Shotover: A hidden gem just a stroll away from Oxford
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Dogs are very welcome at the events I organise, please take responsibility for your pet.
Starting from the easily accessible Thornhill Park & Ride, this walk is part of a former royal forest and will transport you to a countryside idyll of rural tranquillity.
We will ascent Shotover hill and then head down westward to the CS Lewis Nature reserve to enjoy its tranquil woodland and pond before heading back up again to the top of the hill. There we will enjoy the spectacular views across south Oxfodshire. We will continue on the shotover plain to the south entrance of the estate where we will this time enjoy the views over east Oxfordshire. We will follow the impressive avenue of trees leading to the estate. The centrepiece of the garden east of the house is a straight canal, ending with a Gothic Revival folly. We will then make our way towards Wheatley where we will stop for refreshments at the Cricketers Arms.
From there we will head back towards Shotover hill for a final ascent before arriving where we started.
Please note that you will have the opportunity to visit Wheatley windmill as we will pass it. More info here.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglasses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye.
Suncream: essential to prevent sunburn.
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of water.