Buckinghamshire Hills
England
2020

Oxford - Waddesdon - Brill - Islip


17. 5. 2020

Peter Schrammel

Weather

sunny, partially cloudy

Interest

***: Nice view from the hills between rivers Thame and Ray

Route

Oxford, 60m - Wheatley, 80m - Long Crendon, 120m - Upper Winchendon, 140m - Waddesdon, 100m - Ashendon, 152m - Brill, 192m - Muswell Hill, 193m - Ambrosden, 61m - Islip, 72m - Oxford

Elevation gain

451m

Distance

82km

Timing

4 1/2h (1/2 + 2/3 + 1/2 + 1/6 + 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/6 + 1/3 + 1/2 + 1/2)

Stamina

D

Difficulty

0: some steep sections both uphill and downhill

Danger

0: car traffic

Visitor frequency

d: mostly car traffic and quite a few cyclists

Report

My second lockdown escape started via Horspath to Wheatley. I took the known route via steep Gidley Way, but then flat and with tail wind via Wormington and Shabbington. There were quite a lot of cyclists enjoying this nice and sunny day. A short steep climb led me to the nice village of Long Crendon with its numerous thatched roofs. After some ups and downs I passed through the similarly beautiful village of Cheasley. At the end of the village I saw a dead badger in the ditch. From the ridge I had nice views to Ashendon and Waddesdon Hill with its manor in the woods. The manor was closed, however. I tried to find my way into the village centre while avoiding the heavy traffic on the A41. After some hooks and turns and a little single trail I finally ended up on the A41 regardless. I had my lunch break in front of Waddesdon Hall. After 1pm I continued to Westscott and then up the ridge to Ashendon with its nice stone houses. The fast downhill ride to Wotton required some caution. After crossing the Chiltern railway line a second time I attacked the long hill up to Brill, a beautifully located village on top of a hill. I had a second break at the windmill to enjoy the nice view towards the west. Many small groups were scattered over the bumpy meadow, observing social distancing rules. After a second steep hill I rolled down - avoiding some dangerous potholes - the even steeper and longer hill down to the main road towards Bicester. I took the side road via Arncott along the barbed wire that enclosed miles of desolate land around the military base. From Ambrosden I cycled on the road via Merton, which I had already taken in the opposite direction when cycling to Cambridge. Now I had headwind and I advanced slowly enough to notice another dead badger in the ditch. When I arrived at Islip it was already 3.30pm. Having taken the footpath to Water Eaton last time I was here on a previous exploration around Oxford, I wanted to try the Bridleway this time. The mention of "ford" was not quite inviting and when I reached the ford through a gate, the 30-40cm deep water was not quite inviting to cross the river Cherwell at that point. So, I cycled back a bit to take the footpath to Water Eaton. Although it was forbidden for cyclists, it was quite busy in both directions among cyclists and hikers. I returned to Oxford via Cutteslowe and Summertown at 4.15pm.


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