Day 4: Banbury to A423 junction

Day 4: Banbury to A423 junction Use this link to get the itinerary of today's walk.

The guard on the train up to Banbury saw my T-shirt and we talked about running. As he lives in Abingdon (wow!), I suggested he join the Abingdon Amblers.

At Banbury, it's another murky start as the mist has not lifted when I start walking. (It brightens up before 10am.) Within a minute, I meet a person (on a boat) on his own. I help him through the lock outside the Castle Quay shopping centre.

Here are today's photos.

Yes, the first photo is good!

Later I see a cow taking a dip in the canal (see photos).

I arrived at Cropredy and buy some provisions at the store at Bridge 153. It's a well-stocked store. I then make my way about 100 yards west to the Brasenose Inn. It's not yet open, and I sit outside the door in the glorious sunshine waiting 10 minutes for the appointed hour to arrive. It was a long time ago that I last did this. I learn from the locals that the landlord (Roy) only arrived about three weeks ago but they have already refurbished the restaurant. I speak to the landlord's son (Sean) who seems to be partly running the place. He says that the bar is next to be refurbished: I hope they don't overdo it. Lunch was good (ham and egg with decent chips and an excellent pint of Hooky: I could have stayed.

Whilst I'm in the pub, someone says hello to me: it's the swedes that I'm met at Somerton Deep Lock yesterday. They had caught me up.

Sorry I don't have a photo of the pub, but the next photo shows a weeping willow crossing the canal in Cropredy.

Some photos later you will find some photos of the old Stratford and Midland Junction Railway crossing the canal.

And then I find the point where I'm going to leave the Canal. It's been fun. I've spoken to a lot of people. Today, for example, I met two people from Tucson who were nice: they seem to spend two thirds of their life on their boat in the UK.

So I've found the start of the D'Arcy Dalton Way. It runs 66.4 miles south from here to Wayland's Smithy.

I don't have any OS maps of this section of the D'Arcy Dalton Way and when my book ("The D'Arcy Dalton Way" by Nick Moon) says cross the field (see photo) I just have to hope the farmer agrees or is not looking.

So far, there are some waymarks (see photo) but not many.

There is little public transport here which makes walking this section difficult. I've decided (last night) to walk to the A423 and pick it up from there tomorrow morning. Getting back here tomorrow morning should be easy as there is a three times a day bus from Banbury to Farnborough (which is 0.6 miles away). However, how do I get back tonight from the A423 to Banbury. My plan (decide after a glass of wine last night) is to hitch. If that fails, I'll walk to the pub in Farnborough and try and get a taxi out from Banbury

So at 1605hrs this afternoon, I was hitching on the side of the A423 road. Lots of people drove past. But I only stood there for 6 minutes! At 1611hrs, a kind young man gave me a lift to Banbury. He dropped me about 0.75 miles from the centre: although with my weary limbs this was a long way, I don't think I could have asked for a better end to the day.

At Banbury railway station, another person says hello to me, it's the couple that were being asked to move their boat back to allow another one into the gap; this was at 12noon at Thrupp several days ago. We swop stories about the last couple of days.

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Images produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.
Images reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.