EDGCOTE To BANBURY!!

We did it!!! 

The one with the pig fight, the not nice plums and the parking fine! 

DISTANCE: 12.3 miles

WEATHER: Perfect walking weather today. No wet stuff! 

Summary

After a car shuffle, we set off around 8.15 am. Today’s walk was once again full of beautiful views, sleepy villages, lots of churches and many overgrown areas. We stopped a few times, witnessed a pig fight, and went oh..ah… at the baby moorhens.  We eventually reached Banbury, our final destination around 2 pm. 

JULIAS RAMBLES

8.30am – and we are off! Last day and although we all feel a bit tired and sore, our spirits are high and we are ready to do this! 

9.04am – We pass through fabulous fields of poppies & bright blue thistles. What a colourful combination. 

9.18 – First stop is Wardington. We are on the hunt for a water pump but we can’t find one. Rebecca starts squeaking “oh… look at that tree. Are they plums?”. She crossed the road to have a better look when an old farmer shouts over to her “I wouldn’t eat those if I were you. They are not nice!”. Rebecca asked the old man if he knew what fruit they were. “He looked puzzled and said “they are apples dear, but they are not nice apples. I wouldn’t eat them if I were you. They do not taste nice”.  We took his advice and left the strange-looking apples on the tree! 

9.28 gate. The sun is out and lights up the quaint village. Hello, sun! We missed you! I love the warmth on my back although my feet are still cold and wet. I’m sure I will warm up soon.

9.53am – I need a wee! We’ve only been on the trail for a short while, but the garden centre cafe is calling to us “we have coffee, we have coffee. We have toilets!” We can’t resist and spend the next 40 mins indulging in a full breakfast! The Greenhouse Garden Centre cafe is perfect.  I order fruit toast, Debby orders a posh hash and Rebecca orders an Avocado Smash! The lady serving us asks us to politely take off our boots. “It’s ok to have mud in the garden centre, but not in the cafe” she declares.  We take off our boots and leave them inside. As we sit down the woman then gets out the brush and starts sweeping the floor around us. I now know how a homeless person feels. I did wonder if we were perhaps a bit stinky? 

10.40am – Debby was very sensible and zipped her trousers onto her shorts as we had to navigate through a section of trail that had stinging nettles which reached beyond my armpits! Debs went first and bashed the trail with her stick! 3hrs later we had walked 200 yards and Debs has now created a path for future walkers (I’m exaggerating the time, but it did seem to take forever”. I still got stung numerous times. 

11.40am – Middleton Cheney is another lovely village. Rebecca has a door fetish and stopped to take a photo of a weird looking wooden gate that had some sort of crown on top. As we stood waiting for her a car pulled up. As the windows came down it revealed the driver who was a friend of mine… hi Lizzi! We had a quick chat, then we were off again. 

13.05 – Middleton Cheney – We climbed up the hill and Rebecca's navigation skills were second to none. It made a refreshing change to not have to navigate at all during this hike. Thanks Rebecca! We reach the church in Middleton Cheney and stop for a quick break. I have a blister on both pinkey toes so take my time to re-dress them with tape.

2.15pm – Not far to go now as we cross a small holding which had a sign on it saying “fine £1000 for not shutting the gate”. They had CCTV, but I did wonder how on earth they would know who we were? We are good girls though and would never dream of leaving a gate open.

2.20pm – The walk takes us via Overthorpe and we stop to make oh, ah noises at the pigs. They look so cute! Then we hear a violent squeal as one pig attacked another! It's ear was bleeding and there was a chunk now missing out of it. We moved on quickly!

2:30pm What's that noise? Yep, its the hum of the M40! We are very close to Banbury now but the industrial side is not pretty as we walk with the M40 traffic in our view. We go under the motorway, over the River Cherwell and eventually find ourselves on the Oxford Canal. Debby and I sit on a bench while we wait for Rebecca to enjoy a “loo with a view”. Rebecca returns and we all look at each other and smile. “This is it” This is our last little stretch and then we would have completed the whole trail! Let's do it!!

3.30pm – That last stretch along the canal seemed to have gone on forever. We also struggled to find the end point. There is no terminal for the Jurassic Way – it just starts and ends at the railway station. We spotted a statue of a pirate and decided that this would be our official ending point as it was much more symbolic that the train station signpost! But we did it! Yep, all 89 miles of the trail, with a few extra squiggles. We walked through mud, endless cows and bulls, lots of rain, sunshine and more importantly, lots and lots of laughs!

A huge thank you to my two good friends Debs & Rebecca. You guys made the trip for me. I have not laughed that much in such a long time. xx

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