The Charlbury Circular Walk in Oxfordshire is a 4.5 mile series of 9 Traditional caches plus a bonus at the end. This is another great little series that only takes a couple of hours to complete. Beware though, if you have a dog or are are nervous of live stock there are cattle along the route. I think that you will only ever come across them in the first couple fields and there is a detour along a byway if you want to avoid the first lot of them. I only came across one stile along the whole walk and most dogs should be able to scramble over it. I found all the caches were well placed and none of them were very difficult to find. The countryside around Charlbury was very peaceful and I really enjoyed the walk despite a lot of mud and water!
I parked up at the side of the road near to the first cache in the series, there was plenty of room here for several cars. The nearby river was flowing very fast today following a down pour overnight and it was almost bursting it’s banks. I was out with Pippy again today and I was a little nervous reading the cache description about the likelyhood of cattle and a bull in the first field. So we entered the field with trepidation and could see the cattle with their calves and a bull keeping an eye over them all. However they weren’t all that interested in us and finding the cache was straight forward. I realised afterwards that I didn’t need to have actually gone into the field to find this one and as there was an option to exit the field and take a byway to the next cache I decided this was a sensible choice.
The lane that led to number 2 ran alongside the nearby river and was very heavily waterlogged today, I had to pay attention to where I was walking in order to avoid a soaking. My geo-pole came in handy along here and helped me keep upright. Pip didn’t mind the water at all and just splashed her way through it all as usual. Despite the water, this was still the best option as it avoided the cattle but if you don’t have a dog, the footpath through the field would probably be a drier and less muddy route.
The walk to the 3rd cache was a lot drier now that we were off of the waterlogged lane. It was very peaceful out here and although there was a lot of mist today the scenery was really nice. We then walked past several horses and some cattle sharing a pile of hay together which was an usual site but it kept them occupied whilst we passed closely by them to reach the 4th cache.
A pair of sturdy walking boots were essential along these muddy tracks today and getting to number 5 required a careful climb up a slippery bank which thankfully I managed without falling over. Along here Pip was confronted by three Westie dogs that surround her, but she let them know she wasn’t going to stand for any nonsense and off they went.
After number 5 there was a short road section it was quite narrow but didn’t really cause us any issues, I think there were only half a dozen cars that passed us on the whole stretch. Number 6 was close by the river which was also running high at this point.
After the road section we were back on the footpath for 7th, 8th and 9th in series and then it was time sit down on a nearby bench to work out the co-ordinates to the bonus cache.
I arrived at the bonus co-ordinates but there was no cache, so I assumed that I had calculated them incorrectly (which I had) so a short walk back to where I expected it to be and found it no problem. The walk back to the car took us past a micro in the sidetracked series and then through the sleepy village of Charlbury.
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