After having had to cancel our walk on 12 March, due to poor weather conditions, 16 members met to travel to Deddington. 4 other members were waiting for us when we arrived there. It was a drab morning with large black clouds in the sky, fortunately it did not turn to rain on the walk.
Deddington is a parish/town 6 miles south of Banbury. The parish includes two hamlets: Clifton and Hempton. Deddington is a large attractive village, built in the local dark honey-coloured Hornton stone. The main part of the village is off the main road to the east and the village is centred around the bustling Market Place, Church Street and Chapel Square. Just to the east of the village is the site of Deddington Castle. This was a motte and bailey castle but all that remains of it now are the striking earthworks which are a public recreation area.
The first 10 minutes of the walk was on the pavements of several streets. After this it was a totally peaceful rural walk. There were a number of horses in the fields near to farm buildings, a field of sheep, 2 alpacas in another and 2 deer walking in the distant fields. The terrain was easy walking and dry underfoot. Near to the end of the walk was a steep hill which everyone managed without any problems.
Thank you to the car drivers. The next long walk is on 16th April from Chimney Meadows to the Thames. Pam
18 members gathered at the car park, on a lovely sunny and warm morning ready to drive to Faringdon. Stephen was waiting for us at Faringdon; Mike and Alan left us to do a shorter walk. Early on into the walk the views were spectacular with an outlook stretching miles. We made our way over well marked footpaths across several fields until we reached a road, this was the first part of road walking. Leaving the road, we walked over several more fields until we came to The Thames, we chose not to walk to Radcot Bridge as we would have needed to retrace our footsteps back again. By the time we reached Radcot Lock we were all ready for lunch. We spent a peaceful half hour eating our lunch and then set off again. Unfortunately, the next part of the walk was on a quite road, and was about 1.75 miles long and undulating. Leaving the road, we were back to seeing panoramic views again. We had walked approximately 8 miles by the time we arrived back at our cars. We were lucky enough to see families of ducks and geese swimming on the Thames, and 3 herons. Some of the fields looked a picture covered in buttercups and dandelion clocks. We normally have a fly past of some type of aeroplane, and at one point had 3 all in a row. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next long walk is on 18th June at Snowshill. Pam
What a lovely morning for a lovely pretty walk. 18 members departed from Carterton to travel to Abingdon for the start of the walk. It turned out to be an interesting nature walk. Firstly, we heard a cuckoo calling which followed us for most of the walk. There were a pair of swans with cygnets, a plump of moorhen chicks, lots of ducks on the river, geese preening themselves and a squirrel. You will not believe that we saw a crocodile, giraffe and a heron perched high up in the trees. There were many boats on the river, gushing water over the weirs leaving a trail of white foam. There were not any boats going through the lock. Reflections on the river were stunning. Our walk ended in the Abbey gardens which supported a statue of Queen Victoria, and extremely pretty flower beds. We followed the path into the town’s square where there were numerous cafes for us to sit in or outside and enjoy refreshments. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next walk is a breakfast walk in the Witney area, leaving Carterton at 0745 with breakfast at Hacketts.
On a dull and grey morning 18 members drove to Chimney Meadows, where 3 more members were waiting for us.
Chimney is a hamlet on the River Thames near Shifford Lock, 6 miles south of Witney. It is an ancient landscape and a vital refuge for wading birds; Chimney Meadows is the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserve. The reserve is of national importance for its species-rich wetland meadows that support large numbers of now scarce ground-nesting birds, and provides a haven for curlew, snipe and reed bunting. We saw and heard the curlew calling.
The fields were full of wild flowers mostly cowslips and the matching coloured dandelion.
A footpath took us alongside the fields of cowslips to a lane which lead into Chimney village. We stayed on this lane passing the entrance to the bird hides and picnic tables.
After crossing a bridge over the Thames, we joined the Thames footpath, alongside the Shifford Lock Cut. Crossing a footbridge, we continued on the footpath for a short way until we came to Duxford ford, the only ford still on the river. Once there was a ferry point and wharf there. The river was to deep and running to fast to attempt crossing it. We were now on a bridle way heading for the hamlet of Duxford. Buckland House and Church were visible from here. We continued over fields and pathways until we came to Tenfoot Bridge over the Thames which was built when a former weir was removed.
Now back on the Thames path, walking alongside the meandering river, passing 2 WWII pillboxes; this was where we saw the curlew. The path took us back to the first bridge that we had crossed earlier.
Tree felling had taken place and we were able to sit on the logs and use as table and chairs to eat our well-earned lunch. From here we retraced our steps up the lane until we reached the entrance to the the bird hides. We took a short detour to look in the hides and then continued back to our cars reaching them just as it started to rain. Thank you to Hazel for recceing the walk with me and to the car drivers. Our next long walk is on 21st May Faringdon/Radcot and Littleworth. Pam
This walk was 1 of 5 National Trust circular walks around the Coleshill Estate. Unfortunately, it was a wet, cool and grey morning when 14 members left for the Great Coxwell Barn. After looking in the Barn, we began a climb over meadows to Badbury Woods which is well known for its show of bluebells. We were a little early in the month and all that could be seen was a slight hue of blue through the trees. Another 2 weeks and they will be out in all their glory. On a clear day the views from this point are stunning but today we were not able to see very far because of the mist. We circled the bluebell area and then made our way down a long steep hill to the fields at the bottom. From here the walk was on a driveway, so easy walking, then across a field and back onto a lane until we reached the road where our cars were parked. Two cars with passengers came straight back to Carterton and two cars stopped at Buscot village tea rooms, where we indulged in home made scones and warm drinks. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next short walk is on 14th May at Abingdon. Pam
This was a splendid peaceful walk over field paths and tracks, parkland paths and estate drives. 17 of us commenced the walk at Combe. The walk was gently undulating over the farmland and parkland. No matter how many times one walks on the Blenheim Estate there is always something different to see. The bright sunshine added to the pleasure of the walk. We managed to find a fallen branch from a tree to sit on while we ate our lunch. Several flocks of sheep were grazing on the parkland and numerous birds soaring in the sky. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next walk will be from Deddington on the 19th March. Pam
We were told today of the “Harry Potter Tree”. This beautiful, majestic, 300 year old Cedar of Lebanon tree which sits alone by a lake is where part of “Order of the Phoenix” was filmed. Harry Potter fans travel from all over the world to see the famous 55ft tall, 20ft diameter tree.
Short Walk on Tuesday 12th February 2019
It was a refreshing morning when 20 members gathered to travel to Sherborne for the walk. The car park now has a pay parking meter. The first part of the walk took us through some woods where we saw a deer. The next section of the walk was on the road, which led down into Sherborne village and the café/shop. They were well organised serving all of us with cakes/toasted tea cakes and beverages. After the refreshments we began the climb up through more woods where the snowdrops and aconites were out in their glory. It was amazing to see how they had matured in the 2 days since the reccie. It was a nice sociable walk with plenty of chatter; and we did have a new member Harold; and Linda who hadn’t walked with us for some time. Our next short walk will be on Tuesday 12thMarch at Eastleach where we might see a covering of yellow daffodils. Thank you to all the car drivers. Pam
Short walk at Clanfield with lunch at Ye Olde Swan, Radcot – 15th January 2019 – approx 3 miles
It was a raw cold morning when 25 members left Carterton for Clanfield. As we arrived 2 more walkers were waiting for us and 2 more joined us for lunch. The original walk was to be just over 2 miles but as we had time to spare we made it into a longer walk. Most of the walk was on pavements alongside the brook running down the side of the main road, down a lane which looked to be a bridle way and across 3 small meadows. It was a flat walk and not muddy. After finishing the walk, we made our way to Radcot for lunch. The Inn was welcoming with open fires and friendly staff. The meals were well received, served on time, and with good sized portions. It is certainly a venue we will visit again. Thanks once again to the car drivers. Our next short walk is on 12th February at Sherborne where we hope to see snowdrops. Pam
6.5 miles walk starting at Minster Lovell 8 January 2019
On a beautiful, cool, crisp and sunny morning 13 members left the usual meeting place and made our way to Wash Meadow, Minster Lovell. Arriving at Minster Lovell we were all taken aback with the amount of cars in the car park, in fact it was full. Most of the vehicles belonged to contractors who were working at the Old Swan. Six more members met us here for the walk. Mike and Alan were going to do a shorter walk and meet us later. Although several members live in Minster Lovell they hadn’t walked the route we took. We crossed the bridge and then took a set of steep steps onto a track besides a hedge. At the end of the hedge was a lovely memorial to the husbands of 3 of our members; bulbs had been planted and the memorial is maintained by the 3 widows who live in Minster Lovell. A moving tribute. The terrain was relatively dry with a few undulations. Short sections of road walking made up part of the walk, one passing Worsham Mill. A short steep downhill was not as slippery as expected and was successfully navigated by all. After 2 or 3 fields we emerged onto the road and this was the final section of the walk back to our cars and mysterious Minster Lovell.
Thank you to all those that came on the walk and to the car drivers. Our next long walk is on 20th February Coombe/Blenheim Palace Parkland. Pam
On a dull morning, with heavy rain promised later, the group set off for our walk to Hazel and Jane’s home for coffee and mince pies. Approx 3 miles each way.
Ian and Josephine met us in Corbett Road and Alan drove to The Crescent to park his car.
It was quite windy but we were still able to walk at a good pace. The route took us round the airfield perimeter past the sewerage works and then down the main road in Black Bourton. Hazel and Teresa started from Black Bourton and met us in Black Bourton itself. Arriving at our Hosts home we were served coffee and mince pies and some of Hazel’s all butter Christmas stars, Yum! We had a nice natter and then retraced our steps, and managed to reach Carterton with only a few drops of rain falling. The usual animals were in the fields at the rescue farm, and the RAF provided us with numerous fly pasts which provided a topic of conversation.
Thank you to Hazel and Jane and to the walkers.
Our next 2 walks are on the 8th January 2019, yet tbd, 15th January at Clanfield followed by lunch at Ye old Swan Radcot.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Pam