COYQ Come On You Quins

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Name: COYQ Come On You Quins
Caches: 34
Distance: 7.0 Miles
Location: Souldern, Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire Border
Map: Link
First in Series: GC4M81J
Livestock: Sheep, and quite a few of them!
Walked on: 19th January 2014
Weather: dry and sunny
Terrain: Footpaths and Bridleways some very muddy
Total Ascent: 508ft

In anticipation of a fine, sunny and bright day, we set off from Swindon nice and early and arrived at the quiet village of Souldern before the locals were awake!  There is no defined start point for the walk because you could start it from anywhere on the circuit.

The COYQ series of caches has been laid as the CO’s personal Role of Honor for those players who have pulled on that lovely quartered jersey of the Harlequins Rugby Football Club. Each cache page details a few historical facts about the players.

It was a cold start to the day but it soon warmed up as we got going. Soon after the first cache we were enjoying some splendid countryside. There are several fields with sheep, so dogs will need to be on lead at times, but there is also plenty without.

The 8 mile round trip circles around Aynhoe Park a Grade I listed 17th-century country house which sits proudly on the top of the hill overlooking the Cherwell valley.  The trail leaves Souldern a small village in Oxfordshire about 7 miles northwest of Bicester and a similar distance southeast of Banbury and heads northwards passing the very outskirts of  Aynho until it reaches Rainsborough Camp.

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Rainsborough Camp is a hill fort constructed and first occupied by Iron Age tribes during the 6th century BC. The inner ring of the earthworks is in very good condition with clearly distinguishable rampart and ditch.

After looking around the hill fort we left the camp and took the hill top path along which are the best views on the series. The skies were clear and we could see for several miles in both directions.

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Eventually we descended to the lower ground and walk through Walton Grounds along the tree lined drive.  We complete the walk by walking the west side of Aynho back to Souldern. The path near the end of the walk at Souldern mill was completely flooded and was quite deep. Seemingly with no way around it, I reluctantly had no choice but to wade through it, expecting to get a cold boot full of water. Luckily my ankle gaiters were sufficient to keep me dry.

Another great mornings caching and and an enjoyable walk with some lovely views from the hillside north of Aynho. The paths were all quite in reasonable condition despite the mild conditions and the large amount of rain of late, but they were slippery in places.   Most of the caches were quite straight forward to find, although I did struggle on a couple and drew a blank on two of them.

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