Monday, 18 July 2011

Church Handborough - Hand and Shears

You will discover Church Handborough when travelling a minor road between the villages of Eynsham and Long Handborough. Small though it is, Church Handborough does boast a great pub and a superb church that dates back more than 900 years. The magnificant spire of St Peters and St Paul is so tall and majestic it can be seen for miles around so walkers never get lost when exploring this area as the spire acts as a beacon, guiding you back to The Hand and Shears which stands directly opposite the church. The pub is now in good hands. Sadly this hasn't always been the case. Over the past decade it has had several licences - each promising that they will run it as it has never been run before. Unfortunately this doesn't happen, they stay for but a short time then vanish leaving the locals waiting for the next one to take over.
Delicious fish and chips
Auntie Liz and I always choose the fish and chips when we visit this pub as this dish is the speciality of the house and something that they serve as a take away. Because I never cook fish and chips at home, this choice is a real treat. Besides, the chef knows just how to make a delicious crunchy batter. Pythius is welcome here and always offered a bowl of water.

We usually walk the nearby Pinsley Wood an ancient remnant of Wychwood Forrest when we visit this area. This week, having parked the car in the space in front of the church we took a different path. Turning right on leaving the car we walked just a short distance to Pigeon House Lane which leads to the village of Freeland. This is a narrow tarmacked lane, which divides after an equally short distance. There is a metal gate and Waysign on your left that points to a series of fields, the second of which is full of sheep so this is where you place the dog on the lead, cross the stile and walk on following the Waymarkers which direct you through several other fields until you reach the village of Freeland (approximately half a mile). Now you can either turn right and walk the main road until you reach a sign on the right to Church Handborough, or return the way you came. As this is the narrow tree lined road on which you began your walk, there is nothing very interesting to see. Far better to turn and go back the way you came as the views on the way back are superb.

On our return we spotted a poor little lamb on its back struggling to get to its feet. Auntie Liz stroked it gently, easing it up as she did so. It stood shaking for a moment, then with glee leapt onwards towards the main flock. It was a good moment.

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