Walking GroupEnjoy walks nearby or further afield
Our group meets regularly to enjoy a variety of walks, both local and further afield which are planned and led by one of our members. We have done walks of varying lengths starting from different villages including Deddington, Blenheim, Bloxham, Swerford and North Aston. Walking, chatting and appreciating beautiful scenery give us a healthy appetite for lunch or supper at a nearby pub or cafe.
Sadly, our programme of regular walks has been severely disrupted in 2020 by the Covid pandemic. We managed two splendid walks at the beginning of the year, at Steeple Barton in February and Swerford in March, details of which are below. However, since then we have been unable to walk in our usual group. Nevertheless, many of our members have been out walking either individually or in pairs and our paths have often crossed in or around the village.
When the Rule of Six was in place 4 of us decided to meet each Tuesday morning and we took it in turn to choose and lead a walk. We found that walking in a group of 4 made it possible to socially distance and still chat. We have thoroughly enjoyed discovering each other’s favourite walks, working out new ones and planning walks for the whole group when that becomes possible some time in the future. It has also permitted us to admire the wonderful scenery in our area in all its glorious colours, from delicate green hues of late Spring to full blown Summer, stunning autumnal shades and the beauty of bare trees in Winter.
From November onwards we four are now meeting in pairs and still enjoying our weekly walks with one of our favourite destinations being the extensive grounds of Blenheim. An added highlight was seeing the impressive but poignant ‘Standing with Giants’ Remembrance tribute. A selection of images from some of the walks enjoyed by our small group is on the Gallery page.
We look forward to sharing these and other walks with a larger group of our members when the situation permits.
Our last walk before the first lockdown was a repeat of one much enjoyed by members two years ago. It was a good circular walk at Swerford on a fairly bright but chilly Spring morning,13 March. Along the way we stopped to admire the views over the hills, daffodils and the magnificent gates and waterfall in the grounds of a property hidden from view. There was also time to see the site of the former castle at Swerford and go inside the tiny church and admire the pews and a painting. We then continued on by car to Hook Norton Brewery where other members of our WI were waiting for us to share a delicious lunch in the Malthouse Kitchen. Although our numbers were down a bit due to health issues and concerns about coronavirus, a good time was had by all who participated on the day. We feared that it might be the last group walk that we would manage for a while and so it has proved to be.
We started 2020 well with an excellent circular walk at Steeple Barton on a chilly February morning. The main purpose of the walk was to see the splendid swathes of snowdrops in the countryside and particularly in the grounds of Barton Abbey. A hearty bowl of soup at the Yurt rounded off an enjoyable morning.
In 2019 our programme included two evening walks along the Oxford Canal, a circular walk from Souldern, an evening walk through fields near our village and a circular walk from Deddington. The Souldern walk ended with supper at the Fox Inn in the village and after our Deddington walk we enjoyed coffee and conversation at our walk leader’s house. We rounded off the year with a circular walk in November at Begbroke, a walk which was new to most of us and which was followed by lunch at the Royal Sun.
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