Monday, 30 August 2010

Ock River Walk (version 2), Abingdon (Oxfordshire)

This is an alternative route which takes quieter roads.
Approx time: 45 mins
Paths: mixture of footpaths, some main roads, some gravel, some mud
Points of interest: river, old buildings, bridges (we count the bridges, making each one an incentive to reach!), ducks
Amenities: Public parking off West St Helens Street (pay and display), pub on route, town centre cafes and shops close by, toilets in car park
Grading: any pushchair
Weather: can be muddy after heavy rainfall
Warning: open water along most of the route

1. leave south out of St. Helens car park and follow the footpath to the right. There will be houses on your left and garages to your right.

2. few feet along there is a large tree and a footpath on your right leading to a bridge. take this.

3. this is now the ock walk, follow the path, it split at a few points but soon joins up to the main footpath. older children might like to explore. just over half way along there will be a bridge to cross. at the start and end of the walk there are displays boards.

4. at the end of the ock walk cross a bridge to your left and almost go back on yourself, but on the other side of the river.

5. you will come out at some houses, carry on through a open green area

6. at the end of the green there is an exit to the right through the housing estate.

7. tuturn left and then left and head towards a roundabout and Caldecott Road.

8. Cross caldecott road and walk along the footpath lined with trees.
9. you will reach the iron bridge, cross this, pass infront of the "the Old Anchor Inn"
10. just beyond the Anchor turn left down an alley way passing Alms Houses and st Helens church. bear right and then left into West St Helens Street and the car park will be a few steps up on your left.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire

Approx time: min 1 hour
Paths: gravel and grass
Points of interest: peacocks, trees, wildlife
Amenities: toilets, car park
Grading: any type of pushchair
Weather: any

Adults do have to pay to enter Harcourt Arboretum, but its such a lovely place to visit it's worth it.
Your visit can be as long or as short as you would like. take a stroll around the inner area of the Arboretum, among the rhododendrons or take a longer walk around the edge with areas like "plants from high places". Play hide and seek among the trees, hunt out the peacocks or take a picnic and spend a few hours. A visit during April and May for the bluebells is essential.
Before a visit its worth checking out the website
for events and opening times (its closed at weekends during the winter).