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 Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Midshires Way Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Midshires Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Midshires Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Midshires Way Pubs/Cafes
We recommend stopping for refreshments at the delightful Sawley Bridge Marina. The marina is notable as 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.
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 of Princess 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.