Walk #5 – East Hagbourne Rambers
December 11. Only ten days from the winter solstice and a forecast of heavy showers. This walk needed to be short – and it was. Only six people showed up, but we were dressed for anything! Fortunately, the weather was kind as we did a quick tour of some neighbouring villages.
We started by heading briefly out Main Road to reach The Causeway which was almost dry for the want of rain. This leads out of the village and on to footpaths that run due south into Blewbury. We continued on that alignment to reach the first footpath that turns west and this we followed into Upton. That footpath bears right as it makes its way through Upton and eventually turns north to cross under the “dismantled railway” and continues on to West Hagbourne. This was our route.
In West Hagbourne we turned left on Main Street (and then York Road) and came quickly to a footpath sign on the right that is a little hard to believe because there is no apparent path. However, we made the turning and scraped our way past a private house (no windows on that side) and shortly emerged into the loveliest of small gardens: neatly mown grass and remnants of an old orchard – really quite charming. This lasted only a few moments because we soon had to manoeuvre our way past a fully-occupied cow barn and onto the muddy track that leads north. The track soon reverts to a footpath which ultimately leads to the western edge of Didcot.
We chose not to go that far as darkness was quickly descending. Instead we took an ‘informal’ footpath that leads due east, crosses Park Road, and continues along the southern edge of Didcot. A few twists and turns in the vicinity of the flood-relief pond and we found ourselves on Lake Road, back in East Hagbourne. A right turn on Harwood Road brought us to The Croft and another little footpath (Shoe Lane) allowed us to return to Main Road and Upper Cross.
A total of 5.4-miles in exactly two-hours and everyone home in time for tea. We’ll have our usual “short & sweet” walk on New Years Day (starting at 1:30) and then our normal ramble on January 8th. I hope you’ll join us.