We started the day bright and early at Iffley village with a cup of coffee at the Tree Hotel who were very hospitable.
We were lucky to have ‘chauffeurs’ for this leg of the route so were dropped off by Mark and Tim.
We crossed over the lock via the bridge to get back on the Shakespeare Way and were soon on our way along the river again.
Walking across fields under the ring road and emerging at Sandford on Thames. From here the route becomes less attractive for a while – passing alongside a mobile home site and beside a sewage works which seemed to go on and on. We met a nice farmer who helped us back on our route when we had missed a sign and gone wrong.
The shade of the woodland was very welcome as the day was hot. We spotted a roe deer galloping across the field of wheat as it spotted us coming down the path.
The path goes uphill to the lovely village of Toot Baldon with its popular pub the Mole but we were too early for lunch.
We met Julia patiently waiting for us at Toot Baldon and walked on to the church with the most spectacular views across to the Chilterns.
The route from here to Marsh Baldon was very pretty with views of Wittenham Clumps – the iconic landmark visible from so may places in Oxfordshire. Some roadwork followed to get us to Chiselhampton where we had a delicious lunch at the Coach and Horses in a shady patch of the garden. Lovely food and very helpful staff.
Rejuvinated we were soon on our way again – at one point having to rely on Julia’s GPs to keep us on the right route as we wended our way through small fields by a stream and near gardens.
As we approached Stadhampton the school children were all out on the playing fields having a lovely time. We journeyed on and soon reached Ascott Park stopping to look at the old Granary and the dovecote the mansion having apparently been burnt down in the 17th century before it was completed. We walked on to reach Chalgrove and walked through the neat and productive allotments to seek sanctuary from the sun for a drink stop in the doctors surgery. The local shop sold us ice creams and we were ready to undertake the final stretch of the walk. As we approached Brightwell Park with its impressive trees and parkland we met Tim and Mia coming towards us across the field which was a welcome sight and suggested that we were nearly at the Lord Nelson at Brightwell Baldwin – the cars awaiting us.