Monday, 7 May 2012

Cothill and the Merry Miller pub

A Walk Through a Bluebell Wood at Cothill

Despite the rain and a very chilly wind, we decided it was time to walk through a bluebell wood and chose the Cothill area, close to Wooton and Dry Sandford, Oxfordshire.
Bluebell Wood Cothill
This was a walk that called for heavy boots or Wellingtons as the winding pathway running through the wood was so muddy we found ourselves slipping and sliding all over the place. Pythius didn't seem to mind, but he has four legs to balance him as he darted from tree to tree.
The path we took stands opposite the Merry Miller public house next go a spacious car park. It passes the entrance to the Parsonage Moor Nature Reserve which has been a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1950 and is now managed by BBOWT. Because of the importance of this spring-fed wetland area, dogs are not permitted, so we just looked at the area and walked on through the bluebell wood.
We walked for about two miles, following footpaths at whim, finally turning back towards the main road and the Merry Miller as black rainclouds began to appear overhead.
What a glorious walk this proved. There is something remarkably peaceful about a bluebell wood, when the flowers are in full bloom, as they were when we walked. Everyone should amble through such a wood at least once during the spring, often stopping to stare and listen to the silence, only broken by intermittent bird song. Who cares about muddy boots? We certainly didn't. It proved a simply glorious walk.
The Merry Miller public house
Yes, we did call into the Merry Miller  after the walk, removing our muddy boots before entering, as dogs are welcome here. Gosh what a lovely pub - flagstones, beamed ceiling and rustic scrubbed tables - friendly professional staff too. The menu is superb, loads of choice, including pastas, risottos and loads of delicious fish dishes.  We chose whitebait and ordered a dish of the pubs special home fried chips to go with it. Pythius just had a bowl of cold water - but that was fine - he never eats at lunch time.

Our delicious lunch - whitebait
Pythius Says: "What a wonderful walk, yes, I did get covered with mud, but Helen dried me off with an old towel before we entered the pub. I was given a bowl of cold water, but didn't really need it as I had drunk my fill from all those muddy puddles along the way."