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
Our numbers were depleted this morning for one reason or another. 7 members only for the walk (1 thorn amongst 6 roses, these turned into sunny sunflowers later in the walk).
As the walk was linear and with so few car drivers it took some planning to leave a car at the end of the walk and still be able to transport everyone to the beginning ; It all worked out well eventually. Thank you to the car drivers Alan, Ann and Janice, also to Jane for coming to the end of the walk to help with transport.
The walk started from Black Bourton towards Bampton, and then via an incline over Lew Hill and afterwards downhill to Brize Norton. There was a small section of road walking but mostly over fields. The paths had been marked through the crops some of which had been harvested and some still waiting to be cut.
From the top of Lew Bank the panoramic views were picturesque.
It will be a walk which will be repeated in the future.
Our next long walk is on 17th September, the 2nd leg of the Wychwood Way, from Stonesfield to Lidstone. Pam
An attractive circular walk starting from the twin villages of Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin and continuing through the surrounding Cotswold countryside. Each has a parish church although one is now redundant. The churches face each other across the narrow River Leach. We did take a very short cut at the beginning of the walk which officially starts by the memorial cross in Eastleach Turville and runs beside the river and over a clapper bridge into the church yard at Eastleach Martin. From here there was a short section of road walking and then it was over open fields by streams, a short section through a wood and a narrow valley. We passed by another clapper bridge over a stream which joins the two villages together. It was quite an undulating walk and cows grazed in two fields. The walk finished near to the Victoria Inn where some stopped for a coffee or cold drink before driving back to Carterton. 17 members turned out for this walk. Thank you to the car drivers. The next short will be at Bampton on 10th September and Hazel will be leading this. Pam
At 0930 when we met it was already quite a hot morning. 3 cars had left early to leave 2 cars at the end of the walk and the 3rd car drove the 2 drivers to Woodstock for the start of the walk (complicated). In all there were 17 of us. We stopped frequently for drinks, lunch was going to be while the cars were being manoeuvred at the end of the walk. There was a field of sheep and several birds flying overhead but apart from this very little wild life.
The walk starts from Market Place in Woodstock, Park Street, Chaucer’s Lane, Hoggrove Hill and then into the Blenheim Estate. The walk directions were easy to follow and for the first 2 miles we walked on a tarmacked road through the Blenheim Estate. Eventually we joined part of the Oxfordshire Way and Akerman Street; continuing over cultivated fields and through a belt of trees, leaving the park by climbing a ladder stile onto a pathway and then followed in the same direction to the Stonesfield-Combe Road. Walking for a further 2 fields, passing Baggs Bottom, and grassy slopes until we came adjacent to a footbridge over the river. Here we turned up a steep “hollow” way leading onto a gravel path and into Stonesfield. The track turned into a lane, which we followed to The Ridings. This is where we start from for the 2nd Stage of the walk. The cars, which we had left earlier, were a few hundred yards away; this is where we had lunch whilst waiting for the cars to come from Woodstock to take us home. An easy and enjoyable first stage of the walk. It is not easy making sure the cars are in right place at the right time. A very big thank you to the car drivers. Pam
17 of us left Carterton at 10am and drove to Chipping Norton where Mary and Stephen were waiting for us. The weather was ideal for walking. It was an easy 3 mile walk over gradually undulating countryside from the market town of Chipping Norton to Over Norton and back. It was also a pretty going through woods and then open countryside. The grass was sometimes long near to the footpath. Everyone appeared to have enjoyed the “Step into the Cotswolds” walk. Arriving back into Chipping Norton, as per usual, on a short walk we found a café/bakery and sampled their baking. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next short walk is on 13th August, a 4 mile circular at Eastleach. Pam
Snowshill is quite remote despite its proximity to Broadwell. The village falls prettily down the side of its own valley, with a tiny green beside the church and inn.
The route included the village of Snowshill with its well-known Manor House, a length of the Cotswold Way and the site of the Shenberrow iron age fort.
A large part of the walk was undulating and hilly, and even after all the recent rainfall the terrain was very good underfoot. Most of all the panoramic views over Cleeve Hill and the Malvern Hills were spectacular even without sunshine.
We had a quick lunch stop as the dark clouds were forming and rain had been forecast. After this short stop we were soon back at our cars before it rained. We all went into the Inn and had a well deserved soft drink, partly so, as the landlady had allowed us to use the car park. It did start to rain as we returned to our cars. 17 members enjoyed the walk. Thank you to car drivers. Our next long walk is on 16th July and will be the first stage of The Wychwood Way. Pam
It was an early start, 8am from Carterton, cold and windy but dry as we waited for everyone to arrive.
Because of the weather, some had decided to meet us in Witney for the start of the walk and some went straight to Hacketts, where we had breakfast. We welcomed Mal to our group and then drove to The Leys to park our cars. The walk was a 3.5 mile route round Witney Lakes and Meadows; It was a very companionable walk with lots of chatter. There was a short sharp shower towards the end of the walk but we didn’t get to wet as we sheltered under trees. Ducks, geese and swans were swimming on the lakes; one member saw a woodpecker and we all saw a very full field of sheep. Reaching Hacketts we ordered our drinks and then sat at the reserved tables to wait for our meals. The coffees and breakfasts arrived quite quickly and everyone was very pleased with, and enjoyed their food; (empty plates confirmed this). After everyone had paid we all went our separate ways to the shops or back to our cars. Thank you to the car drivers. Out next short walk is 3 miles starting from Chipping Norton to Over Norton circular (undulating) on 9th July 2019. 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