Weekend wanders

One of the best things about living in Didcot – especially in summer – is how close you are to the countryside. Within a 10 minute cycle of our house there’s some lovely cycle/footpaths which lead to nearby villages via endless fields boasting gorgeous views. More importantly, both East Hagbourne to the south and Long Wittenham in the north are home to some great pubs, complete with beer gardens – the perfect (arguably essential) accompaniment to any country walk or cycle. The Fleur de Lys in East Hagbourne does particularly good baguettes and has incredibly friendly staff. Long Wittenham’s Vine & Spice is more of a restaurant, offering Indian food, but its large beer garden is perfect for enjoying a mid-walk pint.

Didcot Power Station from Route 44. Hazy glow courtesy of Instagram.

Another great thing about these paths is that they are mostly flat (or at least the bit from Didcot to Upton definitely is) – perfect for a relaxing cycle or walk regardless of your ability or age. The majority of them are off-road too, so great for families or less confident cyclists – and just in general (there’s no denying that no cars makes for a much more pleasant journey!).

The Fleur de Lys, East Hagbourne. Photo Credit: Oxfordshire Churches on Flickr
Mid-walk treat in the Vine & Spice beer garden.

This weekend we took on Route 44, an 11-mile route south of Didcot. Although we only ventured as far as Upton this time we’re already planning our next adventure down to The Ridgeway, a trail along one of the oldest roads in Europe. Though judging by my slightly red palms today, I might just have to invest in some cycling gloves first!

Your Spirits Will Sour, on Route 44 (Sorry..!) Photo Credit: Visit Oxfordshire

The Details

Cycle Path Information: Sustrans provides information on routes across the UK and free maps. South Oxfordshire & Didcot information can be found here.

Getting Here: First Great Western run regular trains to Didcot Parkway run from London Paddington (45 minutes), Oxford (15 minutes) and The West (Bristol Temple Meads is 1 hour away). Visit First Great Western for more details, and information on which routes allow bicycles on board.

Staying here: See TripAdvisor for information on local B&Bs and hotels.

Fields of green on Route 44