Southwick - Shire Hill Wood - Short Wood - Southwick

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The start and finish of this anti-clockwise, circular walk is the small village of Southwick, set in the Nene Valley, a most attractive part of Northamptonshire. The walk encompasses Shire Hill Wood (the very extensive, mixed and 'sympathetically managed' woodland to the north of Southwick) before entering open farmland and crossing the Bulwick Road at Crossway Hand Farm.

Continuing south in open countryside, the walk eventually turns east to visit Short Wood, a remnant of Rockingham Forest and an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Shire Hill Wood and Short Wood are attractive and interesting for their flora and fauna. The tracks in Shire Hill Wood are more open, those in Short Wood are narrower and enclosed; they provide a very different experience for the naturalist, at any time of the year. There are admirable views to the north from the higher parts of the walk, with a good chance of seeing deer, kites etc on the open farmland.

St Mary's, the Southwick Parish Church, is also of interest, with the tower dating from the 14th Century. There is a stately home, Southwick Hall, although this has limited opening hours.

The countryside is undulating, with gentle climbs to Shire Hill Wood, to Boar's Head Farm and to the high point south of the Bulwick Road. The route generally follows bridleways, although there are a few narrow tracks where the walking is a bit more demanding – and if it has been raining, muddy. There is one stile at the entrance to Short Wood. An advantage of the walk is that, apart from just a few metres on the very quiet Southwick Main Street, none of the walking is on public roads.

England - Central England - Northamptonshire - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Pub, Stately Home, Wildlife, Woodland
7/2/2019 - John Spencer

Due to the change of access by the landowners from Point 7 carry on NNW out of the wood up a slight hill to a trail junction at the 68m height point. Then turn left heading SW past Morehay Lawn picking up the footpath into Holey Brookes. Half way through this wood turn left & head SE to pick up Point 11. Also on exiting Short Wood almost at Point 30 head across to pick up the lane S of the water tower & turn left to the village. Lovely walk

8/6/2017 - Jill Stacey

We did this walk 18 months ago and enjoyed it so decided to do it again today. There have however been some significant changes to the footpath access between points 7 and 11. At point 8 there is no sign but we could still see the path so took it and successfully reached points 9 and 10. However at point 11 there was signage to indicate that the land we had been walking on was no longer public access as the Forestry Commission has leased the land to a private company. We were able to continue from point 11 but probably we should have taken an alternative footpath at point 7 to avoid trespassing. There did appear to be new footpaths marked but as we were following instructions we did not explore them. The rest of the walk was lovely and we saw deer, kites and a buzzard.

9/17/2014 - Angie Baxter

Super walk with great instructions, thank you for posting.