The Wychwood Way

August Bank Holiday, 2012

Saturday – 10.5 miles – 12 walkers

Everyone arrived at Stone Farm, Lidstone well on time. The farmer had very kindly allowed us to park there. We drove half the cars to Woodstock and started walking at 9.30am. We passed through Blenheim Park, along Akeman Street and through Stonesfield. We were then on the Saltway. We could see dark clouds all around but were lucky to be on the receiving end only a few times: one of them being lunch break when we all managed to huddle under some bushes. We arrived back at our cars for 2.00pm having made really good time.

Sunday – 13 miles – 10 walkers

Again, everyone arrived at Leafield Village Hall early and we drove to Stone Farm to start walking at 9.15am. It was a beautiful day and we set off through some stunning countryside with sweeping views over the Glyme Valley. We had some road walking but were soon into panoramic views of cornfields which had been freshly harvested. We passed through Chadlington and the pretty hamlet of Dean where David Cameron resides. Fortunately this time we could enjoy our lunch break in sunshine overlooking the River Evenlode. We then set off refreshed through Ascott-under-Wychwood where we learnt about the Ascott Martyrs (17 women sentenced to hard labour in 1873 for supporting their husbands’ trade union, and released in an early act of Sisterhood by Queen Victoria!) arriving back in Leafield at 2.45pm.

Monday– 11.8 miles – 9 walkers

We left our cars at Woodstock and drove to Leafield to start our walk at 9.15am. We were soon on Akeman Street once more. We had a coffee stop in the churchyard of the lovely village of Ramsden and were soon admiring the sweeping downland views again; unexpected in our local landscape. We again lunched in a churchyard, at North Leigh, and set off through East End and Coombe. We then re-entered Blenheim Park with its fine views of the Palace and lake. This was the only day that we encountered stiles; three in all. Despite the foreboding weather forecast we had only a very light sprinkling of rain.

Blenheim Park Blenheim Park Photo: Val Forsdyke

Arriving back at 3.30pm we soon established ourselves in the garden of a tea shop in Woodstock for well-earned tea and cake. Everyone was in high spirits after being in such excellent company for the past three days.

Val Forsdyke & Judith Secker