An Autumnal Walk In The Oxfordshire Countryside

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How was your weekend? Lovely I hope! I am enjoying the return to relative peace and quiet as half-term has ended and Mia is back at school. We spent the last few days of the holidays staying with family in Cambridgeshire, which was perfect. Sometimes it’s just good to get away for a short break from day-to-day life, and even more so at the moment whilst we are dealing with all the stresses that come with house hunting and trying to sell our own place!

Half-term passed in a bit of blur of trips out for cinema, lunch, coffee, etc, but last weekend we made the most of the perfect autumn weather and took a walk through the local countryside. I have said it before but we are so spoiled with a wonderful choice of places to walk nearby. We opted for one of our favourites, the Wittenham Clumps, a beautiful area not too far from Abingdon. It has it all really, forest paths, fields to run around, a river and a massive hill, often being grazed by cows!

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On a clear day the views are amazing; you can see for miles it is so high up. It’s also pretty stunning on misty mornings or in the winter fog, as the trees on the surrounding hilltops become the only things visible for miles!

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They may be sloe berries, judging by the spikes, but I am no expert. I do love the faded bluberry-like colour though.

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Joe always finds a stick wherever we walk (even on the way to and from school most mornings) and spends a long time chosing a favoutie one to come home. As a result our garden is so full of them; occasionally I do get rid of a few, or add them to our garden bug hotel, but he knows each one and will sometimes ask where a particular stick has gone. I am very much hoping that he will grow into a Monty Don-ish adult who will help with my garden, rather than a tree surgeon (far too scary/dangerous!).

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There is always someone flying a kite at the top of the hill. I must get a proper one for Mia and Joe, as the one we have is useless and refuses to fly, even in high winds!

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I love the late afternoon light during October and November, so soft and hazy it is magical. The hills become blue and the trees just glow in contrast.

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The cows are also gorgeous, but we treat them with caution. When we are walking, A always laughs at my wariness about cows, but having been chased by a herd several times as a child, I feel my reaction is justified. Much better to admire these beautiful creatures from a safe distance (thanks, camera zoom!).

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We are looking forward to getting outside so much more over the next few weeks, as autumn slowly changes into winter. The welly boots and cosy woollies are at the ready! I would love to visit an arboretum before the leaves have all fallen, there is a great one just outside Oxford, Nuneham Arboretum, which we know well. I am planning a trip to Westonbirt too, which looks stunning. Where is your favourite place for an autumn or winter walk?

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