Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ridgeway and Wittenham Clumps

A weekend in Oxfordshire for two Overland Track preparation walks. The idea was to introduce Paul and Maria to walking with a 15kg plus pack on. We stayed at Court Hill Centre, on the Ridgeway just above Wantage.

Saturday was a 9.5 mile walk along The Ridgeway National Trail, from Ashbury to our accommodation. It was a muddy affair, something we should get used to on the Overland Track. The route is a wide expanse, you get the feeling this section is an neolithic byway, as opposed to the second half of the trail, that passes through the Chilterns, which is frankly, made up. There are neolithic barrows, notably Waylands Smithy, and hill forts; Uffington and Segsbury along this section, and, should you want to, there is a little side trip to the ancient chalk carving of the Uffington White Horse.

Sunday, we drove to Dorchester, on the River Thames. This was a short 5 mile circular, along the river to Shillingford, then back via two odd looking hills known as Wittenham Clumps. These were a little difficult in the rain and mud.

Weekend over, no casualties, everyone has an idea of the weight they are expected to carry, so all in all, pretty successful! Now to the Malverns at the end of the month, for some terrain that is a little more challenging!