A Heavy Pack And A Happy Mind.

the long hill out of Long Compton

Ambit walk to Oxford
Day 3 - Long Compton to Chipping Norton
My third day for the Ambit walk started at Long Compton rather than Shipston-on-Stour, where I had left off walking a day before. The section between Shipston and Long Compton was mostly along a busy A-road and not a walk that I thought would be very safe, so I missed that section (about 5 miles) and took the bus to Long Compton.

Once you get to the top of the Compton escarpment it feels very wild and remote. There is so much human history in this part of the country and it feels as if the distant past is always present. It's a place of long barrows, standing stones, ancient trackways and even today somehow retains a certain wildness.

I didn't visit the Rollright Stones on this trip, although it is a favourite place of mine. Having done the walk from them to Chippy a couple of years ago, I chose to walk on different tracks this time. I still felt that wild bleakness, despite the sunny day and imagined the many ancient people who would have walked along the escarpment from village to village.

My pack was really heavy this day. I had clothes and supplies for the next four days as well as the Ambit artwork and an emergency knitting project (which in the end never came out of the bag).
Here is a note from my diary for that day:
"There is always a moment when I start walking when I feel a certain euphoria. I wonder if it is endorphins? When I am all alone I feel very integrated, calm and definitely happy.
Today I had lots of thoughts about the weight of my pack, I reckon double what I have been carrying. With this extra weight on my back I have only managed 4 miles before stopping for a rest. But, a very steep climb out of LC. Will need to concentrate on squats and core exercises when I get home! There have been a lot of birds today, lots of skylarks and pheasants - I love the skylark's song."

I staggered happily into Chipping Norton and straight into the nearest tea shop, an extremely civilised place with loose tea, served in a teapot, exactly how I like it. I spent the night at the Crown and Cushion, where I stayed when I did the Winter Solstice walk in 2017. I really like it, an old 15th century coaching Inn with an excellent buffet breakfast perfect for a ravenous walker...

Looking back to Long Compton

Following  the white road

Down to Little Rollright

St Philip's Church, Little Rollright

Memorial to Mr Dixon

The long climb to Chipping Norton

Inside Church of St Mary The Virgin, Chipping Norton

Tudor memorial sculptures in the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Chipping Norton

St Mary's is a beautiful Gothic Church

Church of St Mary The Virgin, Chipping Norton


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