A Walk from Beckley
two-mile walk starts from Beckley
Church, though if you
prefer, being circular, it could as easily have started at the RSPB Reserve car
park down Otmoor Lane. It takes in most of the old village, the RSPB
reserve on Otmoor and the Abingdon Arms hostelry on the way around for much
needed liquid refreshment or even lunch.
I parked my car beside Beckley churchyard wall on a recent sunny day
knowing the weather was forecast to stay fine and clear. The path follows a well-defined route
initially following the Oxfordshire
Way; often alongside boundary fences so
finding your way should not be too difficult.
A map of the route is shown below: -
- Go down Church
Lane to the end. By a bench take a stile on the left and
follow the well-trodden path (The Oxfordshire Way) over the field
and into Noke Wood. As you emerge
from the wood you can take in a pleasing and expansive view of Otmoor and
the RSPB reserve. Turn right here
and follow the path along boundary fence keeping Sling Copse on your
right. If you are lucky the wild
primroses may still be out but you will have plenty of chance to take in
- Eventually after a sharp right turn in the path you come to the
edge of a field with a ditch and hedge on your left. The path goes alongside this ditch all
the way to Otmoor Lane. Her you can turn left into the RSPB
Reserve car park and follow the track around to the reserve where you can
chose to go either way along the almost perpetually muddy farm track
beside the Reserve proper to view the bird life – take some good
binoculars or better still a telescope and tripod.
- The way back now goes up Otmoor Lane to Beckley.
Turn right at the top of the hill and make your way to the Abingdon
Arms for refreshment, the menu is excellent and there are also tables and
seating on the garden terrace –weather permitting! The inn gets its name from the Earls of
Abingdon who owned Beckley Park from 1540 until the 1920s but before that
the Beckley Estate was owned by the Crown – Edward I and Henry VI are both
known to have referred to it.
- After refreshments it is fortunately a short walk along the
road to your car.