Friday, 22 October 2010

Bodicote - The Plough - Salt Way -

Bodicote – The Plough – Salt Way - Three mile circular walk

Salt Ways are ancient paths that were used to transport salt from one place to another. The one we explored this week runs from the sleepy little north Oxfordshire village of Bodicote to Broughton two and three quarters of a mile away. Bodicote is just two miles south of Banbury and stands just off the A423.
We walked just a third of this Way, before turning left into a bridleway, which enabled us to enjoy a circular walk that goes right round Bodicote. It is one of many walks published on the Cherwell District Council’s

Sign to the Salt Way
Had we continued along the Salt Way we would have finally arrived at the nearby village of Broughton, having passed along a nature trail. Instead we followed the arrows indicating we were on the Bodicote Circular Walk and travelled just three miles to return to the pub we first started from.
The Plough, with its white washed exterior, bar and separate dinning room is typical of many pubs that were popular in the 1970’s – indeed it was rather like taking a trip back through time as its décor, highly patterned carpet and pub-grub menu seemed untouched by modern trends. In truth we found it a rather sad little pub, much in need of some tender loving care.

The Plough - Bodicote

It’s a Wadsworth pub, serving Henry’s original 6X and Malt and Hops. The menu is basic, battered onion rings garnish many of the dishes and chips are served with almost everything. The food however, was nicely cooked, and the portions are generous. I had grilled pork slices and Auntie Liz tucked into a steak pudding served with extra gravy.The beer was well kept and served with a smile.

Paws under the table

 Pythius was not offered water, but he didn't seem to mind, he just kept his paws under the table,until it was time to begin the walk, which at one point actually included a small lake, so he was happy, though there was an anxious moment when he dropped his ball in the water, and Auntie Liz had to rescue it.
Almost a lost ball

There was also a high stile, surrounded with wire right at the end of the walk, which was not dog-friendly. Fortunately we were not the first to encounter this hazard.  Previous walkers had pulled up the wire, such that a medium sized dog like Pythius could scramble through. The alternative would have been to have hauled him over the stile, which after a three mile walk is not the easiest solution.

Pythius has his say:

Amazing - the girls didn’t get lost on this walk, due no doubt to the fact that Helen was clutching that map the Cherwell District Council provided. The trouble with maps, however is that they do not always show where the hazards are. By hazards this time I mean large bovine beasts grazing on the path the girls wished to walk.

Pythius spotted the cows first.

Why they had to place me on my lead the moment they spotted them I honestly don’t know, I would have behaved myself once I had trotted up to the cows and introduced myself. But Auntie Liz had fixed my lead before I had time to protest. Then, holding their breath Helen and Auntie Liz began to tiptoe towards the beasts, keeping as close to the fence as possible.

 Poor girls, they looked so scarred, despite bravely placing one foot in front of the other. I could almost hear their hearts beating! We got through of course, I knew we would. This is a popular walk; so livestock are quite used to people walking through their field. Why didn’t Helen and Auntie Liz realise that?
And yes, there was a moment when we thought that my ball would float into the middle of the lake, but Auntie Liz fixed that, and it was Helen who found a way through the wire surrounding the last stile.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you drop the ball in to rivers and lakes and the girls have to get them out LOL! It was perhaps for the best that they put you on the lead as not all cows are pleased to see dogs, especially if they have young calves when it is advisable to give them a wide birth. Anyway it was nice to read that you all had a nice walk and good meal.