Swan’s Way – Day 8


This walk took me from Watlington to the ancient earth work of Grim’s Ditch, near Nuffield. Same as the previous walk, it was just following the foot of the Chiltern escarpment. although this time it had to use a few roads and lanes rather than stick to one long track.

I chose to walk even though the forecast was for showers, and it rained slightly during most of the drive to Watlington. I wore my Paramo waterproof trousers, rather than have to keep stopping to put on or take off waterproof overtrousers, and I kept my waterproof jacket on throughout the walk.

The first couple of miles was along a continuation of the chalky track I’d walked last time – this was familiar to me as it was still part of the Ridgeway which I walked last summer on my Berks-Essex walk. Where the Ridgeway turned left to go over Swyncombe Down, I continued on the track as it wound round and passed a wood at the foot of that hill.

After a hundred yards or so on a lane, I followed a nice bridleway over an undulating landscape of chalky fields,¬† either ploughed or stubble. I turned right onto another bridleway, which ran gently uphill between hedges. It brought me to Potter’s Farm, Ewelme, which I know well from the Chiltern Way – it’s the only point on that walk that I visited three times as it’s where the southern extension rejoins the original route, so two of my CW walks ended there and a third one started there.

I followed Potter’s Lane, a bridleway between hedges and part of the Chiltern Way, with views to Swyncombe Down to my right and to Didcot Power Station and Wittenham Clumps to my left. I was then faced with about two and a quarter miles of lane and road¬†walking – I wasn’t looking forward to this (especially as I’d be turning round and immediately doing it again in the opposite direction) but in fact it wasn’t too bad and went quicker than I’d expected.

The walk ended where Grim’s Ditch crossed a lane – I was on part of the southern extension of the Chiltern Way at this point, and the ancient earthwork of Grim’s Ditch here carried the Ridgeway, so again I was on familiar territory.

The skies were dark and threatened rain throughout the walk, but I was lucky and just had a couple of very brief and ligh showers. Just one more walk now to complete Swan’s Way!

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