Another day off from Cotswold Outdoors today so another opportunity to get out for a walk. Some time ago I caught the train to Radley and walked back to Thornhill Park and Ride, as the first leg of the Oxford Green Belt way. So today I thought I would tackle another section. However, rather than relying on public transport to get to and from the Way I walked every step.
From my home in Headington I headed up to the Green Road roundabout and out along the A40 to the Thornhill Park and Ride to pick up the Green Belt Way by the school in Sandhills.
It was a familiar route from there to Forest Hill as I had cycled it a few weeks earlier. From there it was on Stanton Great Wood and then Woodperry. Despite being in the countryside the noise from the A40 was always present as a rumbling in the background. It was only as I walked through Beckley that the noise faded away for a few moments.
From Beckley the route heads west towards Woodeaton but cuts south to arrive in Elsfield. Then its west again down the hill, past some woods and out on to the road that runs from the Marston flyover to Woodeaton. I crossed this road and headed down the track towards Sescut farm, skirting around to the North to pick up the river Cherwell. I followed the river up to Water Eaton manor and crossed to the other bank over Sparsey Bridge.
Signs warned of cattle in the field between the manor and the river but the field was empty and I could take my time to admire the manor house before heading north to the crossing of tracks at Water Eaton.
This was to mark the end of the Oxford Green Belt Way for this outing. Time to head home. I turned south and followed the track and then the path into Cutteslowe Park. Using the footbridge I crossed the A40 and followed the road towards Headington. I was contemplating whether to stay on the road or head off down a footpath towards the Vicky Arms, when I saw three deer in the field. The chance of getting close to deer was a better alternative than walking alongside the stationary rush hour traffic, so into the field I went.
The path to the pub runs alongside a small stream and across several fields, where I saw more deer, so definitely the right choice. From the Vicky Arms it was back to civilisation as I headed into Marston and from there back home.