Friday, May 19, 2017
Great Tew is centered around a grand country Estate surrounded by archtypal thatched roof cottages. Spring lambs playing in rolling grassland, horses in the fields, woods with a carpet of bluebells, thatch cottages, a charming pub -- Great Tew is all this and much more. It's one of my favorite places for a country walk and a pub lunch.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
I love discovering interesting new places not far from home. Today's discovery is just 11 miles south of Oxford. We hiked to the top the Wittenham Clumps -- Round Hill and its neighbour, Castle Hill. These two hills sit side by side, each surrounded by fields and with a clump of trees on top. Castle Hill was once home to a Bronze Age hill fort and the mote that protected the hill fort is still quite evident.
When you climb to the top of either hill, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the county side, stretching as far as the Chiltern hills to the east and the Cotswolds to the west. Today the views were a bit obscured by a winter haze that made the countryside look soft and impressionistic.
Known as Wittenham Clumps, the trees on both summits are the oldest known planted hilltop beeches in England, dating back more than 300 years. Also called the Sinodun Hills, the Wittenham Clumps are part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.