Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal: Rambles Blog Scenes Index Scenes Map HS2 About
"Banburyshire" and the "Irondowns", the hilly land at the junction of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, is an area that many people pass through but few see. This photo-journal from around (and occasionally beyond) 'Banburyshire' aims to show what those speeding through on the rail- and motor-ways – and even many residents of the area – have missed.

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Recent rambles

Sunday 18th March 2018

It's the quarterly Adderbury Quaker Meeting today. As usual I'm walking there. If you're going to a 343 year-old Quaker Meeting House, hardly changed in the last three centuries, I find walking there gets you in the right frame of mind to appreciate the surroundings. However, today the snowy landscape highlights the Medieval trackways that the local Quakers who built the Meeting House would have walked – adding to the perceptions of 'stepping-back' into a more simple way of travelling.

Banbury, Wykham Farm, Upper Grove Mill, West Adderbury, Adderbury Quaker Meeting House, Milton, Bloxham Grove, Bodicote, Banbury – 12.8km/8 miles, 150m/500ft ascension, 3 hours

Friday 9th March 2018

What an awful week. I decide to go for a walk. The first bus from the bus station takes me to… Chipping Warden. I set off and soon decide that I'll follow The Portway – an ancient trackway that connected the Thames Valley to the East Midlands. Negotiating this ancient route means confronting the impact of our most modern – High Speed 2

Bus to Chipping Warden, Edgcote Park, Trafford Bridge, Danesmoor, Thorpe Mandeville, Thenford, Farthinghoe, bus return – 12.9km/8 miles, 170m/560ft ascension, 4 hours

Thursday 1st March 2018

I've heard there's a "Beast from the East" stalking the land; it's from Siberia, so Russian involvement is suspected. I decide that I should use my local knowledge to track, hunt and trap 'the beast' to resolve the issue (I hope that my not-used-for-15-years conversational Russian is up to the test!)

Train to Kings Sutton, Charlton, Newbottle, Astrop Hill, Twyford Wharf, Oxford Canal, Banbury – 15.6km/9⅔ miles, 200m/650ft ascension, 4¾ hours

Wednesday 21st February 2018

I hadn't planned to go for a walk today; there were other priorities. I've had four hard days, including a pre-dawn trip to London. As I open my eyes, looking through the window at the fluffy pink clouds in the dawn sky, through the haze of tiredness I realize I'm not going to get any brain-work done today. Probably best to go for a walk instead.

Train to Moreton in Marsh, bus to Stow, Icomb Hill, Wyck Beacon, Church Westcote, Bledington, Kingham – 13.9km/8⅗ miles, 180m/590ft ascension, 3¾ hours

Wednesday 14th February 2018

I need to write a 'logical sonnet' in a hurry. Too many distractions here, so I take the problem out into the sticks – on a cold, windy, sleaty Winter Warwickshire ridgeline.

Train to Warwick Parkway, Hatton Park, Haseley, Hatton Green, Hatton Bank Locks, Warwick Parkway – 10.3km/6⅖ miles, 90m/300ft ascension, 2¾ hours

Wednesday 7th February 2018

Ever since the railway line from Oxford to Bicester re-opened at the end of 2016 I've been longing to revisit one of my favourite places; Otmoor. It's time I enacted that plan.

Train to Islip, Oddington, Otmoor, Backley, Elsfield, Woodeaton, Water Eaton, Oxford Parkway – 18.8km/11⅔ miles, 150m/500ft ascension, 4¾ hours