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A pleasant little market town, with the Roman Foss Way as its wide main street, Moreton has many handsome buildings, largely of the 18th and 19th centuries. The great Batsford Arboretum was designed and planted by Lord Redesdale in the 1880s.
Having spent some time in Japan, he introduced a distinctly Japanese element into the design.
The Arboretum is open throughout the spring/summer/autumn season, as is the adjacent Falconry Centre.This is an easy, almost level, walk on good paths, grazed meadows and a very minor road.
Walk to the north along the High Street, towards the bridge over the railway line. Opposite the supermarket turn left at a ‘public footpath’ sign, go down a few steps and pass a children’s play area. At a stone-surfaced path in 100 yards or so turn right to walk to a gate and reach a public road.
1. Go across the road to a signposted gate and continue across a huge meadow. There is no distinct path; aim for a gate in the far left corner, well to the left of the agricultural building. The waymark is for the long distance ‘Diamond Way’. Keep to the left edge of the next meadow, go through a waymarked gate, then along the right edge of a meadow. After another waymarked gate follow a farm track to its junction with a very minor public road at Dorn.
2. Turn left to head for Batsford village and church which are situated on a part-wooded mound. The tree-lined road has little traffic. Pass a junction before reaching a crossroads. Batsford is an ‘estate’ village, with 19th century church. Turn left towards Moreton at the crossroads.
3. In 60 yards turn right at a ‘public footpath’ sign to take a path between hedges. Go through a waymarked opening and continue along the right edge of a cultivated field. Go over a waymarked stile on the right and keep the same line across a narrow meadow to another waymarked stile and a broad track along the right edge of a huge field. Batsford House (no public access), is in view to the right. There is also a herd of deer. Pass a waymark on a post. At a junction keep right, along a waymarked track, along the right edge of a meadow. Go through a waymarked gate to a four-way signpost.
4. A left turn here continues the circuit without visiting the Arboretum. For the Arboretum turn right, staying close to the fence to reach the vehicular access drive and a lodge, beyond which are the Arboretum, garden centre, tea shop and other facilities. Return to the four-way signpost, going straight ahead towards Moreton. Go through a waymarked kissing gate in 50 yards to stay a few yards from the fence on the left to cross a meadow to another waymarked kissing gate. Cross a tiny stream on a waymarked stone bridge and carry on to a waymarked old kissing gate.
5. At the next field boundary, the route goes to the right for a short distance before turning left to resume the direction along a well-used track, through waymarked kissing gates. After Moreton comes into view, stay close to a fence on the right, with a caravan site dog walking area to the right. Bear left along a broad track across a field, reaching the built-up area at a waymarked old kissing gate and a fenced passage by allotment gardens. Cross a street and walk down Corders Lane to reach the High Street.
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Moreton-in-Marsh, Cheltenham Spa