Monday 28th August
Abingdon 0828 0928 0958 35 35 35 0853 0953 1023 Oxford QL Oxford QL 0907 1005 1029 tube tube tube 0938 1036 1100 Lewknor
Henley Hart Street Stop A 1640 1720 1840 X39 X39 1726 1926 Abingdon Road (Canning Crescent) 1734 1934 35 35 1757 1957 Abingdon 329 1754 Reading Station North Bay Stop SX Reading Station 1827 train 1902 Radley Station 1915 35 1923 Abingdon
Today's route (with distances in miles):
The final day, and it's another long day today; just over 13M. The route starts at Lewknor Turn (the eastbound bus stop of the Oxford Tube). It's real style starting a walk using the Oxford Tube (see photo). (As usual, the photos are available by using the link given above.)
Today's walk starts by going along the Ridgeway to get back to the Oxfordshire Way. En-route, the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve is passed (see photo). I then pass two people who are out to pick up litter (see photo). The Ridgeway then goes under the M40 (see photo). Once again whilst doing this 2.6M stretch of the Ridgeway, I see loads of people: 23 in all! Including some cyclists (see photo).
So after 2.6M, the junction of the Ridgeway and the Oxfordshire Way is reached (see photo). This bit has taken me about an hour to do.
The route of the Oxfordshire Way from the Ridgeway turn-off continues in a SE direction. From here, it's a bit of a climb on to the Chilterns. In the photo, behind the lorry there is a steep hill.
Whilst walking up this hill, I see lots of red kites (see photo).
After 0.9M from the Ridgeway turn-off, the village of Christmas Common is reached. There's a rather posh pub here called the Fox and Hounds (see photo).
The next village, Pishill, is 2.8M further on, and between Christmas Common and Pishill there are some wonderful woods (see several photos).
I meet several people on the Oxfordshire Way in these woods, some walking, many on cycles. I enjoy the woods so much that I do not see a cross roads of paths in the woods (728918) where I am meant to turn right. It is some time later that I realise this mistake, and then later (734916) I realise where I am on the map, and later at 733903 I turn west to get back to the Oxfordshire Way (at 727901).
So I've arrived in the village of Pishill. According to Wikipedia, the name of Pishill comes from the Latin name for pea, pisum. This was due to the great many pea farms that once existed in the area. It contains a 15th century pub and an 11th century church perched on a hill overlooking the Stonor valley. Elsewhere on the web I read that this is a place where the coaches used to stop and the horses took the opportunity to relieve themselves. And elsewhere on the web you can read that Jon Lord (Deep Purple) and George Harrison (The Beatles) formed part of the Henley Mafia for a time, and on a couple of occasions formed a group they named the Pishill Artists to play in a local pub.
As it's 1230 and it's about halfway along the route to Henley, I went to the pub at Pishill for some lunch. The pub is called the Crown Inn (RG9 6HH, 01491 638364). I had a cheddar ploughmans which wasn't that great. However, the beer was excellent, a half of Brakspear's bitter, a half of West Berks's Fathom the Bowl, and then another half of the Brakspear. I leave the pub (see photo) at 1330.
After Pishill, the route goes pass a strange looking church (see photo) and then through some more wonderful woods (see lots of photos).
The route then goes along the boundary of the Warburg Nature Reserve (see photo). I've been here twice before with someone from work. I'll be able to report back to him tomorrow that the orchids we've been to see twice before have still not got any bigger (see photo). Previously, we have also seen deer in the Nature Reserve, but I didn't see any today.
The route then follows lanes to Middle Assendon where there is a pub called the Rainbow (see photo) where I have another half of Brakspear's bitter. It's not so good as the halves at the Crown.
It is then 3M to Henley-on-Thames. On reaching the main road, there's the last Oxfordshire Way sign (see photo). I think the Oxfordshire Way finishes at its junction with the Thames Path at the bridge across the River Thames (see photo).
Of course, there were lots of things happening in Henley. I celebrated the end of a successful walk along the Oxfordshire Way by having an ice cream (no photo).