Tuesday 2 July 2013

Watlington Hill, Oxfordshire

Approx time: 1 hour
Paths:  grass and mud
Points of interest: wildlife, red kites, white mark
Amenities: car park
Grading: baby carrier or a pushchair if you can lift it over 1 stile
Weather: all seasons

As the weather took a wonderful turn for the better we had a spare afternoon and wanted to make the most of the sunshine. Charlotte gave instructions -  "I want to go somewhere new mummy".
So I picked up my phone and checked out the oxtrails app to see what it came up with, Watlington seemed to be the area to visit and we decided to go find the Watlington white mark.

the view towards Watlington
The directions got us there fine, right to the car park that we seemed to miss other times we have tried to find the white mark. Was a good size car park already quite full with lots of people taking advantage of the weather. There are 3 notice boards with maps and wildlife to spot.

The start of the walk
After a short walk through a dark wood, you come out at a kissing gate and then your at the top of the wide open hill with stunning views looking across Oxfordshire. There are a lots of benches to sit on to just soak up the view, but that doesn't last long with a 5 year old shouting come on.

View from the gate
To find the mark you just have to keep walking straight ahead and you end up heading down the slope. We took a slight diversion from this route and ended up following an almost non-existent route amongst the trees, brambles and stinging nettles. But it came out right at the bottom of the mark so was wonderful to look straight up and see it ahead. 

looking up the white mark
The climb back up from the mark is quite steep but a wonderful view down.

White mark looking down on Watlington
Our walk back towards the car park was wonderful watching the red kites swooping low over head and watching a small plane climbing high in the sky and then diving down before pulling back up again. We found lots of bugs along our walk coming out to enjoy the sunshine and Charlotte came up with pockets full of flint, stones and bits of tree.
We had a really enjoyable walk and the Oxtrails app worked well. It also works offline so very handy for when at the top of a hill with no wifi, so i could read out handy facts to those who would listen.

looking towards Lewknor and Thame
This was a really lovely walk, that didn't take too long and was easy going most of the way to perfect for younger walkers, there is just the slope back up the hill. Sadly because of the kissing gate it would make it hard for buggies unless you wanted to fold it or lift it over.

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