Traditional New Year’s Day circular walk:Woodcote

January 1st 2024 was a lucky day for the eleven gallant walkers who joined Andy James,  the walk leader, on our traditional start of the year walk. The Rain God was on our side and the rain held off until the very end of the walk although as can be seen from the photos there was still plenty of water around!

On this occasion we took a slightly different route to last year's  walk initially passing through the grounds of the Oratory School at Woodcote and then onwards and upwards through undulating countryside and woods.  Some of the ascents were a little challenging but were capably climbed by all.

A highlight of the walk was a stop at the Maharajah's Well at Stoke Row.  This  was gifted to the village by the Indian Maharajah of Benares in 1864 and provided villagers with fresh water instead of brackish water which was all they had until this gift. Another mile through the woods led us to the Black Horse pub where we had our picnic lunch.  Duly refreshed we headed back towards Woodcote again traversing a number of hills and skirting more open countryside, which, if the sun had been shining, would have offered some attractive distant views towards Wallingford and surrounding countryside.

This was an enjoyable walk and a good start to the New Year despite the grey skies. Thank you Andy for leading us.

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