Access in Summary
Aston Rowant is an area of woodland and downland at the top of the Chilterns Escarpment located near Stokenchurch on the border of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. There are some fantastic views over the surrounding countryside and a good chance to see Red Kites which were reintroduced to the area in recent years.
The Reserve is split onto two sites one to the North and one South of the M40 Motorway. Please check the more detailed information section for the Cherry Tree Walk to decide if it is suitable as some customers may find sections of the route challenging. There are no toilet facilities at this Reserve.
There are several way marked trails around the reserve including an accessible trail. The majority of the walks at Aston Rowant are over natural trodden ground which varies in surface type from grassland, semi constructed tracks and narrow pathways. There are steep inclines and descents on all trails. There are gates on all trails with differing opening mechanisms. There are occasional seating opportunities around the reserve with designated viewing areas on some routes.
Car Park / Drop Off
Directions to car park north of M40 - From the M40 take Junction 5 and then turn left onto the A40 Oxford Road. Turn left onto Christmas Common Road. The reserve is signposted from the A40 and Christmas Common Road. The access road into the reserve is on the right.
Directions to Cowleaze Wood Car Park (South of M40) - From the M40 take Junction 5 and then turn left onto the A40 Oxford Road. Turn left onto Christmas Common Road. The reserve is signposted from the A40 and Christmas Common Road. Continue past Hill Road on the right and after a short distance the car park is on the left.
Trails & Walks
Sheepcote Lane Trail – accessed from the Cowleaze Car Park
The Sheepcote Lane Trail is a circular walk of just over 2.5 km. There is no seating and several gates along the route which passes over natural trodden ground with some steep inclines and narrow pathways.
Linky Down Trail – accessed from the Cowleaze Car Park
The Linky Down Trail is a circular walk of around 2.8 km. There is limited seating and several gates along the route which passes over natural trodden ground with some steep inclines and narrow pathways.
Bald Hill Walk - accessed from the Cowleaze Car Park
The Bald Hill Walk is a destination trail. The trail is approximately 780 metes in length. The terrain is made up of natural trodden ground and managed grass. The trail includes some steep inclines and declines, there is also seating at intervals along the trail. The trail ends at the intersection with the yellow and blue walks.
Beacon Hill Walk - accessed from the Main Car Park
Beacon Hill Walk is approximately 2.5 kilometres in distance taking approximately one hour to complete. There are various changes to the ground surface ranging from tarmac to compacted stone and mud to grass. There is seating along the length of the walk. There are some considerably steep slopes that have to be negotiated in both directions. There are also gates with lever handle opening mechanisms. This route has waymarkers that are coloured brown.
Sunken Way Walk - accessed from the Main Car Park
The Sunken Way Walk is indicated by green arrows on signposts located at intervals around the trail. The walk is approximately one and a half kilometres in distance with seating provided along the route. At the end of this trail is a viewing platform. The trail has moderately steep steps and some inclines which are very steep. There are gates to be passed through along the walk. The gates have elongated lever handles. The ground surfaces range from compacted mud and stone to grass. The route finishes half way around the Beacon Hill Walk which is indicated by brown arrows.
Cherry Tree Walk - accessed from the Main Car Park
The Cherry Tree Walk is the accessible trail. The trial starts at the main car park entrance and proceeds along the roadway onto the drop-off point further along the road. This is the official starting point of the route. The walk has various undulations ranging from moderate to fairly steep. There is seating along the length of the walk. The ground surface is well trodden natural ground with access from the car park entrance to the start of the trail along an asphalt road.
The trail is considered suitable for most customers to a distance of around 800 metres. Beyond this point to the viewing area at the top of the hill customers will encounter a much narrower pathway with a rougher surface on a quite severe upward gradient which would not be accessible to all and in particular wheelchair users or others with mobility impairments. There is a single gate to pass through, this is located towards the end of the trail.