Shakespeare Way – Nordic walking Day 6

This section started in Bladon where the very hospitable owner of the White House – Kevin opened the pub early for us and made us delicious coffees, provided loos and made us very welcome.

Bladon is the village beside Blenheim Palace  and Winston Churchill is buried in the graveyard of the local church.

There is a small Churchill exhibition in the church and memorial stained glass windows commemorating 50 years since his death

The route took us through Yarnton and then along the Oxford Canal and River Isis to Oxford, going through the centre of Oxford and finishing at Iffley Lock. We had a wonderful lunch at Jacob’s ladder inn in Wolvercote village to help us on our way.


Shakespeare Way – day 4 Church Enstone to Bladon

Another dry day – we have been very lucky. This is the one section so far where we felt that the published route could have been improved as there were at least 2 sections where we did 3 sides of a square and there was a lot of tarmac road involved which rather reduced the enjoyment for those sections.

We entered Blenheim Palace via the Stonesfield Steps – last visited by us when doing the Oxfordshire Way which shares the route at this point.

We finished at the White House at Bladon who gave us a very warm welcome, delicious food and were friendly and attentive. The dogs were made very welcome and we will definitely return

crossing in to Blenheim park Church Enstone start Victory column Propping up the tree Blenheim Palace Angela's knickerbocker glory (1) In front of Ditchley park

Shakespeare Way – Day 3

The third Leg of the Long Distance path started for us in Long Compton – parking a car in the village hall car park to retrieve later.

We had woken up to sunshine and after a coffee stop in a very friendly bakery in Woodstock were ready to tackle the walk.

We had been very pleasantly surprised by no major traffic issues around Oxford so hoping for the same next time.

The countryside was looking magnificent – bursting with vegetation and wildlife and we appeared to be miles from civilisation for much of the time although in fact we were never very far from a house, village, road or other human contact.

No refreshment options until we reached Chipping Norton but The Old Mill Coffee House and Bistro more than made up for it when we got there. We had a delicious lunch in the garden – fresh water for dogs and yummy food for us.

AOJ and Jock Cafe Whichford Wood

Decorated for the Queen's 90th birthday

Decorated for the Queen’s 90th birthday

emerging from the wood

Shakespeare Way Day 2 Halford to Long Compton

The plan for the day was Halford to Long Compton and we were lucky to have 2 willing chauffeurs in the guise of Tim and Mark.

Tim and Mia started the walk with us and then turned back to retrieve a car whilst Mark went of for some shopping and culture while we walked. Both greeted us at the end – walking towards us.

We had a welcome coffee stop in Le Cafe in Shipston on Stour and made it to Cherington for lunch by the river in the pub garden.

We were blessed with glorious weather again and spectacular scenery. See below the pink blossom from the chesnut trees in Honington

Horse Chestnut blossom Nearly finished for the day Towards Margetts Hill Le Cafe Shipston Nearly finished for the day

Chiltern Chase 2016

The Team from A Foot in the Chilterns turned up at Ewelme to take part in the 2016 Chiltern Chase

There was a real buzz on Cow Common and despite the chilly temperature a sense of building excitement.

Hazel, Doreen and Anthea had completed the course before but it was new Territory for Linda, Lynda, Jan and Fiona.

We had opted for the 5k and buoyed on my mentions on the tannoy for the Team set off at a pace with other groups of Nordic

Walkers. The competitive spirit took over and the team, walking in pairs were first over the line.



Hazel and Jan





Linda and Lynda finish Doreena nd Fiona finish

Nordic walking at Muncaster Castle

In March a group of us journeyed up the Lake District to stay in the beautiful grounds of Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass for 4 days of Nordic walking.

Shakespeare Way with A Foot in the Chilterns

We have started the walk – 146 miles from Stratford on Avon to the Globe. We are doing it on a day a week on Thursdays.
The first day was a perfect day in terms of weather – not too hot but dry – getting warmer in the afternoon.
9 of us set off from Stratford accompanied by Mia, Jock and Hector and then Tim and Mia kindly returned to Stratford to collect a car and play chauffeur at the end.

The route was an interesting mixture of lovely countryside, villages and history and Linda’s Moocs online course on Shakespeare provided some interesting extras along the way.

Walk With Me Marathon 2016

When most sane people are still in bed we were doing a warm up routine in a school hall before taking part in the Walk With Me 2016 marathon from Moulsford School near Wallingford.

It was a lovely day in terms of weather and over 200 people turned out to do the walk and raise money for Action for Cancer.
The walk follows a lovely route through the Chilterns and Thames path, though at times it not seem a particularly pleasant thing to be spending your Sunday doing. The comaraderie was evident and stories of bravery were humbling. Everyone had different reasons for doing it and the total I believe this year so far is over £80k which goes direct to the cause and more money is still being donated.

Klaus, Helen and I started together but we always knew that Klaus would speed up and get round quicker.
The first over the line were 6 hours, Klaus was 7 hours and Helen and I managed a respectable 7.5 hours – very relieved to finish.


Launch of Henley Midsomer and Town tours

Henley Hosts launched its new guided walk around Henley on Thames visiting Midsomer Murder filming locations and taking in the history of Henley and some of its iconic buildings.
Henley Hosts are Neil, the landlord at the Argyll pub in the market place, Sarah Osborne from Visit Midsomer and Anthea Osborn-Jones from A Foot in the Chilterns.
Tours are bookable via and run on Saturday mornings 10.30-11.30 from the pub. Cost £5 per person
Bespoke tours for groups bookable on request

Views of Henley on Thames

Views of Henley on Thames

Henley Town Mayor Lorraine Hillier launching the tour

Henley Town Mayor Lorraine Hillier launching the tour

Featured in The Black Book and Last Year's Model

Featured in The Black Book and Last Year’s Model

Swyncombe Down in July

We set off from St Botolph’s church
a charming Saxon Church in the grounds of Swyncombe House. The start of the walk takes you up the Ridgeway which is steep climb – a bit of a challenge in hot weather but well worth it for the views on reaching the top.
You can see across the Oxfordshire plain one way and miles in the other direction from the top of the down.
The whole area is managed for wildlife and diversity and wild flower meadows – some included in amenity access areas cover the hillsides. The area open to the public was quite heavily grazed and worn from human traffic whereas the inaccessible areas are better protected – a visual reminder of the effect of humans positive and negative – and how ground becomes eroded.
There are earthworks up the ridge and ancient trees so plenty of research to be done to find out more about the area.
part of the path follows the Swan Way and also the Icknield Way – ancient routes used by our forefathers.