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Rambling - May 2011 Report
The 8th of May and more fine weather for rambling. Rain the day before had softened the ground after endless weeks of dry weather and the skies were blue and the wind was cool. Perhaps the weather was too good - we only had seven walkers! (However, there was a 'new' village walker and he introduced us all to a game that might be called 'Pick Up!' You should try itů.)
We began by walking up The Croft to the footpath that runs north and then east to intersect New Road at the Village Shop. This footpath becomes a bridle path which continues to Fulscot Manor and then heads north-east to the road to South Moreton. Beside the road there is a barely maintained right-of-way on the south side that allowed us to reach the bridleway that heads due north and crosses the railway line on a newly rebuilt bridge (to accommodate the European running gauge).
We continued north, crossed the A4130 at Hadden Hill, walked beside the golf course, and took our first serious rest at the summit of a small rise called Down Hill which afforded us excellent views over the town of Didcot. The descent from Down Hill was on a sun-drenched footpath that crosses the B4016, enters Ladygrove Farm and wriggles its way to Hopkins Bridge and another crossing of the A4130. This brought us into the Ladygrove Estate.
The footpath continues more-or-less directly south through the estate. We passed two tiny "lakes" and chose to climb the adjacent hillock to satisfy our curiosity about a new building within the town that none of us recognized. (It was a new building put up by Network Rail within the large parking lot.) Just before the Cow Lane underpass we turned east and emerged from the estate using the pedestrian underpass.
The way home was via Sustran's Bike Route 44 (aka the 'linear park') which passes beside the Millennium Wood. We left Route 44 to cross Butts Piece and emerged on Wilcher Close and finally used Shoe Lane to return to Upper Cross. The total walk was 7.3-miles and it took us the best part of a very pleasant 3-hours. Join us next time to check out the mystery guest leader!
Sunday, June 12th at 2.00p.m.
John Jones: 01235 813326
Meet at the East Hagbourne Upper Cross