Wednesday, 25 December 2013



Unusually, we weren't cooking a conventional Christmas dinner and so we decided to have a refreshing walk on the Berkshire Downs, starting from the pretty village of Blewbury. Although it was raining as we drive over there, soon after we arrived the clouds blew over and the rain ceased and we had a lovely short walk up onto the downs and back

We parked in front of the newly-defunct pub on the main road (A417) and followed a path opposite soon passing through paddocks to begin a steady climb up to the downs. As we climbed, Baldon Hill and Riddle Hill were visible on the left.

We joined Woodway Rd and passed some farm buildings before turning left to walk beside some gallops, soon reaching the strangely named Oven Bottom.

We had hopes of doing a circular walk, but the absence of a right of way and the increasingly late hour (we may not have been having a traditional Christmas lunch, but we still were having lunch) led us to decide to retrace our steps. This is the view towards Blewbury with Didcot Power Station on the left.

Conditions: sunny and bright after the rain stopped.

Distance: just under four miles.

Map: Explorer 170 (Abingdon, Wantage and the Vale of the White Horse).

Rating: three stars. It was great to get out and feel the sun. next time I think we might try a linear walk across the downs to East Ilsley.

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