge and a stream, turn left into a field. Follow footpath signs and the river and cross a lane. At Tracey Barn Farm, go over a stile to swap to the other side of the river and follow signs and field edges, finally returning to the lane and Gatehouse (A).

 

SHORT RIDE

LITTLE TEW, SWERFORD, GREAT TREW, 1 HOUR/ 10 MILES

An easy route along quiet country lanes to pretty Little Tew, through the village of Swerford with its 13th-century village church of St Mary, then on to Great Tew for a pint or a cake before returning to Farmhouse.
1. Little Tew (A). From the Gatehouse, turn left on to the lane and cycle for 1.5km to a T-junction. Turn left and after crossing a busier road, go downhill into Little Tew, then ride for a long straight stretch, before turning left at a junction. 2. Swerford (C). At the busier A361 (Banbury Road) turn right with care. After a layby on the right, take the signposted left towards Swerford. Stay on the lane as it swings right, before another flat, straight section, into Swerford.
3. Banbury Road. At a junction, turn right (signposted Great Tew). At the next junction, turn left with care towards Banbury, putting you back back on the A361. After a few minutes, take a right turning on to a quieter lane (B4022), signposted The Tews. This is straight at first, then gets bendy and more undulating.
4. Great Tew (B). After 2km, look for a wooden signpost pointing to Great Tew on your left, down a single-track lane. Go left (effectively straight on) after a car park on your left. Then follow the curve of the small, sloping village green round to the right. 5. Falkland Arms. After a pit-stop for a pint, head back towards the village green and follow it round to the other side of the school and steeply uphill. At the top of the hill, detour left through an ornate arch to visit the Norman- era St Michael’s Church.
6. Church of St Michael. Turn left out of the church grounds, then fork left, then turn left at the main road. Take the next right to go back down the lane to the Gatehouse.

MEDIUM RIDE

ROLLRIGHT STONES, SWERFORD, GREAT TEW. 2 HOURS/ 17 MILES

Visit Little Tew village, then see the Cotswolds’ most impressive stone circle, which dates from the late Neolithic period. Then it’s on to Swerford and Great Tew before heading back to our Gatehouse.

1. Little Tew (A). From the Gatehouse, turn left on to the lane and cycle for 1.5km to a T-junction. Turn left and after crossing a busier road, go downhill into Little Tew. Take a gradual uphill out of the village, then a long straight stretch, before turning left at a junction.
2. Rollright Stones (D). Take a left at the A361, signposted Chipping Norton. Turn right at a crossroads, signposted Great Rollright. At a roundabout, turn right on the A3400, signposted Stratford/Long Compton. After about 3.5km, turn right at the sign for Great Rollright. Look for a layby on the right, park up and visit the Rollright Stones.
3. Swerford (C). Continue on and at the crossroads, turn right, then left. At a signpost for Hook Norton, turn right. Go straight over at the crossroads. After 2km the road swings left, turn off it, going straight on towards Swerford.
4. Great Tew (B). Ignore a left. Turn right at the next junction. The road swerves through Swerford and at T-junction with the A361, turn left. After a few minutes, take a right (B4022), signposted The Tews. After 2km, a signpost points you to Great Tew. Go left (effectively straight on) after a car park on your left.
5. Falkland Arms. Detour left from here to stop off at the Falkland Arms or Sweetpeas café. Then get on your bike and head back to the village green, following its curve round to the other side of the school and steeply uphill.
6. Church of St Michael. At the top of the hill, detour left through an ornate arch to visit St Michael’s Church. Coming out of the church grounds turn left, then fork left, then turn left at the main road. Take the next right to go back down the lane to the Gatehouse.

And when you're back home again, shed muddy boots, crank up the heating, wrap yourselves in our cosy robes (for grown-ups and kids alike) and enjoy a cup of tea/glass of wine/slice of cake.

Soho Farmhouse

Explore the surrounding countryside - or just cosy up in a cabin - at Soho Farmhouse.