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The best view in Oxfordshire?

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Is this the best view in Oxfordshire?

It’s a contentious award, but I spent a couple of hours at the National Trust-owned Watlington Hill on Sunday and it was just beee-eautiful. Views down to Watlington on one side, and not-sure-what-I-was-looking-at-but-it-was-damn-pretty on the other, with butterflies everywhere, and red kites gliding all around us. Not much in the way of walking – our attempts to walk along various trails failed as we were attacked by killer gorse – but a brilliant spot for a picnic, a game of football (as long as you don’t kick down the hill – it’s a LONG way back up)  and your own bit of kite-flying.

My kids not trying to kill each other for once …

Unaware of the picnic option when we set off, we had lunch at the Fox & Hounds on Christmas Common (two minutes drive up the road). The Fox & Hounds has a lot of fans and I’m one of them – sort of.

The Fox & Hounds

There’s a sweet beer garden out the front (though there’s also that annoying British habit of allowing the car park to back onto the beer garden. Why, publicans, why?). There’s a cute rickety bar area, with strange nooks and crannies that I think would work best on a cold winter’s evening, and a newly-built barn-style restaurant opening out onto the garden that’s probably best for a leisurely lunch.

The main reason The Fox & Hounds gets a Muddy mention is its position (bang in the middle of major walking/biking territory) plus the food which is solid gastro-pub fare. The kids gobbled enormous battered cod and chips, whilst S and I paid homage to the body beautiful -or at least the body less disgusting – with a very good parma ham salad. With the weather fine and the kids behaving, it was an ideal half-hour fuel stop.

All in all, a fantastic day. Life feels good when the sun shines doesn’t it?

If you know a better view in Oxfordshire, please let us all know about it! Just click in the comment box below and have your say. x

10 comments on “The best view in Oxfordshire?”

  • Jules April 12, 2011

    You’re right it is lovely up there. We have a view from our house across the Cherwell Valley that stretches for 15 miles to Banbury. The best thing about it is that there isn’t a Pylon in sight. Enjoy the rest of your Easter holidays. I’m enjoying reading your posts.

    • Muddy Stilettos April 12, 2011

      Hi Jules
      Thanks for getting in touch. Have a good Easter too. I am intending to test out your secret supper at some point!

  • Muddy Stilettos April 12, 2011

    Apologies to my subscribers for my howler of a typo (since corrected – S told me off!). Gorse, not gauze. I knew that. I knew that! Also, the Fox & Hounds does do children’s portions. So enormous are the children’s portions that I mistook them for adult portions. Go and scoff till you pop!

  • Lucy W April 17, 2011

    Cowleaze Woods near Stokenchurch has a great circular walk for children right through the wood. It’s up in the Chilterns with fantastic views across the surrounding countryside. The bluebells are just coming out and literally cover the ground, there are also lots of trees to climb and a large patch of grass for picnics.

    • Muddy Stilettos April 17, 2011

      Hi Lucy, I passed that one on the way to Watlington actually. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip x

  • Nessa July 30, 2013

    Living in Oxford we joined the Friends of Oxford Botanic Gardens at £48 for a joint annual membership (kids go free). This then gives you the added benefits of free entry to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew & Wakehurst Place; ; The National Botanic Garden of Wales; Birmingham Botanical Gardens; and The University of Liverpool’s Ness Botanic Garden plus of course entry into Oxfords Botanic Garden. Not connected in any way but it is good value –

    • muddystiletto July 31, 2013

      Hi Nessa, that’s a good tip. Thanks very much, might look into that myself actually! x

  • Lizzie Owen (@mim_tweeta) August 3, 2013

    Loved this place, and thank you for introducing me – I’ve been telling friends about it ever since – clearly my burger was also incredible and the service fantastic…love from (yet another blogger!!);)

  • Paul August 4, 2013

    A link to their website:

    • muddystiletto August 5, 2013

      Thank you!


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