Kingham to Charlbury walk
The Oxfordshire Way, the river Evenlode, gentle rolling hills, woods and fields that were the inspiration for Tolkien’s Hobbitshire, and 2 Cotswold villages
This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.
|Sat, ||Kingham to Charlbury||3||very hot|
|Wed, ||Wednesday walk Kingham to Charlbury - Pretty Cotswold Villages and big vistas along the Oxfordshire Way||8|
|Wed, ||Hobbitshire, the River Evenlode and Cotswold Villages||7||English mizzle|
|Sun, ||A gentle late summer amble in the Cotswolds||9||warm and sunny with some cloud|
|Wed, ||New Cotswolds walk - Kingham to Charlbury||7||sunny and warm|
|Wed, ||Kingham to Charlbury|
Length: 17.6 km (11 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10
Catch the 09:22 train from London Paddington to Kingham, arrives 10:49. Buy a day return to Kingham. Return trains: 16:07, 17:04, 18:04, 19:07, 20:07, 21:08, 22:16
A relaxing walk along the Oxfordshire Way, passing through charming Cotswold villages.
Lunch at Wychwood Inn in Shipton under Wychwood after 4 miles or The Swan pub at Ascott under Wychwood after 5½ miles.
Longer 35km map walk option.
Re the 21.7m long walk option: er shurely shome mishtake (;>) over the toughness rating of 2/10 on the walk 341 page? A typo perhaps as the short 11m version is also a 2/10? More like a 7 or 8 at least I'd have thought.
The rating presumably reflects the fact that both the short and long walk are fairly flat. If the longer walk had a much higher rating just because it was long - a fact that is already evident from its length - a reasonable person might assume it had a lot more hills than the short walk, which I am assuming it does not.
Sorry Peter I think your logic is wrong. A reasonable person would think a 22 mile walk would require more physical effort than one half its length. By your reasoning a 200m walk across a flat desert in 50C heat would just be like doing a Thames path walk from Greenwich to London Bridge.
The two Profile charts show that the original walk has a total ascent of 80m and the longer one 340m. On any reasonable criteria the longer one should be higher rated.
None of our walks are (yet) 200 miles and none are in the Sahara. Nor do we include the expected weather (or mud amounts or numbers of stiles) in our ratings. The two factors we take into account are length and how hilly the walk is. I would say state them separately. But if you are going to bundle then together, then I would note that the Moreton Grand Circular, which is 26 miles and quite hilly, is rated 10 out of 10. On this basis shouldn’t any walk under 13 miles be 5 out of 10 at most? Or is the Moreton Grand Circular a 15 or 20 put of 10?
In TOCW1 it was stated that "these ratings are only relevant to the walks published here...and would be considerably lower if put in the context of hillier parts of Britain". Several walks like the Moreton Grand Circular are way off this original scale in both their length and total ascent, as of course are most of those on the Scottish and other SWC expeditions.
I would say that the simplest solution would be to drop the "out of 10" and just give a single toughness number as a means of comparing walks. On my criteria the Moreton walk is currently the "toughest" south-east walk on the SWC site and to compare it with the original book walks it deserves to be rated 16. There are a handful of other new walks which I would rate as higher than 10, eg. last Saturday's Rowlands Castle walk would be 14.
3 of us, 2 for the standard walk all talk being about the Swan PH at Ascott under Wychwood having recently been taken over - can't say how that went as we parted 2 miles into the walk. Unlike Clacton it was very hot . Lunch after 2pm at the first pub in Bruton. A couple of miles out of Bruton took a wise decision to rest for quite a while under a tree, setting off after 5pm by which time the sun was not so fierce on taking an easier route to Charlbury.
Length: 17.6 km (11 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 Mostly flat
London Paddington: 10-22 hrs Hereford service Reading 10-53 hrs
Arrive Kingham: 11-51 hrs
Ealing Broadwayers: 09-52 hrs Service from Paddington to Reading
Arrive Reading: 10-39 hrs
Change platforms and connect with Hereford service as above
Charlbury to Paddington: 16-12, 16-43, 17-10, 18-35 and 19-46 hrs
Rail ticket: buy a day return to Kingham
This is an undemanding walk along the Oxfordshire Way, through big fields and passing through two classic Cotswold Villages with their stone cottages. This walk is particularly pleasant in early summer.
Lunch is at the The Swan in Ascott under Wychwood.
At walk-end, the best stop for tea or a libation is the Bell Hotel, but there are two other pubs as well.
Walk Directions here L=swc.246
8 off the train but two disappeared almost immediately leaving six to amble along the Oxfordshire Way on this attractive and gentle walk through fields and a little woodland. The countryside was almost eerily silent and looked as if a massive green blanket had been thrown over it. (Chris Packham of Springwatch has some trenchant observations about this.) Still a sharp-eyed walker pointed out a common spotted orchid and we saw red admirals and damsel flies. A swallow and a few swifts were seen over Ascott under Wychwood.
the Swan at Ascott was a bit disappointing and its cuisine was not up to the standard of previous years. (Or perhaps they do not try so hard midweek?) The internal redesign of the pub does not really work for me and the general view was that it would be better if the owners concentrated on doing fewer dishes well rather than the sprawling menu they currently offer. Another case of "over-gastroing" ?
After lunch the group fragmented and 2 of us managed to make the delayed 4.45pm train. I hope the others did not endure any delays of the later trains after their drinks? A fine day out with the weather w= warm-but-increasingly-cloudy.
Anonymous, Thu 14 Jun 18, 11:08
As warned the OW is horridly muddy and on this dry day deep hard ruts of dried mud for the first half. Large group got off train at Kingham Wed 13 June 2018 but they soon zoomed ahead leaving me to enjoy a solitary walk, views, birds, flowers, very few butterflies, a few damsel flies, using excellent directions apart from no compass direction at Point 16 'through a grassy area' . Successfully followed 'indistinct grassy path', but no sight of 'post with white top - may just be visible' At point 17 the path 'through overgrown vegetation was kindly revealed to me, trampled by an earlier passage of walkers. Point 18 - 3 not 2 plank bridge. Extremely fed up with OW by Ascott under Wychwood. Using map, compass and often field boundaries, took 1 mile shortcut, dull and still rutted, up and over small hills, via 'High Street' Ascott with its superb village shop, to Ascott d'Oyley, Chilson, Shorthamtpon, Walcot thankfully to just catch 17.10 at Charlbury, its departure delayed by a few minutes. Pics from today https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramblinros/albums/72157696264473481.
SWC38 Hanborough to Charlbury, via Blenheim with a couple of possible shortcuts, was much more interesting and passable, despite being OW. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramblinros/albums/72157622412437436
Length: 17.6 km (11 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10
London Paddington: 10-22 hrs (Hereford service) Reading 10-52 hrs
Arrive Kingham: 11-46 hrs
Ealing Broadwayers: EB 09-50 hrs (Reading service).
Arrive Reading: 10-40 hrs. Connect with Hereford train as above
Charlbury to Paddington: 16-11, 16-40, 17-09, 18-38 and 19-43 hrs
Rail ticket: buy a day return to Kingham
This is a relaxing, mostly flat walk along the Oxfordshire Way through Tolkien's Hobbitshire, passing lovely Cotswold sandstone villages along the way. The suggested lunch stop today, 5.5 miles into the walk, is The Swan pub at Ascott under Wychwood (tel: 01993-832332) under new ownership since January 2017, your e.t.a 13-30 hrs, or the Wychwood Inn in Shipton under Wychwood, 4 miles into the walk.
Charlbury will be familiar with walkers who have done our Hanborough to Charlbury walk and there are several pubs in the village, my favourite being the Bell Hotel.
Walk directions here: L=swc.246
7 of us on this lovely, undemanding walk in Hobbitshire. After the recent hot weather which has deterred some of us from venturing out on SWC walks, it made a most welcome change to encounter cooler temperatures today, between 18 and 20 degrees C.
We left Kingham railway station in an English mizzle which was too fine to warrant the wearing of waterproofs but damp enough to keep the little Hobbit folks indoors. The mizzle stayed with us all morning as we crossed vast Gloucestershire then Oxfordshire fields, with the sun briefly coming out as we arrived at the lunch pub. Recently refurbished and under new ownership, the Swan at Ascott under Wychwood provided excellent lunches for 3 of us, with our 4 sandwichers joining us for a drink later. The skies were very threatening when we left the pub to continue the walk, but lady luck was on our side today as the storms all around us kept away. Given the afternoon, like the morning, was mostly across open, exposed countryside, we would have been drenched if the skies had opened.
Arriving in Charlbury at 16-40 hrs, 4 went straight to the railway station and caught the delayed 16-40 hrs train, leaving 3 of us to enjoy a quick drink at the Bell Hotel, then the 17-09 hrs train back to London. Given GWR's general unreliabily, the fifteen minute delay at Didcot was quite acceptable to most of us - I still got to my local in time to watch the England-v-Scotland ladies soccer match.
Another most enjoyable mid-week SWC walk.
Buy a day return to Kingham
Another day another trip with the FGW! 9 on this walk with one taking an the 8.35 train which managed to arrive 30mins late whilst the rest of us had to make do with arriving just 15mins late so that must count as a win for FGW so award yourselves a massive bonus chaps.
Anyway rant over: we set off in warm and sunny with some cloud weather with the first part of the trail very muddy in one or two spots, mainly the result of the horse riding classes activities - there was a notice by a farmer asking them not to gallop along trails. The countryside looked lovely in the autumn light and this walk is just perfect for daydreaming as the route and trail are easy to follow. Its also really quiet, apart which is another bonus. Copious amounts of blackberries were also collected and consumed en route.
Four ate at the Swan whilst five of us lazed, lunched and sunbathed in a perfect little sun-trap in the church grounds opposite. We continued on to Charlbury where 3 set off to catch the 4.26 train whilst the rest of us had disasterous refreshments at the Bell which struggled to serve teas and coffees (poor quality) with seemingly just 1 temporary barman serving the whole pub. Lets hope the new managers starting this week can turn this place around because it has badly deteriorated over the years.
Finally we ambled on to Charlbury station to await the late arrival of the 5.26 train - just 9 mins this time; those new performance improvement measures really starting to bite
A lovely Cotswolds day out with Sunday walkers getting lucky with the weather once again.
(Just before lunch we got trapped on the wrong side of some new fencing crossing a field where new drainage pipes had recently been laid so I will need to tweak the directions a bit here.)
A later and recommended pub lunch option 8.8km into the walk is the Swan (01993 832332) at Ascott under Wychwood
Great walk. The food at the Lamb was pretty awful and is way too far off the route to make it worthy of even a mention. The Swan is open until 2.30 and is the foodie choice.
I defer to tartanrug's culineray expertise. At a reasonable pace we should reach the Swan at about 2pm. It is also directly on our route. The Wychwood Inn is not bad but rather spoilt in my view by an ill-advised interior design make-over which does not fit with a Cotswolds Inn.
Seven 7 on this walk on a sunny and warm sunny and warm day. Classic Cotswold countryside and buildings with a great lunch at the Swan, Ascott under Wychwood. A pleasant afternoon too, through fields of grass, canola and wheat and on to Charlbury where The Bell provided Wine, excellent coffee and mugs of tea before we set off back to Paddington.
To the Magnificent 7: many thanks for your comments and suggestions. I have amended the walk directions and sent the pdf to Andrew and Sean for the walk to be numbered and added to our library. I think overall this makes a really attractive summer outing.