GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Midshires Way

225 miles (362 km)

This route follows public bridleways and quiet country lanes through Middle England, from Bledlow, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, to Stockport in Greater Manchester. The path links The Ridgeway National Trail with the Trans Pennine Trail passing through the countryside of Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Leicesteshire, Nottinghamshire and the Derbyshire Peak District National Park.
Highlights include waterside sections along the Grand Union Canal, the Peak Forest Canal and the River Ouse. There is a splendid wooded section through Salcey Forest near Northampton where you could try the Tree Top Trail.
There are also terrific views of the Derbyshire Dales, and a lovely section around Fernilee Reservoir and Errwood Reservoir in the Peak District.
The walk is waymarked with a white disc featuring two acorns.

Midshires Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Midshires Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Pubs/Cafes

We recommend stopping for refreshments at the delightful Sawley Bridge Marina. The marina is notableas the largest Inland Marina in the United Kingdom with a water space of 23 acres. It's a lovely spot with lots of boats and a nice cafe. The cafe has a good menu and outdoor seating with views of the marina.
Near Northampton you could stop off in Lower Harlestone at the Fox and Hounds. The main draw here is a lovely country pub garden where you can sit outside on warmer days. Inside there's a warm and spacious interior serving great gastro pub food. You can find them at a postcode of NN7 4EW for your sat navs.
In the pretty village of Kegworth you'll pass along a delightful canalised section of the River Soar. Next to the river there's the The Anchor Inn for a pit stop. They serve good quality food and have some outdoor seating for warmer weather. You can find them on Station Road at postcode DE74 2FR your sat navs.
In Quainton you could stop off at the The George and Dragon. The 18th century pub has a charming interior with a quarry tiled floor, inglenook fireplaces and beams. Outside there's a nice garden area overlooking the village green and windmill. You can find them next to the green at postcode HP22 4AR for your sat navs. The settlement is also worth exploring an old windmill, a picturesque village green, a 14th century church and a row of 17th century almshouses. To the north of the village there's also an excellent viewpoint at Quainton Hill which the route crosses.
Slightly off the trail in Derbyshire there's the worthy village of Brassington where you'll find the Olde Gate Inn. The historic inn dates back to the 17th century and is Grade II listed. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s soldiers were billeted at the inn on their march to London, and some of the oak beams came from ships of the Spanish Armada.It's been named Britain’s cosiest pub by The Times with its charming interior and roaring fires. Outside there's a lovely large garden area with fine views. They serve high quality gastro food and have a good selection of ales. You can find them on Well Street with a postcode of DE4 4HJ​ for your sat navs. The attractive village is a pleasant place for a stroll too, with several centuries old limestone cottages, a church dating from the Norman period and a notable Tudor house built in 1615.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Near Northampton the Way passes through the noteworthy Harlestone Firs Forest Walk. This popular woodland area contains miles of peaceful trails on Lord Spencer's Althorp Estate.Near the woods you can also visit Althorp House, the childhood home ofPrincess Diana. Here you can learn about 500 years of history and explore the beautiful grounds and gardens. The house is just slightly north of the trail as you pass through Harlestone village.
Around Eythrope you can pick up the circular Haddenham Walk which uses part of the Aylesbury Ring and the Thame Valley Walk to visit Dinton, Nether Winchendon and Cuddington. The route starts from Haddenham where there's a pretty duck pond, a fine old church and quaint thatched cottages to see.

Photos

Salcey Forest - geograph.org.uk - 88201

Salcey Forest

Sawley Marina - geograph.org.uk - 585458

Sawley Marina

Church Lane, Morley - geograph.org.uk - 866032

Church Lane, Morley. The lane continues east past Spring Oak Farm as part of both the Midshires Way and the Centenary Way.

Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 422674

Midshires Way. A route linking southern and northern England, connecting the Ridgeway in the Chilterns with the Trans Pennine Trail on the edge of the Pennines via historic estates, farmland and the Peak District National Park. This section in Northamptonshire is near Roade. The plants on the left are the notorious Japanese Knotweed, which the farmer needs to get on and spray!

The Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 208443

This section of the path is through Harlestone Heath.

Path to Bunny old Wood on The Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 1335415

Path to Bunny old Wood near Wysall.

Parsley Hay Car Park - View of Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 723057

Parsley Hay village car park with a view of the trail.

Bridge Lodge at Eythrope, from the Midshires Way - geograph.org.uk - 1494307

Bridge Lodge at Eythrope. Eythrope is a hamlet and country house - the Eythrope Pavilion - located to the south east of the village of Waddesdon. The hamlet name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means "island farm", referring to an island in the River Thame that flows by the hamlet. The architect of this fine country house was probably George Devey (18201886), a specialist in lodges, cottages and country mansions, whose distinctive style included the use of tiles and timbering on external walls. A favourite architect of the Rothschilds, he received numerous commissions from family members (as did fellow architect William Huckvale at Tring, another practitioner of tiles and timbering).

GPS Files

GPX File

Midshires Way.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Midshires Way.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)