This has to be the shortest hike reconnaissance ever. I walked about 1/2 mile on part of the Oxfordshire Way near the village of Kirtlington, Oxon.
Yesterday was a lovely afternoon, the late winter sun hung lazily above the horizon for about an hour, as is it’s wont in these latitudes, painting the landscape with a warm orange glow in stark contradiction to the chill breeze that has you reaching for a woolly bobble hat, and mittens.
I hadn’t packed my boots on account of running out of space in my luggage. I would’ve worn the in flight, except it was a transatlantic, so a bit too long for comfort. No boots meant I made sure I stayed where I would keep out of mud. What I can say though is to the east of the village there is a pleasant green stroll across open parkland/horse pasture to the hall, and to the west the path followed a farm track, before rolling gently away over the undulating landscape.
The village is entirely built of local stone, even new construction blending in, only the scale (human sized doors) and slate roof hinting at the newness. The church with its square Norman looking tower is open mid week, and can boast much tender loving care from the parish, clean paint and well tended grounds. The stained glass is very classical in look, even late in the day it was quite something to behold.
The village duckpond seems to be home to a heron, I watched him fishing for dinner for a while. What British amble is complete without the constant cawing of crows, a couple of magpies on a fence, and wood pigeons leaping out the bush at you.
I wished I had more light to explore further, but as it was I didn’t even expect to be there until dusk.