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An afternoon walk through the autumnal Oxfordshire countryside

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I am in England (near Oxford) this week for some meetings for work. Until now, I have been stuck inside all day, which was a shame as the countryside is so beautiful around here! This is what I could see through the windows...

Today afternoon, whilst most of my colleagues went to Oxford for a visit of the city (which I visited many times when I lived in England), I decided to stay at the hotel and go for a walk in the area. I wasn't disappointed!

I walked through the gates...

... and here is the view that greeted me!

It wasn't a very long walk (2.5 miles), but I enjoyed it very much. I hope you will too!

It was foggy and became increasingly so during my hike, even though it was about 2pm! I had thought fog could only fall on the evening. Well, it isn't true for the English fog at least! :)

You know how much I enjoy walking by rivers and streams. So it was lovely to see the first part of the walk was by a small river!

The man at the hotel's reception had warned me it would probably get quite muddy. He was right, that part was muddy... but so much more pleasant than the tarmac!

Then I was back on the road and getting close to the hotel...

It was good timing as the fog was becoming heavier!

Oh I am sure you had guessed it... The hotel is a castle!!! It was built between 1705 and 1710 and it is a listed building (i.e. protected). As you can see despite the fog, it is gorgeous.

Like my 100 or so colleagues, I am staying in the 'simpler' part of the hotel, probably where the maids used to stay! But I still like the view from my room: with the well it feels like a little village square!

I am feeling so much better tonight thanks to this good walk. My back is better (I really needed to move to balance all this seating!), and something that had bothered me since yesterday seems much less important now!

I hope you are all having a lovely week... The weekend is almost here, but I'll have more meetings tomorrow. On Sunday, I'll spend the day in London before heading back to Paris on Monday. Many thanks for reading! Have a beautiful weekend!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    974 days ago
    Stunning~ this was a part of England I've yet to experience! Having primarily toured the city of London, I long to return and hike thru this gorgeous region! emoticon
    1925 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/15/2012 7:35:53 AM
    What a gorgeous landscape! And hotel! Thanks!
    1941 days ago
    Your photographs are beautiful. I really enjoy your blogs. emoticon
    1943 days ago
    Beautiful pictures, Claire. I'm always surprised how much red there is in the leaves in England... we here in Canada think we have a monopoly on red since we have a maple leaf on our flag. Fog can be so beautiful, can't it? Love the pictures of the trees reflected in the water. Hope you enjoyed your shopping in London; did you get to any markets?
    1944 days ago
  • BEWELL48
    LOVELY !!!
    1945 days ago
    Just awesome is all I can say for the photos and the castle of course. Felt like I was watching out of a page of Pride and Prejudice again! So cool to be able to stay there! Glad you enjoyed your hike and got to take some time off work to enjoy England! emoticon emoticon
    1946 days ago

    I'm late reading this blog. I knew you were in England for work. How wonderful ! I love the English countryside even if the weather doesn't always cooperate. Thank you for taking us along on your trip !

    emoticon emoticon

    1946 days ago
    Gorgeous photos! What a lovely walk! Thank you for sharing!
    1947 days ago
    As beautiful as always....I delightful way to spend some time in your gorgeous countryside.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the best. emoticon
    1949 days ago
    What beautiful photos. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving~Sue
    1949 days ago
    Wow, absolutely gorgeous. Your pictures are breath taking. I'm glad you had the walk, mainly for you, but so we can see the beautiful area. Thanks!
    1949 days ago
    Truly gorgeous!
    1949 days ago
    Claire, this blog leaves me speechless! What a gorgeous place. No wonder you were anxious to get outside the hotel - which by the way, is amazing!! I may have to get you to send me some of these photos - just breathtaking!!
    Sending you much love, my dear friend!! Can't wait to get caught up with all our adventures lately.

    1949 days ago
    The area is so absolutely beautiful! I loved going on your walk with you. I love the colors of the leaves and like you I am so fond of water. Rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, creeks all draw me. The hotel looks like it would be so wonderful to stay in, even if I was in the "simple" rooms. Just looks so neat. Thanks for taking us along!
    1951 days ago
    Fantastic pictures - thanks for sharing your walk with us. I've never been to London [or Paris for that matter] but we are going to Europe next fall to visit Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and a corner of Poland to see the POW camp where my dad was held during WWII. DH has entered the Berlin Marathon so that's our primary target and the rest of our travel will be somewhat in the vicinity of that section of Europe.
    1951 days ago
    Oh Claire you did it again with your awesome photography!! I love the fog it looks so foreboding & very mysterious, the trees casting glances at the waters edge.The castle looks so perfect in it's setting. The fog here in the States is usually only in the mornings & late night. As much as I love the fog because how it looks to me I always pray for my husband as he must come at midnight from work through two mountain passes, & a lot of times there is heavy fog & deer crossing in front of him.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful walk!!!
    1951 days ago
    Lovely photos, thanks for sharing,the brittish countryside where you stayed is really pritty.
    emoticon emoticon
    1952 days ago
    Spectacular photos! Thanks for sharing your walk. Have a wonderful weekend. emoticon
    1952 days ago
    Loved taking this walk with you! Three of my very favorite things - autumn foliage colors, beautifully shaped trees, reflections in the water! Were you by any chance born in July? I have a feeling we are both water people. I was missing your walk blogs too. Guess what, I bought hiking boots already for when we go hiking in France! (gotta be prepared you know!) Hope the rest of your visit goes well. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1952 days ago
    Brilliant photos. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Just love your writing and the way that I feel as
    though I am right next to you on your walks. emoticon emoticon
    1952 days ago
    Thanks Claire for the views of lovely autumn scenes. The seasonal changes in the Sonoran desert are very subtle and not usually noticed if you don't know what to look for. Again, I love walking/hiking with you.

    1952 days ago
    Lovely photos Claire ! I love the Oxfordshire countryside, and there are some gorgeous walks around the colleges in the city too. Almost makes me miss England...
    I'm glad your back is getting better.

    1952 days ago
    emoticon Thank You for sharing your walk with us!! It was so Beautiful!!
    1952 days ago
    Claire I looked at those pictures and they made me shiver. We often had days of that fog up North and it was usually bone chilling cold.
    I loved seeing the gardens and the castle too. Some day I might venture back but whenever we go and that is rare we usually just get to see family.

    My favourite is Castle Howard it looks so lived in and I thought it would be nice to live there, then I realised I could not abide the remoteness of the huge place.
    You mostly do your walks alone by the looks of it. That would scare me to be out there, that's because we lived in an overcrowded area so I was never used to solitude. You are my hero Claire Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Great BLOG, excellent photos.
    1952 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Claire, I just love these pictures, they are amazing with the colors and the reflections. When I look at your pictures, I always transport myself into your walk and countryside.....these are very special and I am hoping that your back is feeling better. My neighbors are in your home of Paris right now. The trip is a graduation gift for the son. His sister and mother had went to Paris a few years back and loved it so the whole family is there now. Claire have a safe trip back to Parish and thank you again for sharing just beautiufl photos. emoticon June
    1952 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/17/2012 6:52:51 PM
    Thank you for sharing the photos of your beautiful walk in England near Oxford. I LOVED the fall color on the trees, the river, the fog and the mist, and the wonderful castle. Beautiful hike -- and beautiful photos Claire! emoticon
    1952 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    What a gorgeous hotel! It looks very similar to Cliveden in Buckinghamshire where my husband & I love to visit the grounds. (The hotel itself is way too expensive!) emoticon
    1953 days ago
    wow these pics are so amazing....always wanted to visit England...thanks for showing me a glimpse...and ur description was awesome...thanx for the share and i m sure u must have enjoyed ur sucj serene atmosphere...
    1953 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your pictures. I really enjoyed them!
    1953 days ago
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    1953 days ago
  • AGK3112
    I have heard so much about oxford but was never able to see it. Thanks to you that it made true today. Your pics are lovely and I can imagine that weather would be so nice & cool around there.
    1953 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    What spectacular photos! The fall colors are wonderful. I love the trees reflected in the water. I does look a bit muddy. I hope it wasn't cold. I've always called those foggy, misty days "soft days." We don't seem to have them here in Monroe, North Carolina. I miss those days. When I was a child we lived at a lake. I used to love going for walks on soft days.
    1953 days ago
    The view of the hedge maze thru your window is spectacular! The hotel is beautiful too!

    I'm glad you got to take the walk and such beautiful scenery! Thanks for sharing it. Have a safe trip to London.

    1953 days ago
    Oh Claire what a special treat to view these photos. I imagined myself walking with you and then having a cuppa hot tea with you afterwards...vivid imagination huh? :)

    THANK YOU for sharing your journey.

    1953 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    Such gorgeous colours and the fog gives it all a certain style, don't you think? Gorgeous castle too, I bet even the maids' quarters were quite comfortable. Thanks for sharing again, and I'm glad you had time to enjoy a hike.
    Take care and have a great weekend :-)
    1953 days ago
    Also... the hedge maze... haha, I tried to convince my dad to grow one when I was a child. So much wonder...
    1953 days ago
    A castle??? Staying in a castle is a dream of mine!! How lovely!
    1953 days ago
    So good to have you back! Such gorgeous photos! Thank you!
    1953 days ago
  • DMF2012
    Those hedges in the first pic were awesome! Once again, thank you for taking me to England for a beautiful, foggy hike.
    1953 days ago
    You find the most beautiful places to hike! Have a great weekend!

    Karen emoticon emoticon
    1953 days ago
    You have done wonders with the camera again. I'm sure the professional photographers will guide you towards getting some published, even if you only have them bound for yourself. It's a talent you make little of and all your Sparkfriends are ready to blow your trumpet and let you know you are one amazing lady!

    1953 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    THANK YOU!! I've been going through Claire blog withdraws! LOL!
    This looked like an absolutely LOVELY walk Claire. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope the meetings go smoothly tomorrow and then you have a safe trip back home.

    1953 days ago
    While I was marveling about the photos the first thoughts in my mind were how breathtakingly beautiful so when I cliked Leave a Comment the first comment I saw before I started my comment had started with Breathtakingly beautiful. Breathtakingly isn't a real common spoken word so that is exactly what your pictures of your walk BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1953 days ago
    Breathtakingly beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing.
    1953 days ago
    What a beautiful walk you had and the fog just makes it more so. Your hotel is amazing! As you know, there isn't anything that old here in the States. Thank you so much for sharing. emoticon
    1953 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Thanks for sharing your trip to England with us. Gorgeous photos as always. Have a lovely evening. Have a safe return trip to France.
    1953 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    What stunning photos!Very beautiful.
    1953 days ago
    How beautiful!!
    I'm glad you had a chance to take a walk... I'm sure your back is much better now... Enjoy the rest of your stay sweet friend... It looks so lovely I wish I was there...
    I also have an autumn view of the backyard right now... the trees have lost most of their leaves and so I now have a "rug of leaves" for landscape... it has been cold, but I love to go out with a cup of hot tea or coffee and literally hear the leaves fall...
    Sending you love from SC... emoticon
    1953 days ago
    Gorgeous English countryside! How wonderful to be surrounded with such history and natural beauty in the same place.
    1953 days ago
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