Having followed the weather forecast all week with mounting trepidation, on Sunday morning we awoke to torrential rain. An early morning phone call from Andrew assured us “rain before seven, fine at eleven,” and so it proved to be. Arriving at our starting point in Burford, the rain stopped and thirteen stoic walkers, plus Max the dog, set off on what proved to be a very relaxed and enjoyable walk, punctuated with various sites of interest along the way.
Standing in the shadow of Burford’s impressive parish church, Ian gave a brief history of its association with the Levellers during the English Civil War. An event still marked by a procession, live music and speeches in May each year. We then set off, crossing the River Windrush and made our way up the hill to the nearby village of Fulbrook. Throughout this walk, the past often seemed close at hand, with small villages and secluded churches showing how little some things have changed with the passing of the centuries. Fulbrook was no exception. A few moments were spent admiring its Norman church and 1000-year-old yew, before moving on to the picturesque villages of Asthall and Swinbrook, home to the famous Mitford sisters. A picnic lunch by the river was then livened up by the arrival of a 1930s’ vintage Bentley; perfectly in keeping with the surroundings.
We continued to St Oswald’s church in the abandoned village of Widford with its renowned mediaeval wall paintings, before following the banks of the meandering Windrush back to our starting point. Everyone then adjourned to Burford, for a spot of sight-seeing, cake and cream teas in the sunshine. All in all, a fitting end to an enjoyable day with good friends.
Pics courtesy of Ray B.