Oxfordshire

The Rollright Stones

Rollright Stones Header

Rollright Stones Side 1

Where:

The Rollright Stones through to Little Rollright.

Season:

Very late autumn.

Weather:

Bright, sunny, and cold.

Route:

Walk #11 (The East chapter) in this book.

Length

Just under 3 miles.

Walking Buddy:

Just my wellies.

Musings:

Yesterday I did something that I haven’t had the opportunity to do for ages: I sacked off work and went for a walk.

Shortly after we moved, I invested in a couple of new walking books and noticed that one of them contains a walk that starts at the Rollright Stones.

I love the Rollrights and have been to see them several times over the years – in fact I’m pretty sure my Grandad was with us when I first saw them so I must have been quite young. I was delighted to discover that they’re not far from my new house.

It was a beautiful morning yesterday, it had been raining overnight but the sun had come out making everything look fresh and sparkly. So fresh and sparkly that I was soon regretting not bringing my sunglasses on the short drive over.
Rollright Stones Side 2
The Rollrights aren’t overly well known so you will often have them all to yourself. You park up in a lay-by and walk into a tree- lined field and there they are. There is an entrance fee to onto the site of £1 (50p for kids) – a small price to pay towards the upkeep of a beautiful site.

The Rollright Stones consist of thee ancient monuments: The King’s Men (approx. 2,500 BC), The Whispering Knights (approx. 3,500 BC), and The King Stone (approx. 1,500 BC). The story goes that a king who wanted to conquer England with his knights was stopped by a witch who told him that, if he took seven strides from where he was and could see Long Compton when he was done, his campaign would be successful. So off strode the king, knowing that Long Compton would be easily visible, when a mound rose up out of the ground before him, blocking his view. The witch turned the king to stone (The King Stone), along with his knights (The King’s Men), and a small group who were conspiring against him and/or praying (The Whispering Knights). There are lots of myths and legends surrounding the Rollrights, if you’d like to read some more (and frankly, who doesn’t love a bit of myth of a Wednesday?) you can do so over here.

Whether myths and legends are your bag or not, one thing you should definitely do when visiting the Rollrights is to count The King’s Men – which, funnily enough, is what I’m doing in the black and white “About” picture at the top of this page. The story goes that if you are able to count them three times and reach the same number, then you’ll be granted a wish. Easy, right? Nope, they are notoriously difficult to count – try it.

Once I’d finished wandering around The King’s Men, I headed around the filed to The Whispering Knights, thought to be part of a Neolithic long barrow. I then continued on down-hill before turning off to the left, over a stile and through an avenue of trees. They’d mostly lost their leaves, however the sun was hitting their bare branches and casting some pretty brilliant shadows on the grass as I walked along it. At the end of the avenue, I turned right down a farm track and passed by a farm house which had some pretty lovely views across a valley.

At this point I crossed three fields which had been ploughed and sewn. I was quite glad I’d decided to swap my walking boots for my wellies as it got pretty muddy! I was also glad that, for once, I’d been organised enough to put a change of shoes in the car. Beyond the fields, I set out along a quiet road towards Little Rollright. I thought I must have been to Little Rollright before, but it turns out I hadn’t as I definitely would have remembered it. Little Rollright is a small gated hamlet which consists of a handful of houses, a church, and quite a few sheep. On googling it when I got home, I discovered that the whole place was actually for sale last year! It’s very cute and well worth a de-tour into.

I then joined the D’Arcy Dalton Way for the last leg of this walk which is mostly uphill and eventually returns you to the field containing The King’s Men and The Whispering Knights. Before getting back in the car and heading off, though, do make sure you pop over the road to say hello to The King Stone. For one thing, you can climb up the mound that caused him so much trouble and see the view he should have seen…

Rollright Stones Footer

{ 0 comments }

Introducing My New Local Walk

wh-newhome-1

Where:

Near Sibford Gower

Season:

Autumn

Weather:

Lovely

Route:

Sibford Gower, past Haynes’s Barn, right along the Macmillan Way (Ditchedge Lane), and back down to the village again.

Length

Roughly 2 1/2 miles.

Walking Buddy:

James

Musings:

You may remember that I was rather sad to leave behind my old just-popping-out-for-a-walk walk when I moved house a few weeks ago. Well, I am pleased to report that I have found a new just-popping-out-for-a-walk walk, and it’s rather lovely.

Where I’m living now is considerably hillier than where I was previously. The Ridgeway aside, my former surroundings were rather flat and I am delighted to be back in a hilly area, I find the views are far more interesting.
wh-newhome-2
This walk starts off through a couple of grassy fields (with frequent opportunities to say hello to various cows), the first of which takes you downhill to a stream, the second starts your climb up the next hill. The majority of this climb takes you through a couple of fields which were planted with corn – I personally love walking through crops that are taller than me, I always feel like I’m going through a tunnel to somewhere exciting. When you find yourself huffing your way up a hill it is worth stopping and turning back to look at the view periodically, and the corn in these fields framed the view really beautifully.

The last little bit of climb is along a newly tarmacked lane and passed an old barn which looks as though it is likely to fall down at any minute. We’ve done this walk a couple of times now and it is always quite a surprise to find it’s still there. Will keep you posted on whether it survives the winter!

Once you reach the top, you are onto the Macmillan Way which is a grassy lane flanked by trees with frequent gates into fields of various shapes and sizes. There are some properly spectacular views from these gates, such as the one I’ve attempted to capture at the bottom of this post. As it provides access to the surrounding fields, there is clearly farm traffic along fairly frequently which stops it from getting too overgrown. It’s therefore pretty easy going underfoot, albeit with the odd monster puddle to pick your way around (or wade through, depending on how waterproof your boots are!).

After about a mile there’s a turning off to the right. This is a great little path with hedges either side and interlocking trees overhead which takes you steeply back downhill to the stream. When you reach the bottom, there’s another field (potentially full of cows) which takes you back up towards Sibford Gower. Be warned if you’re on this walk, the approach to the gate by which you leave this field is incredibly muddy, try to keep a little to the left of it and walk back down along the fence if you can.

Provided you don’t sink into said mud never to be seen again; crossing the next field will bring you back to the village with more lovely views to the South. So there you have it – you now know where to find me if I’m not at my desk!

wh-newhome-footer

{ 0 comments }

Down the Lane

wh-down-lane-1

Where:

Little Coxwell to Longcot

Season:

All four and then some.

Weather:

Everything from blizzard to blazing sun.

Route:

Down the lane from Little Coxwell to Longcot and back again.

Length

3 miles (or a handy 5k, if you happen to be training for Race for Life)

Walking Buddy:

So many people…

Musings:

This walk is a little different to most of the walks I write about on here as it’s one that I’ve been on with alarming regularity over the last couple of years.

I’ve been on this walk in spring, summer, autumn and winter; in sunshine, wind, rain, and miscellaneous weather. This was the route I used when I was training for Race for Life. I’ve contemplated pretty much everything from what to cook for dinner to whether I should radically change my career path, from how irritating that Travelodge advert is to global politics.
wh-down-lane-2
So why am I writing about this walk now? Well, Hikers, I’ve just moved house which means this walk is no longer on the menu (unless I feel like making a 2hr round trip in the car).

The walk starts at Little Coxwell on a nice, wide lane. When I first started taking this walk, said lane was pretty uneven and regularly punctuated with vast, muddy holes. It has since been filled which makes for a far easier poddle.

The track swiftly starts to dip down and very soon you find yourself out of sight of the village. Once you’ve passed some allotments, you have the option on detouring into a field to your right. At the top of this field is a bench with stunning views across to white horse hill. Fun fact: you can also pick up 4G from it and I have, in fact, written various blog posts on my phone whilst sitting there.

Continuing along the lane, you’ll pass several fields which will often contain North Devon Cattle. I’ve had several (admittedly one sided) conversations with them over the last couple of years, Devon Maid to Devon Maids.

Just before the lane runs out, there’s a left hand turn into a track between two fields which brings you out into open farmland. The path proceeds straight across the middle of the next two fields. When I was training for Race for Life back in June, we’d had a bit of a heat wave (ish) and the ground was extremely dry and cracked. The weekend before the race, however, it rained just enough to make the top few milimeters of soil nice and slipery without doing anything to lesson the deep cracks caused by the draught. Hikers, if it weren’t for my freakily flexible ankles, I would probably have done some serious damage! So if you are running cross country under these conditions where the ground is slippery and uneven, and the crops were high; be very, very careful and be sure of your footing!

But back to hiking. After the fields, you will find yourself on a narrow lane. This is the point at which I would generally turn back, however if you follow the lane down to the road and turn right, you will find yourself in Longcot which boasts The King and Queen, which is apparently the winner of The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards 2014.

I will miss this walk, Hikers. I’ve always found it very calming. My new home, however, is surrounded by beautiful rolling Cotswold countryside – so you can expect lots of new walks coming your way soon.

xxx
down-lane-header-wh

{ 1 comment }

Alfred’s Castle

Field near Ashbury

Alfred's Castle 1

Where:

On and around the Ridgeway near Ashbury.

Season:

Summer.

Weather:

Overcast but warm and reasonably bright.

Route:

Pages 62-63 in this book (“A Circular Walk via Ashbury”)

Length

6.5 miles

Walking Buddy:

My lovely James.

Musings:

I’ve clearly brainwashed poor old James with all this hiking stuff – he asked for some walking books for his birthday! In honour of this, we thought we’d better take one of them out for its maiden voyage.

This walk starts on the Ridgeway near Ashbury. We’d noticed on the map that Ashbury Folly is marked quite close to where we parked the car so we spent some time trying to find it without success – we have since discovered that this is because it no longer exists (just in case anybody else has the same idea!).

Once we’d given up folly hunting and started the walk, we turned off the Ridgeway and headed downhill through fields with various ripening cereal crops before arriving at Alfred’s Castle.
Alfred's Castle 2
Alfred’s Castle is a small bank and ditch enclosure and so called due to a legend that this is where King Alfred gathered his troops prior to fighting the Danes in AD 871. Whether that’s true or not, the castle is actually an Iron Age settlement and therefore much older. It’s recently been excavated by Oxford University, but there is no sign of this now as the meadow grass has well and truly reclaimed the enclosure. It’s really pleasant to walk round as it has lovely views on all sides and we sat on its southern bank for a bit with a flask of tea.

Just beyond the castle, you pass by Ashdown House which was built by Earl William Craven for his beloved, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, in 1662 but sadly she died before construction began. I can’t help wondering what she would have thought of it as, although it is very pretty – sort of like a life-sized dolls house, it seems all wrong. It’s the wrong size, it’s the wrong shape, it’s in the wrong place, and it’s facing the wrong way. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there but I’m so curious to see what it’s like inside!

When we reached the other side of Ashdown House and crossed over the B4000, the landscape seemed to change somewhat. We were at our furthest point from the Ridgeway and found ourselves climbing up a small, but steep hill whilst surrounded by slightly scraggy looking sheep. The fields the other side of this hill were mostly full of oilseed rape (which was mostly around the same height as me!) and it wasn’t long before we came to a track heading back up towards the ridgeway. We took a slight detour here and found a nice spot to sit and eat our sandwiches.

We crossed over the Ridgeway and the landscape changed again, this time to a wide path heading for some trees. Before we reached them, however, we took a fork to the left down a sunken track, through a gate (well, under it actually, but who’s counting?), and the landscape suddenly opened out into a properly stunning valley. We walked down through this towards Ashbury itself, admiring the view as we went. When we reached the bottom, we ambled the village, past the lovely old church, and started the climb back up to where we’d started. With the familiar views of the Ridgeway opening out behind us, we finished the last of our water and made our way back to the car.

Valley near Ashbury

{ 0 comments }

To the Teapot!

ridgeway to teapot tearoom

Where:

Along the Ridgeway, near Uffington.

Season:

Early Summer.

Weather:

Absolutely gorgeous.

Route:

Wayland’s Smithy to The Teapot Tearoom and back.

Length

4.5 miles (give or take)

Walking Buddy:

A very hungry James.

Musings:

This walk involves one of my favourite things in the world: a cream tea. On a previous afternoon when I’d escaped the office and gone for a walk on and around the ridgeway, I’d noticed a teapot shaped sign (teapot shaped, guys – teapot shaped !!!) for The Teapot Tearoom on which the magic words “Cream Teas” were written. It pointed down the hill across some fields and said it was under a mile away – it was very difficult not to head off then and there, but I remained strong and made a mental note to go back instead. So one sunny Saturday, armed with a James, I did just that.

We’d not actually done the walk between Wayland’s Smithy and Uffington before, we tend to park at one or the other and go in the opposite direction, so I thought it was high time we did. Just a note, there is only space for two or three cars at Wayland’s itself so if your alternatives are either a) the White Horse carpark which will shorten this walk somewhat, or b) Ashbury Hill which will add a bit on.
ridgeway to teapot tearoom
This is a very lovely section of the Ridgeway with gorgeous views across fields and into valleys. It’s very gentle in terms of gradient too, and we had a lovely stroll. We very nearly missed Uffington Castle as we’re not used to approaching it from that angle and were far too busy admiring the carpets of buttercups in the adjoining field. Once we’d twigged where we were, however, I started to look out for that glorious teapot sign.

Naturally it was further on than I’d anticipated – although probably not quite as far as it seemed because things you are anxiously looking for invariably aren’t. Eventually I spotted it and we turned off the Ridgeway and started our descent. The hillside to our right feel sharply away affording us beautiful views across Oxfordshire. We were a little bit early, so stopped at the bottom of one of the fields for a sit.

The farm on which the Tearoom is situated also has a camp site and we could see the campers coming and going far below us. There were kites hovering in the valley and a gentle breeze rustling the crops around us. It was really nice just to sit for a while and watch the world go by. We also had a brief game of “What does that cloud look like?”.

We set off again down a narrow track cordoned off from a field of cows (who we naturally said hello to. And by “said hello to”, I mean mooed at). The walk gets much steeper at this point so I had to concentrate on my footing instead of admiring the view. The last few feet down to the road contained steps and at the bottom we found a sign directing us round to the tearoom itself.

Now I grew up in North Devon so I have pretty high standards when it comes to cream teas. The scones must be large and preferably warm, the cream must be clotted, and everything must be plentiful. In the past when attempting a cream tea outside of the West Country, I’ve been presented with tiny scones, jam in those little packs, and (my personal favourite) whipped cream in a shot glass. This cream tea ticked all my boxes and the garden we ate it in was just lovely – it had bunting and everything! – so I was delighted.

We ate every crumb, drained the teapot, and set off once more. In contrast to Newton’s law, what went down unfortunately had to clamber back up and the hill seemed to have made itself even steeper while we were eating. I feel that our walk back to the car definitely cancelled out all calories consumed!

wh-teapot-header

{ 0 comments }

Coxwell the Great

Great Coxwell Header

Great Coxwell

Where:

Great Coxwell and Coleshill

Season:

Early Summer

Weather:

Quite hot.

Route:

Walk #6 of the Faringdon Walk Cards which you can download for free here

Length

Roughly 6 miles.

Walking Buddy:

Just me and my shiny new backpack.

Musings:

I went on this walk on one of those gorgeous days when you just can’t stay indoors a moment longer than you have to. It was the first proper day of summer, the sun had been shining and it was hot, but it was early enough in the year that the air was still fresh.

I was into open fields a few paces after leaving my car in Great Coxwell. After a packed day in front of my computer screen, it was good to get away from my inbox and have nothing more taxing to do than work out which stile I had to clamber over next. This walk contains a lot of stiles, often coupled with a small bridge (and by “bridge”, I mean plank or two of wood to avoid those feet-in-soggy-ditch situations).
Great Coxwell
My day had been so packed that I’d not had time for a lunch break so had brought some sandwiches with me. I found a lovely shady spot to eat them with Flamborough Wood behind me and a field sloping away in front with the ridgeway rising up on the horizon. I sat there for far longer than intended, enjoying the quiet.

With a slightly less rumbly tummy, I continued on into Coleshill Park which is just a lovely place. It was golden underfoot as far as I could see with beautiful old trees dotted about which could easily have popped straight out of a painting.

Once I’d passed through both the park and Coleshill itself, I resumed my search for stiles and found myself climbing up-hill through various fields. As I climbed, the views got better and better until I disappeared into a spinney, leaving them behind. A field or two over, I was faced with a problem: a herd of cows clustered around the field corner containing my next stile, blocking my path and regarding me coolly.

After staring at each other for a bit, it became clear that the cows were not planning on moving anytime soon and did not look as though they’d welcome a hiker disturbing them, no matter how shiny her new backpack was. I consulted my map. I was about two thirds of the way through my walk so turning back wasn’t really an option. Then it struck me, my route actually turned back on itself shortly beyond the cows’ stronghold and ran along the edge of the previous field. So I decided to divert – Cows 1, Debs 0.

The final leg of this walk is along minor roads and farm tracks. Although, on the whole, they’re for access only so I didn’t see much traffic, it was a stark contrast to the grassy tracks I’d been walking on for the previous hour or so. The wide path through the last couple of fields towards Great Coxwell felt almost processional – I was glad to be wearing my good hiking trousers.

Great Coxwell Footer

{ 0 comments }

Horse in Shining Hillside

Giants Steps White Horse Hill

White Horse Hill

Where:

White Horse Hill, Uffington

Season:

Spring

Weather:

Gorgeous – bursts of sunshine in amongst lots of fluffy white clouds.

Route:

Walk 13 in this book.

Length

Around six and a half miles.

Walking Buddy:

(cue music) “All by my se-ey-elf…”

Musings:

A few days after we returned from Scotland, I found myself with itchy feet. As I’d finished pretty much all my work that day by early afternoon, I decided to shut down my computer and go for a walk. I live not far from White Horse Hill and am up there fairly regularly but had never got round to doing the walk from my local Pathfinder Guide, so grabbed my stuff and set off.
 
White Horse HillThe first thing you notice when walking up on White Horse Hill is that it’s very breezy. This part of the country is pretty flat and the Ridgeway is the only high ground for miles around so there’s nothing to stop the wind from blustering up in all directions. This isn’t a bad thing by any means and on this particular day I needed something to blow the cobwebs out – I find the post-break return to work very befuddling.

I set off along the road back towards the village (detouring to clamber up Dragon Hill, an oddly shaped mound with a brilliant view of the rippling Giant’s Steps in the side of The Manger which were left from the retreating permafrost during the last Ice Age. It’s also where St George allegedly slew his dragon) and turned off after a while onto a grassy path with woodland to its left. From here, the path took me out into open fields, tracing my way from stile to stile. I like being out in the open like this when nobody’s around, it gives you space to think.

This being springtime in the British countryside meant that I did have to do battle with some newly sprung nettles. One small patch of land I passed through had recently been planted as an orchard and the nettles were almost as tall as me and took up every inch of space that wasn’t reserved for the young trees aside from a narrow path that I picked my way along. I was very pleased that I’d opted for relatively thick trousers – shorts would not have worked out too well for me!

It wasn’t long before I started climbing again. The route took me along the edges of cereal fields where the crops were still fresh and green, moving in the breeze with that gorgeous swirly motion. The higher I got, the more spectacular the views became until I finally found myself walking along the wide, familiar path of the Ridgeway with the world dropping away either side of me. I continued on until I reached Uffington Castle, an Iron Age hillfort on top of White Horse Hill which also happens to be the highest point in Oxfordshire.

I walked back towards the White Horse Car Park, pausing on a bench overlooking the monument itself. Something that always amazes me about the Uffington White Horse is that, due to the curvature of the hill it’s carved on, you can’t actually view it from the ground – the best spot is a few fields over where I took the below image from. This means that the people who carved it probably never got to see it, which makes the question of why it was carved all the more intriguing.
 
 
White Horse Hill

{ 1 comment }

Old Boars and Buttercups

Buttercups in Oxfordshire

Boars Hill 1

Where:

Old Boars Hill

Season:

Spring

Weather:

Totally gorgeous!

Route:

Walk #9 in this book.

Length

Just shy of 5 miles.

Walking Buddy:

Ziggi!

Musings:

We had SUCH a lovely time on this walk – the sun was shining, the air was fresh, and spring had very much sprung. I hadn’t seen my walking buddy and bessie-mate-from-home for a little while, so it was a brilliant way to have a good old catch up. We parked up in Wootton and soon found ourselves walking through fields and envying the occupants of the occasional houses for the beautiful views they no-doubt had.
Boars Hill 2
NB for anyone using the Patherfinder guide: At the end of the first paragraph, the instruction is to “Turn left uphill to reach a T-junction at the top”. For this section of the walk, lots of (amazing looking) new houses have recently been built which makes this slightly unclear (we went round in circles thinking we’d already taken the turning until a very nice builder took pity on us and pointed out the way). Follow the road until you get to a cross roads towards the top of the hill – the “road” directly ahead being a wide footpath – and turn left there. Once you’ve walked a short way, you’ll see the entrance to the Wild Garden.

A nice feature of this walk is the Oxford Preservation Trust‘s Jarn Mound and Wild garden which I’m lead to believe was set up in the 1930s by archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. There are a couple of benches in the garden and there were a few picnickers there at the same time as us enjoying the sunshine. We did climb the steps up to Jarn Mound, however as the surrounding trees are now so mature you can’t really see very much by way of a view! Unless, like me, you enjoy high ground for the sake of it (I love heights, will literally climb anything given half a chance) then there’s no need to make it part of your trip.

Once back at ground level, we continued through the trees of Wild Garden until we reached a lane. From here we continued on until we found ourselves in a meadow glowing yellow with buttercups. We walked downhill admiring the view over to the dreaming spires of Oxford in the distance. We left the meadow and started to climb again, finding a conveniently placed log to sit on and drink some tea (note to self, I really must invest in a flask that doesn’t taste of stale coffee…) before setting off for the last part of the walk which includes another of the Oxford Preservation Trust‘s gardens, the Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden.

Boars Hill Buttercups

{ 0 comments }

Warm Water

Sail Boats on the Thames

wh-warmwater-1

Where:

Port Meadow, Oxford.

Season:

Spring.

Weather:

Pretty warm.

Route:

Down the Thames Path from Godstow Nunnery, past The Perch, over the bridge, and back along t’other side the Isis.

Length

4 miles(ish).

Walking Buddy:

James and bessie mate Zigs.

Musings:

First off, I feel I should tell you that I was not a happy hiker when I started this walk. I’d managed to get sunburnt the previous day (not clever) so was hot, uncomfortable, and covered in Aloe Vera. But there’s only so long you can stay grumpy when faced with Port Meadow in the sunshine, it is just the loveliest place to be and I was soon cheered right up. wh-warmwater-2

The second thing I should note is that there were a lot of cows on the tow path which we had to negotiate. This added an element of challenge to the walk, would we be able to get past them? Would they decide to follow us? Would they moo in our general direction?

Once the cows were safely behind us, we stopped and sat on the bank for a while, watching a group of sailboats. It’s incredibly relaxing, sitting by a river, watching the world go by, and having a good old catch up.

When we did get back on our way, we found that we were all a bit thirsty. The wonderful thing about this walk is that you have a choice of classic old Oxford pubs to visit. We went into The Perch, however there is also The Trout. If you’re going to do this walk, a visit to one or the other is mandatory and they can both therefore get rather crowded should you be doing this walk on, say, a sunny Bank Holiday where the whole of Oxfordshire has flocked to the river.

After a restorative pint of orange juice and lemonade (my tipple of choice for staying hydrated on a hot day) we continued along the towpath a short way until we came to a bridge. We crossed over the river and were greeted with the site of various dogs playing excitedly in the shallows. The two sides of the river are quite different and we were now walking back through the meadow itself. Port Meadow is pretty big so, although it was pretty busy, we could have been the only people there.

wh-footer-warm-water

{ 0 comments }

Walking to the Woodman

wh-fernham-winter-1

Where:

Fernham.

Season:

Winter.

Weather:

Cold but dry.

Route:

Faringdon Walkcards Walk 5, starting from Little Coxwell and working backwards (just to be awkward).

Length

Around 5 miles.

Walking Buddy:

James, who is still lovely.

Musings:

This walk has it all: pretty villages, fields, views, woods, and a brilliant pub! It was a cold January day, so beginning with a climb up through the fields was fantastic as it warmed us up a treat. We took a slight detour up past Gorse Farm which afforded us views across the valley (including the three remaining cooling towers at Didcot) before turning right to walk diagonally across the field towards the trees.wh-fernham-winter-2

There’s something quite magical about walking through woods when the weather’s chilly – I always feel like I’m about to step into one of Grimm’s fairy tales. As you walk along the path towards Fernham, you’ll find lots of gates on which you can lean to take in the view should you so choose. Due to the time of year, it was a little muddy so I was glad to be wearing my trusty walking boots – especially down the one steep drop where I think I would almost certianly have slipped and ended up with a very muddy bottom without them!

Once you reach Fernham, I would highly recommend another de-tour to go and visit The Woodman Inn which is simply a brilliant pub. It’s everything you’d want from a classic British pub: lots of dark beams, roaring fires, casks of local brews stacked up behind the bar, and they served us some excellent pies. If that wasn’t enough, they have an actual medieval banqueting hall – I am now trying to think of excuses to have a banquet (medieval fancy dress not optional).

Once fed and watered, we headed back out into the countryside and through a couple of fields containing various horses. As they were still in the process of being fed and watered, they weren’t overly interested in us so we continued on our way without stopping to say hello. After the fields, we found ourselves back on another path through the trees, climbing back up the hill. Before long, we found ourselves back at the top of the fields we’d first walked through and headed back down towards the village as the sun was setting.
fernhamend

{ 0 comments }