Great Coxwell and Coleshill
Walk #6 of the Faringdon Walk Cards which you can download for free here
Roughly 6 miles.
Just me and my shiny new backpack.
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).
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.