Monday, 14 October 2013

Charlbury/Cornbury Park

Just a day walk of around nine miles. The forecast was for rain all day but it was good to get out. This is a walk called the Forest of Wychwood on the Charlbury website. Parking was easy and free in the car park by the Spendlove Centre. Charlbury is very pretty and the route took me through the small town and out into Cornbury Park, skirting around the edge and on to Finstock. From there a bridleway led into Wychwood Forest.

 This covers quite a large area but there is only this one public right of way through it. In two locations I discovered clearings where BushcraftUK run residential courses for schools, both very well hidden and both deserted. Out of the forest, my route took me through Chilson and then Shorthampton. Here I followed the Oxfordshire Way back into Charlbury.
Lunch stop

Backpackers Peak District weekend

They say that the sun always shines on weekends that Tim Jayes organises and this was no exception. Travelling up on Friday wasn't too bad although Friday afternoon going through Stone and Leek was a bit slow. From Oxfordshire to Staffordshire on a non-motorway route was a good idea.

The meeting point was Torgate Farm near the Cat & Fiddle west of Buxton, quite exposed and windy but a good site and the pub nearby was The Stanley Arms in the intriguingly named hamlet of Bottom of the Oven.

Torgate Farm
Saturday's walk was a group of us heading south from Torgate Farm and into Macclesfield Forest, around the southern edge and then north to Trentabank Reservoir where we stopped for bacon rolls and coffee at the snack van at the back of the information centre. We then went east and then north again by Chapel House Farm and along the lane to the east of Lamaload Reservoir. Here, our group split, two continuing along the lane and the rest of us tackling the steep climb up to Shining Tor, along the ridge to Pym Chair and then through Goyt Forest down to Fernilee, where our pitch for the night was on a site right next door to The Shady Oak. A day of good views.

Sunday's walk took us through woodland on the western side of Fernilee and Errwood Reservoirs and then over moorland, emerging near the Cat & Fiddle where we met with others at the nearby café - an excellent place. We sat out on the decking enjoying the magnificent views. A fitting end to a great weekend.