This morning when I woke up the sky was blue for the first time since I arrived in the UK. I had plans for another trek in the Cotswolds, so wasted no time getting to breakfast. As I was getting ready to leave I noticed that the soles of my boots had almost worn through! Too much walking. I will have to get some new ones but my other shoes would have to do today.
I needed to catch the 9:00am 853 bus to Burford. Well, technically I wanted to get off a little outside Burford near Little Barrington. My plan for the day was to follow two walking maps I found online.
My first challenge was to find the bus stop in Oxford. I found it online OK but when I got there it wasn't marked. After a little bit of concern I noticed the bus arriving. As I boarded and requested my stop the bus driver was also a bit confused. He doesn't drive this route often and wasn't familiar with the stop. Luckily the lady behind me was after the same stop and had additional information. So off we went.
The bus trip took just under an hour. Here's the map for the first walk. I got off the bus at #1.
I located the foot path and got on my way.
The walk took me through Little Barrington and then to Great Barrington. Both had typical cottages and buildings for the area.
It's been a long time since I saw milk delivered at all, let alone in bottles.
As with the other day, the walk took me through all sorts of terrain.
After my walk around the Barringtons the main part of the journey took me along a quiet country lane to Burford. The walk took about an hour and I only encountered one car. The lane way wound through hedges and occasionally opened out to beautiful views of the surrounding farmland and the River Windrush meandering along side it.
And I encountered quite a bit of wildlife.
Even though I only encountered one car, there were a number of bike riders enjoying the sensational weather. Speaking of which, by this time it was definitely t-shirt and sunscreen weather for me.
After a delightfully leisurely walk I arrived in Burford. Another picturesque town. Unfortunately, all the car traffic made it difficult to get a good photo to do the town justice.
After a quick wander down the main street I grabbed some lunch and headed off on my second walk.
Although this is intended to be a walk from point #1 to Burford via one of two alternative routes, I decided to walk it as a loop. I started at Burford and walked towards #2 then backtracked through #5-7.
Throughout the day I noticed a lot of airforce traffic. I assume there must be a base nearby.
This walk followed the River Windrush more closely.
Near Swinbrook there was a mill.
Shortly after leaving the mill I encountered a young chinese girl also looking for the way to Swinbrook. You can see her up ahead in this photo. We chatted for a while and walked together until we successfully made it to Swinbrook.
Swinbrook was another quaint village. I continued further to Asthall. On the way there the footpath went through a field with cows. A sign said to beware as the cows can be protective of their young. As I passed a herd, one was keeping a very close eye on me and started "tapping" a hoof. I passed by as quickly and calmly as I could.
Of course, Asthall was yet another quaint village.
From there I had to backtrack to Swinbrook before heading north. I was following the footpath described in my directions until I came across this field. The directions indicated to walk across it but it was fenced off. The fencing appeared recent and temporary. It also appeared electrified! I found another way instead.
Along my alternative route I encountered more beautiful cottages.
Before entering Widley Copse.
The other day and today I've recorded fragments of birdsong. It was particularly beautiful in these woods. I'll try to post some of the recordings when I get a chance.
Out the other side of the woods I needed to walk across field after field of crops. Luckily there was a very clearly marked path to follow. In the distance I noticed an animal on the path. When I zoomed in I discovered this guy.
The lines of crop were so regular.
A bit more walking got me to Fulbrook and then back to Burford. By this time my feet and legs were aching. Not as badly as the other day, but bad enough. I came across the Cotswold Arms and decided to rest my feet while enjoying a well earned pint.
From there I just needed to find the bus stop. I passed more of the beautiful streetscape.
When I got to where I thought the bus stop should be, it only mentioned the 233 bus. Confused I set out to find help. I asked a passerby who confirmed that the 853 stops there also. Phew! I double confirmed by asking the lady who was also now waiting at the stop. She was lovely and we had a chat up until the bus arrived.
I got back to the hotel shortly after 6:00pm and straight into a nice hot bath.