Distance on the Ridgeway - 6.5 Miles
Geocaches - 15
Inspiration - Self made walk for Stage 8 of the Ridgeway
The first of 2015 bi-monthly trips to the Ridgeway, making it Stage 8 overall and out of Oxfordshire and into Berkshire.
Alarm is set for early, but with the usual skills, I am up like a ninja before it actually goes off. A decent 90 minute drive to park up where I turned back on Stage 7 - and straight onto the Ridgeway.
Its a very cold 1 degree. And I am in for a long 15 miles today.
|Early Morning Views of Oxfordshire|
|Impressive Views over Oxfordshire|
And they are.... grabbing all 6 before a slight detour at the archeological highlight of the walk, an Iron Age barrow with a name worthy of this blog.
|Had to be done|
|And here is the Knob|
As the caches dry up, the Ridgeway turns to concrete as it passes under the A34 on the North side of Newbury. I remember the roadworks on the bypass here, along with Swampy the tree living protester, who was the darling of the press at the time. I myself would have gone to protest but the traffic in Newbury used to be a nightmare. If only they had a road that missed out the town centre.
At 6.5 miles of the day, I leave the Ridgeway at a spot where I can attack it from the East on stage 9. Just because I am leaving the famous path, it doesn't mean the scenery is any way less impressive.
|Off the Ridgeway - onto the Berkshire Downs|
Back under the A34, a conversation with a girl lost on her horse and onto a wonderful green lane called Old Street. Whereas the Ridgeway is all exposure and views, this is a lovely secret tunnel of vegetation. A joy to use to get back to the car.
|Lonely Tree on the Berkshire Downs|
|The View back down Old Street from where it meets the Ridgeway|
Arrive back at the car and check the time. Delighted to have done it in 5 hours 5 Minutes. There is every chance that I will make the choo-choo when on the South Downs Way.
No walk of this magnitude is complete without a post walk pint, so I programme the Sat Nav to take me to the nearest pub in its exhaustive database of Points of Interest.
It gives me the Boars Head in Ardington at 3.2 Miles away.
All looks good from the outside.
|Choice of 4 and I went for the Boars Head (When in Rome). Cloudier than the Ridgeway Sky.|