Cycling to Woodstock
Left Oxford about 9am and cycled to Woodstock – either 10 or 12 miles away depending on which signposts you go by.
It’s a glorious ride along a cycle track all the way. Through the village of Yarnton but bypassing Bladon where Winston Churchill is buried.
A warm day brought up the scent from the over grown verges heady with feverfew and all the other wild flowers whose names I should know but don’t. Oxfordshire County Council is to be praised for holding back on the weedkiller and simply cutting back the verges where absolutely necessary. There were times when the wild grasses were six feet high.
Bliss. Brought back the memory of another great bike ride – from Skibereen to Bantry.
Woodstock is best known for its stately home, Blenheim Palace, dwelling of the Duke of Marlborough.
Ian’s play about John Churchill, the first Duke richly rewarded for winning the battle of Blenheim records an entry from the diary of John’s wife: “ My lord returned from the wars today and did pleasure me twice in his top boots.” My favourite quote.
I had toast and a marvellous cup of coffee in Harriet’s Tea Rooms – Bewleys, you’ll notice.
And read the Observer while sitting in the sun before taking a stroll round the town.
This is an affluent place
which may explain the notice in one shop telling me that I must spend £14 if I want to use my plastic card. Reassuring to find a Coop there though.
The almshouses look fine though I did wonder who qualifies to live in them nowadays.