Places of Interest
In Steeple and Middle Aston
One of the best ways to explore our area is to start with a couple of purchases from the village shop.
"A Stroll Round Steeple Aston", a booklet written by local resident Jean Stone takes you on a guided walk around the village pointing out buildings of interest and explaining their history.
For a more rural walk try the guide to local footpaths, which will give you a choice of walks of varying length around the village.
If time or energy are limited, there are a few village highlights you shouldn’t miss:
Visit the church and see the extraordinary statue of Judge Page, the notorious "hanging judge" and his wife. The church is open daily and there is a booklet for sale there full of historical detail.
Take a short walk down Cow Lane to see the Folly, also known as the "Eyecatcher". It looks like the ruins of some ancient abbey, but in fact was built in the 18th century for the owners of Rousham House (see below).
Go down the Tchure, the very short footpath that crosses the valley in the centre of the village taking you from Southside to Northside - or vice versa!
Walk from Steeple Aston to Middle Aston, and then sit on the bench and enjoy the wonderful view across the Cherwell Valley.
And when you’ve finished exploring, there will be a warm welcome for you at one of our two historical pubs, the White Lion and the Red Lion.
A guide to local footpaths is available from the village shop and provides detailed information on individual routes. This map, reproduced from the book by kind permission of Steeple Aston Life, shows all the public footpaths in and around the village. For a copy to print and take with you on your walk, please click here.
Cherwell District Council publishes leaflets on 12 circular walks in North Oxfordshire. All leaflets are available to download or order online. To go to their website, please click here.
Alternatively you can purchase as a set of 11 full colour booklets in a splash-proof pack from Banbury Tourist Information Centre on 01295 753752 and Bicester Visitor Centre, 01869 369055 for £5.95 (+ £1 p&p if ordering by post).
Oxfordshire County Council also provides lots of information on walking opportunities throughout the county. It publishes leaflets on 8 circular walks and 12 attractive “Paths for All” as well as links to sites about walking in the Chilterns and along the Thames Path. To find out more and to download the leaflets, please click here.
The Oxfordshire Fieldpaths Society was founded in 1926 for the preservation of footpaths, bridlepaths and commons in the Oxford vicinity. It organises a regular programme of social walks. For more details, go to www.ofs.org.uk.
For accessible walks throughout the country, try www.walkswithwheelchairs.com.
Places of Interest within 10 miles
You can walk down to the Oxford Canal from Steeple Aston, to see the boatyard and perhaps even hire a boat. Oxfordshire Narrowboats at Heyford Wharf have day boats for hire, and a canalside bistro if you’re in need of refreshment. Visit their website at www.oxfordshire-narrowboats.co.uk
Or if you don’t fancy boating, a walk or cycle along the towpath can provide much interest. Not only can you see lots of traditional narrowboats, but there are also plenty of wildflowers, water birds - and if you’re lucky you might even see a kingfisher. British Waterways administer the Oxford Canal and provide information about walking, cycling and angling on their website: www.waterscape.com/oxford_canal
Rousham Park House
Within walking distance of Steeple Aston, Rousham is often described as a "hidden gem" for its extensive landscape gardens designed by William Kent in the 1730s. It is very quiet and unspoilt with no tearoom or shop. The gardens are open daily from 10.00am, with last entry at 4.30pm. Admission costs £4. The house is open only by prior arrangement. Neither children under 15 nor dogs are allowed in the grounds.
For more information go to www.rousham.org.
The village of Deddington is about four miles from Steeple Aston. It has some lovely shops and houses, an antiques centre and a castle site. It also has several hotels and restaurants. The popular Deddington Farmers Market takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month from 9.00am to 12.30pm. More details can be found at www.deddington.org.uk
Shoppers come from far and wide to search for bargains at Bicester Village, which is 8.5 miles from Steeple Aston. An outlet centre for lots of designer goods as well as many familiar high street chains, the village now has over 90 stores. For more information go to www.bicestervillage.com
Blenheim Palace & Woodstock
Blenheim Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. It has formal gardens, a large park landscaped by Capability Brown, and of course a palace to visit. Its website has all the details: www.blenheimpalace.com.
Blenheim Palace is in Woodstock, which is 8.5 miles from Steeple Aston, and this historic town is well worth exploring. There are plenty of shops, hotels and restaurants there. You’ll find details on www.wakeuptowoodstock.com
Also the Oxfordshire County Museum is in Woodstock, for more information go to www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/the_oxfordshire_museum.
There are plenty of other places of interest near to Steeple Aston, not least among them the ancient city of Oxford.
or contact the following tourist information centres:
Oxford Tourist Information Centre
15-16 Broad Street
Tel: 01865 726871
Banbury Tourist Information Centre
Banbury Museum & Tooley’s Boat Yard
Spiceball Park Road
Tel: 01295 753752
Bicester Tourist Information Centre