Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

The Spring 2019 Index of Paul Mobbs’ photographic record to his walks around ‘Banburyshire’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond

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Spring 2019 (April-June) Index

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Sunday 16th June 2019:

To Adderbury Gathering

I skirt the town centre to Banbury Quaker Meeting House, and after checking for walkers it's time to head-off cross-country to Adderbury – via the ‘alternative route’. Flooding prevents use of the shorter, prettier route (pretty precisely because it crosses the flat, wildflower-rich flood meadows). There's a brisk wind and the animated cloudscape promise heavy rain. I'm going to get wet!

Route: Banbury Meeting House, Bodicote, East Adderbury, Adderbury Meeting House; East Adderbury, Twyford, Oxford Canal, Banbury.

Metrics: Distance, 15.6km/9¾ miles; ascension, 145m/475ft; duration, 3¼ hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Thursday 13th June 2019:

‘For the rain it raineth every day’; exploring the route of a guided walk I must lead, in the floods

This Sunday I'm leading a walk to Adderbury Meeting House; across two brooks that are likely to be flooded. I set out to assess which route it will be possible to use – finding mud, floods, dramatic cloudscapes, and, inevitably, rain showers. However, I've also got a few things to do in my head along the way, the results of which, if all goes right, you should be looking at right now.

Route: Adderbury Meeting House, Milton, ‘The Groves’, Bodicote, Banbury.

Metrics: Distance, 11.5km/7⅙ miles; ascension, 135m/450ft; duration, 2¼ hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Wednesday 22nd May 2019:

A Journey to the Deep South (of the county)

Six months ago today my eye fell apart; I’m having a ‘day off’ to celebrate. There’s a walk I’ve wanted to do for ages, revisiting sites I frequented thirty years ago, but which I kept putting off because of work. With June fast approaching I decide that it’s high time I did it, and go in search of “the last man in Europe” – or at least, his creator.

Route: Didcot Parkway, Wittenham Clumps, Little Wittenham, Day's Lock, River Thames, Clifton Hampden, UKAEA Culham, Culham Lock, Sutton Courtenay, Appleford Crossing, Didcot.

Metrics: Distance, 27km/16¾ miles; ascension, 165m/540ft; duration, 7½ hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Wednesday 15th May 2019:

Finding a Road to Nowhere

Lately I’ve been “going places” – walking somewhere, be it following the route of HS2 or looking for megaliths. I realise how much I miss just leaving the house and taking whichever path ‘seems to look most interesting’. A walk to, ‘nowhere’. Or, as that great character once said when trying to divine the way, “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Route: Banbury, Bretch Hill, North Newington, Broughton, Crouch Hill, Banbury.

Metrics: Distance, 13.3km/8¼ miles; ascension, 205m/670ft; duration, 3 hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Wednesday 1st May 2019:

A Beltane Backpack, Day 2

May Day! Or since sunset last night, Beltane. I arise early as a result of a yellowhammer, wanting it's vegan breakfast, bellowing its lungs out from the top of my tent. I watch the dawn while making breakfast. Then I zig-zag across the ancient landscape around Avebury to find some of the lesser-known prehistoric sites that the car- or bus-borne visitors rarely see. By the afternoon though, the weather is on the change.

Route: Knoll Down, Windmill Hill, Avebury Trusloe, West Kennet Long Barrow, East Kennet, West Kennet, Avebury, Avebury Down, The Ridgeway, Berwick Bassett Dewpond.

Metrics: Distance, 19.1km/11⅘ miles; ascension, 295 metres/960ft; duration, 9 hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Tuesday 30th April 2019:

A Beltane Backpack, Day 1

For Beltane last year I did a day-long walk in West Oxfordshire to document its prehistoric sites. This year the idea is slightly more protracted: wild camp for four days across the downs; stopping only twice for water in Avebury and Marlborough; and all along the route, photographing as many of the lesser-known prehistoric sites as possible. I take a train to Swindon, then bus to Devizes, which I leave, on this first day, to follow the escarpment of the west end of the North Wessex Downs.

Route: Devizes, Roundway Hill, Beacon Hill, Wansdyke, Morgan’s Hill, Bishops Cannings Barrows, Cherhill Hill, Old Bath Road, Knoll Down.

Metrics: Distance, 16.6km/10⅓ miles; ascension, 330 metres/1,080ft; duration, 6 hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Thursday 18th April 2019:

On track again

It’s not a good day for photography. It’s humid. After leaving Chipping Warden it becomes apparent that visibility is only a mile at most. No matter. If last week’s walk was about following HS2 through the undulating hills of South Northamptonshire, this week I’m going to follow the Ironstone escarpment, where HS2 will emerge via a tunnel and embankment to cross the relatively flat plain of Warwickshire beyond.

Route: Chipping Warden, Aston le Walls, Appletree, The Boddingtons, The Priors, Hellidon, Charwelton.

Metrics: Distance, 22.9km/14¼ miles; ascension, 300m/1,000ft; duration, 6⅔ hours.

Banburyshire Rambles Journal, Thursday 11th April 2019:

Tracking HS2

HS2 is bugging me again. I’ve a few gaps to fill in my photographic reconnaissance of the route before construction begins. Now that the bird nesting season has commenced I want to get out and complete my documentation of the route before the end of the nesting season in the Summer.

Route: Wardington, Edgcote Hill, Danesmoor, Culworth, Sulgrave, Stuchbury, Halse, Brackley.

Metrics: Distance, 19.5km/12⅛ miles; ascension, 215m/700ft; duration, 6 hours.