This sheltered pocket of land between the parishes of Edgcote, Culworth and Thorpe Mandeville is a little-known local gem. It has great views, it is a good site for wildlife, and because of its isolation it is really quiet – a rare thing around here with all the major roads. That will end soon.
I first came here almost forty years ago. If you look at the local Ordnance Survey map is attracts the eye because there's nothing – just a couple of bridleways that cross in the middle of nowhere. It was a complete surprise to find when I first explored the area in my teens; and it's that isolated quality that has made it a special spot for walking ever since.
If you stand at the top of the valley, near Hill Farm, you get a wonderful view across the area.
From the point HS2 will enter the scene from your right, on the Lower Thorpe Viaduct. Then it will plough a cutting through the middle of the hill in the middle of the scene (on the right of the picture above), emerging to cross the middle of the valley on an embankment that rises towards the Edgcote Viaduct.
You can get a better idea of the scene from the panorama below,
taken from the same spot as the above image (use the slider to move the view from side to side).
This small valley is one of the most peaceful areas in the countryside around, the surrounding hills sheltering it from the noise of distant major roads. I've always thought it apt that one of the places you could go locally to find peace should be a nationally significant battleground.