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