Section 48 Out
Aston Tirrold to Didcot
|OS Explorer 170 Abingdon & Wantage
|5 miles/2.5 hours
|The Chequers pub and restaurant in Aston Tirrold, limited parking at the pub and on road in the village.
|An excellent walk through pleasant countryside with picturesque villages and historic churches along the way. Do find time to stop and look.
From The Chequers inn car park turn left and walk towards the war memorial. Cross the road junction and go forward, passing the war memorial, which should be on your left. Ignore a road off left and bear right up the road to the little church of All Saints at Aston Upthorpe. Pass the church on your left then immediately turn left on a byway between Thorpe Farm on your right and the church on your left.
Follow this through the buildings and around to the right and continue uphill. The lane soon turns left. Here leave it to go straight on up a flight of wooden steps into the corner of a field.
Go straight on up the field with a fence and new hedge on your right. Go over the brow of the hill and bear slightly left downhill to reach a metal kissing gate in the bottom fence. Go through and turn right on a bridleway. Stay on this for nearly a mile, ignoring paths off to the right. Join a farm track and keep straight on to pass the buildings of Winterbrook Farm and eventually emerge onto a road in Blewbury.
Cross straight over to go forward on Bessel’s Lea, passing a bus stop and post box. Continue up the road passing Bridus Mead and Bridus Way to reach a T-junction. Here turn left down South Street.
Look for, and turn right down, a narrow road off right opposite Holt Cottage. Pass Orchard Dene House. The road becomes a gravel path by a stream. At the end reach a churchyard.
Turn left through the heavy wooden gate into the churchyard and bear right on a brick path. Go past the church of St. Michael (do go in it dates back to Saxon times and is full of interest), and continue on the brick path, past an 18th. Century almshouse, to reach a green.
Here bear right on a path past a seat and follow it down by a hedge on your right to cross a footbridge and go on by a thatched wall (yes!).
Emerge onto a road and cross bearing left a few paces to find a raised path going away from the road behind safety barriers. Go up this path past a bungalow and on, on an enclosed path. Where this reaches a field go straight on across in a straight line for a mile.
Reach and cross a treelined stream midway and then straight on again. Eventually the path becomes enclosed again to pass an ancient orchard. Ignore a path off left and continue on an access drive down and left to a junction with a road.
Turn right on Church Street in the pretty village of Upton. Keep up the road over a cross roads and soon reach the little church of St. Mary’s (barely altered from Norman times and well worth a visit). Pass the church on your right ignoring paths off right. Follow the road as it bends left and in 20 metres, immediately after White Cottage, turn right up a lane called Chapel Furlong.
This goes up a field edge and soon under an old railway bridge. At the far side turn right along the field edge. At the end, go through a wooden kissing gate and over a footbridge to arrive at a Y-fork. Turn left on an enclosed path with a hedge on your left.
At the end pass a narrow pond and reach a T-junction with a farm track. Turn left on this through farm buildings and wind round by a large village pond to meet a road in West Hagbourne. Turn left along this with care.
In about 100 metres, where the road bends left, turn right along York Road. Go right to the end passing some quaint old style council houses. Where the road reaches a bend go straight on along a byway between fences.
At a crossing of tracks keep forward on a grassy enclosed path with a ditch on your left. At the top of the field reach a building site. Bear left to continue on a sunken path between new building and a field on your left.
The path emerges into the open again and reaches a fork. Bear left over the ditch and into the corner of a field. Turn right up the edge.
On reaching houses join an asphalt path. Go straight up this for ½ mile passing houses, roads and greens.
At the top emerge onto a main road with shops opposite. This is Didcot. Turn right along the road for nearly a mile passing a park, fire station and many shops and food outlets.
Eventually reach a paved area and a pub called Broadway opposite a large modern building called Baptist House. This is the end of the section and the end of the Dymchurch to Didcot Robust Ramble. Congratulations ! (go down the side of the pub to reach a shopping centre and, in ¼ mile the Railway Station).
Colin Bridge 18/3/2015