The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Walking

The Top 6 Bluebell Woods

28 Apr 2016

Uh-oh, I have a feeling this list will be highly contentious… We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in Oxon and Bucks, so I’ve drawn up this list really as a prompt as the blubells don’t last long and the May Bank Holiday is nearly here – a great opportunity to go and enjoy the view. If you think there is a horrific omission, a crime against nature no less, let me know and I’ll put it on the list!

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A beautiful walk in Burnham Beeches

10 Nov 2015

Just a quickie really to let those of you who aren’t in South Bucks know about Burnham Beeches, one of the loveliest, most family-friendly spots for woodland walking I’ve come across around these ‘ere parts. The image above was taken by me, no filters or funny tricky photoshop stuff. This is really what it looks like!

I’ve driven past the sign for Burnham Beeches scores of times, but I’m usually tanking it elsewhere in the car so never get around to detouring off for it.

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A country walk bang in central Oxford

3 Sep 2014

I did this lovely little walk and pub combo last week and put it on the radio – which, ahem, I’m sure you all listen to at 7am on a Saturday morning. But, just on the miniscule off-chance that you prefer a lie-in, I’ll tell you about it here, because in a couple of months it will probably get too boggy to give it a go.

The best thing about this walk is that it starts in central Oxford, and yet it’s properly country – I can’t think of anywhere else that has this kind of 300 acre grazing land bang in the city, it’s incredible.

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Muddy walks: the Marsworth canal

14 Jul 2014

I’ve had a very odd experience with this post, in that I thought I’d written it months ago. Anyhow, turns out I hadn’t *sigh*. But looky here, it’s a lovely walk along the canal from Marsworth (just over into Herts) that I was put onto by my friend Ellie, who took her kids one day and had just the best time.

To give you some bearings, Marsworth is close to Tring, in a lovely leafy part of Herts, just on the Bucks/Herts borders.

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Muddy goes to Greys Court, Henley

14 May 2014


Yes yes, I know I wrote about bluebells recently, but there’s only one week-ish left to see these incredible displays and I don’t want you to miss it.

These pictures come from Greys Court, the National Trust manor house just outside Henley and close to Stonor, Bix and all those gorgeous viewy-walky villages. I thought the Harcourt Arboretum was impressive when I went a few weeks back, but this place knocks it out of the water for the sheer scale of the bluebell woods.

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Mud n pub!

28 Jan 2014

My weekly pub walks and lunches are falling into a lovely routine and more often than not my companion is my mum (I know, ahhhhhh!). I’m so busy generally in the week that I really look forward to a blast of fresh air and hike around with her before sitting down for a chat.

Last week we went to Beckley, a small village equidistant between Wheatley and Islip, and about 15 minutes to the East of Oxford.

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Fancy a walk then?

11 Jan 2014

The posts I like writing most are the ones that get me excited to try something different myself. Having researched lots of lovely pubs with circular walks attached, I wanted to go and try one too, so off we went a few weeks ago, the whole Muddy lot of us, for the three village walk that took in Fingest, Skirmett and Turville in a glorious, sun-drenched circle.

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It took us longer than expected – just shy of two hours – and the youngest Muddy was almost delirious with hunger and tiredness when we arrived at The Chequers for lunch, but it really was the most beautiful walk, even in winter.

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The Muddy Duck, Hethe (mid Oxfordshire)

7 Jan 2014

Just before Christmas I took my mum to The Muddy Duck in small village of Hethe, a few miles north of Bicester (Aha! Proof I don’t always use her as a glorified babysitter!) This place opened to rave reviews just over a year ago, and it’s been on my ever-increasing hit list of pubs ever since.

There are slim pickings around Bicester for good gastropubs (um, if you’re one of the ones I don’t know about, get in touch), and The Muddy Duck has expanded into the available space with ease.

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The Red Lion Pub, Britwell Salome

2 Oct 2013


One of the things I’ve always loved to do is walk. Mr Muddy and I have enjoyed quite a few biggies over the years – 5 day treks around Abel Tasman, Macchu Picchu, Milford Sound. Tough, exhilarating trips with basic accommodation (a pig sty in Peru!), military-weight backpacks and miserable peanut rationing.

Since we moved to the countryside and started our breeding programme, it’s more about finding a decent walk that all the children can get around without moaning or demanding piggy backs, with a hearty pub lunch around the corner as incentive.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition