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Pub Walk (15) Saturday 5th December 2009, from the Kings Head, Bledington

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

 

After several weeks of rain the 5th December was dry and excellent for good walking as 6 stalwarts gathered for Walk Number 15 at Bledington. The Kings Head at Bledington is close the Oxfordshire border, our most Eastern GBG Pub and North Cotswold CAMRA Pub of the Year 2008. All of which qualify it for one of our circular walks.

 

Winter sun and no wind as we set off at 1030hrs in winter gear, spats, and a few layers of clothing. Martyn Herbert still sporting his Summer gear claimed not to feel the cold. Peter Rowe chose wellies which proved ideal for one section of the walk encountered in Bould Wood. Heading SW across the Village Green we passed some very attractive housesbefore turning right at the Church (Photo1) and through the graveyard on a well marked footpath (Photo 2) across one field. We turned left along a track in a SE direction passing 3 fields crossing a stream at a footbridge and up a slope emerging on the Foxcote to Bould country lane.

 

Turning right we split up at the next footpath across a ploughed and planted field.with the majority selecting the road route both ending at Bould Farm. We waited there while Patrick and John from Glos Branch emerged from the field route, determined to optimise the footpath elements of the walk or was it attractive sheep. At this point Martynís trainers split so he wisely retraced his steps and followed a road route back to the Kings Head. He must have had a premonition since our next section through Bould Wood on a well marked bridle Way was very wet. However the path soon dried and emerged in Foxholes Nature Reserve which is truly an idyllic spot. (Photo 3) A compass in the wood may have been useful but our leaders sense of direction prevailed and we emerged as planned at Foxholes Farm.

 

The Oxfordshire Way beckoned (Photo 4) and this proved very well drained and easy walking following a hedge which on a windier day would provide shelter. Emerging near Foscote Farm we headed North to the B4450 junction and returned to Bledington passing the School and Post Office. We arrived back at the Kings Head crossing the stream in front of the pub (Photo 5) where Martyn had found the bar and claimed to be still on his first. (Photo 6) He had by now decided to give his new trainers a run out next time, even if it is muddy.

 

Beers on offer were Stroud Tom Long, Hooky Bitter, Oxfordshire 3B and my favourite Butts Barbus Barbus. (Photo 7)

Food was excellent and after a committee meeting (Photo 8) we headed off, looking forward to our next Walk No 16 organised by Martyn around the Kilkenny Inn at Andoversford on Sat 30th January at 1030hrs. (re-scheduled to a later date due to the weather)

 

Report and Photos by Roger Price

 

Tel 01451 810305

Mob 07850 429630

 

Pictures taken on the walk:

 

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^ Photo 1 ^

^ Photo 2 ^

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^ Photo 3 ^

^ Photo 4 ^

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^ Photo 5 ^ Kings Head in view at last!

^ Photo 6 ^ First to the Bar

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^ Photo 7 ^ Thirst Quenchers

^ Photo 8 ^ Blah blah, mumble mumble!