The surrounding roads are great for cycling and you can go almost anywhere - and the National Cycle Route 50 passes close by (through Weston). But the following are offered as helpful suggestions of various lengths from the set we use - all cycling loops to and from Blakesley and keeping so far as possible to small roads (which can have potholes!). Below there are linked .kmz Google Earth path files for each route that will open in Google Earth (if you have it) and show the track. Google Earth can also show the elevations (ie the hills!) - select the track, right-click and choose ‘show elevation profile’.
Obviously you can vary these routes easily. Several of the routes overlap but the descriptions below are independent. There are an amazing number of old unused railway routes around here - you are crossing several! Please submit other good routes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anything underlined is a link - including pubs etc!
1 - Gated Road (6.2 km/3.9 m) Gated Road.kmz
Down the High Street past the pub, following the road to the right at the bottom and up the hill to Woodend. Wriggle through Woodend, following round to the right in front of the bus shelter, turning left at the top of the short, steep hill. Follow the lane until it forks, then turning sharp left back towards Woodend. Take the next right onto the gated road (cattle grids!) as far as the T junction with the Blakelsey-Slapton road. Turn left downhill back to Blakesley.
2 - Foxley - Litchborough (10.3 km 6.4 m) Foxley-Litchborough run.kmz
Head out along Church street to Foxley, following the road sharp right in front of Seawells and bearing right past the mill and going through Foxley uphill to the crossroads. Turn left. Follow the road along the ridge to a T-junction at which turn left past the pond on the left, then turn left again quite soon onto a small downhill road back towards Foxley. Follow this back to the T-junction with the outgoing road (watch the downhill section to the junction at the mill where you must give way) and turn right. In front of Seawells turn right - this is actually straight on but it is a right turn so watch for traffic! At the next crossroads turn left back into Blakelsey via Quinbury end.
3 - Moreton Pinkney - Canons Ashby (19.9 km/12.4 m) Moreton Pinkney run.kmz
Head out through Quinbury end towards Maidford, but turn left downhill for Adstone at the crossroads beyond the village. Go down past the mill and bear right beyond uphill to Adstone. Keep straight on past the church and green up to the Banbury lane. Cross over (left-and-right but give way and watch for traffic) and follow the road for some distance, bearing left (following the road) at the next junction and ignoring a subsequent right turn. Turn sharp left near the top for Canons Ashby (past a road island with a tree), following on to Canon’s Ashby (NT house where you can have tea most of the time even in the house is closed). Give way on joining the Banbury Lane in front of the house and follow right past the church, swinging sharp left with the road shortly thereafter and heading downhill for Moreton Pinkney. Wriggle through Moreton Pinkney, turning 90 degrees left in front of the ornate gatehouse ahead as the road swings right, heading steeply uphill under a footbridge between high tree-covered banks. Keep on this road out of the village swinging sharp right and then left some way beyond (this is actually briefly joining the original Banbury Lane, now partly a track). At an angled T-junction turn left and descend into Weston (note Weedon church visible to the left). Go straight through Weston, passing the Crown pub on the right, swinging sharp left and keeping left in front of Armada house (damaged by fire and currently under repair). Follow this road through Plumpton to Woodend, wriggling through on the ‘main’ route (left at the bus shelter) and back to Blakelsey past the pub.
4 - Eydon (24.7 km/15.3 m) Eydon.kmz
Head out though Quinbury end towards Maidford, but turn left for Adstone at the crossroads beyond the village. Go downhill past the mill and bear right beyond uphill to Adstone. Keep straight on past the church and green up to the Banbury lane. Cross over (left-and-right but give way and watch for traffic) and follow the road for some distance, bearing left (following the road) at the next junction and ignoring a subsequent right turn and also a subsequent left turn for Canon’s Ashby (but note that you will come back that way). Bear left with the road at the next junction and shortly afterwards, where the road swings sharply right, go ‘left’ (straight on) between buildings on a small lane for Eydon. Follow this road (swinging sharp right and downhill quite soon - straight on is a dead end). On arriving in Eydon swing right uphill and then left along the village’s upper road. Most of the way along this, with buildings on the left all the way, is the Royal Oak pub, with good food (a common objective for us!). At the end of this road (ie left out of the pub if you went there) turn left down and follow the road round to the left (the village stocks are on the green on the right and a lovely porch is on the left) and back through the village but now on the lower road. Near the end of the village turn right downhill for Canons Ashby, which will soon be visible. Follow this road all the way (ignore a small right turn) and come up and around Canons Ashby house, turning left onto Banbury lane past the church. Turn ‘left’ (straight on) in front of the house and follow the road back to the T-junction-with-a-tree that you passed on the way in. Turn right and retrace your route to Blakesley.
5 - Helmdon-Sulgrave-Culworth (31.6 km/19.7 m) Culworth.kmz
The longest but perhaps the prettiest route. There are a number of pubs! Down the High Street past the pub, following the road to the right at the bottom and up the hill to Woodend. Wriggle through Woodend, following round to the right in front of the bus shelter and heading straight on through Plumpton to Weston, swinging right into the village (watch the blind corner). Turn left in front of the Crown pub, following this small road all the way to the edge of Helmdon. Here there is a sharp right bend and a short steep downhill section up to the T-junction at which you turn right (out of the village). Be sure and notice the now disused Helmdon viaduct on your left. Follow this road to Sulgrave, taking the second right* in the village, passing the Star Inn on the left and Sulgrave Manor (museum and ancestral home of the [George] Washingtons) on the right. After the manor go straight on where the road swings right and head uphill to the top - where at a T-junction you turn left. Follow this to a crossroads with the Banbury lane (give way and be careful of traffic and sightlines) at which you go straight over towards Culworth. On the edge of the village turn right into a small lane in front of some (relatively modern) houses. Follow this (note the big new very cubic-style private house under construction at Fulford farm on the left) down to an angled T junction with the Banbury lane. Turn left but then quite soon, where the road swings sharply right, go left onto a small lane. Follow this twisty lane through pines and past an old railway bridge to a T junction with another lane, turning right here for Canons Ashby, which you will soon be able to see. Come up and around Canons Ashby house, turning left onto Banbury lane past the church. Turn ‘left’ (straight on) in front of the house and follow the road to a T-junction-with-a-tree near the top at which you turn right. Follow this road, bearing right twice, to Adstone, at which there is an angled crossroads (L & R) with the Banbury lane (give way). Go straight on, bearing right past the church on the left and out of the village. This road will come, at the top of a subsequent hill, to a crossroads with the Blakelsey-Maidford road (give way) and turn right, coming down into Blakelsey through Quinbury end.
*The GE route shows the 1st right - this works too but misses the Inn and manor.