Easter Holiday closure dates

The Foodbank will be closed on Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April).

Jane’s Walk 2022 – Day 7

Last night we experienced a horrendous thunderstorm just before going to bed. Obviously, there had been more rain at home prior to that, so we had been lucky to have missed it while walking. Today the forecast is worse, with rain and thunderstorms predicted from mid-day, so we will try to complete as much walking as possible by lunchtime.

We set off, well prepared with raincoats, waterproof leggings etc. Out of Shillingford, past the Shillingford Hotel where we stayed two years ago. I remember thinking then what a beautifully situated hotel it was with huge potential, yet what a dreary place. It does not appear to have improved in the past two years. We soon arrive at Benson’s lock and boat yard, where there are numerous river boats moored, some of which must have cost over £100k at least. I wonder how often they are used by their rich owners. None of our party aspired to own one, however rich we were. The river widens here, and there is a complex weir crossing much of the river. We traverse to the other side on a pedestrian bridge which zigzags over the water.

It’s a much less muggy day today; the air is fresher after the storms, and no sign of the predicted rain yet. We really enjoy this stretch of river, which is very peaceful and tranquil with beautifully planted specimen trees on the opposite side to us. Soon, we walk into Wallingford.

Apparently, Wallingford once boasted of having 16 Churches which has now been reduced to 6. The ancient bridge over the Thames is a favourite of mine. We walked towards it on a beautiful summer evening 3 years ago during our walk from Canterbury to Oxford and again while doing circular walks during COVID. This year we missed crossing the bridge as we approached the Thames Path on the town side further down from the bridge. There is something wonderfully soothing about walking beside a slow-moving river. We particularly enjoy the glimpses of large opulent properties standing back from the water’s edge. I imagine some of the owners are not too happy about their frontages being a public right of way.

We are amused to see a load of rather good-looking apples bobbing about in the middle of the river. Had they fallen off a tree on the opposite bank or dropped out of a crate from a boat? Very bizarre.

We have completed 6.5 miles before stopping at an excellent pub called the Beetle and Wedge at Moulsford, where we have a good and companionable lunch in a lovely setting on the river. Only 2.5 miles to Streatley, the end of our walk and no rain in sight. How lucky are we! Our day off tomorrow. Yippee!

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Patrons: The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford and The Revd Canon Geoff Baylis, Vicar of St James and St Francis Churches, Oxford