Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Walking to earn yourself cake

FOR those who prefer tea to beer, there is a new café at the village store in Stoke Row.

It serves snacks and cakes all day and is ideal for walkers.

After inspecting the Maharajah’s Well, take Cox’s Lane beside the old cherry orchard and new playground, following it down to the left and carrying straight on when it becomes a BOAT — a Byway Open to All Traffic — indicated by purple arrows.

Remember — yellow for footpaths and blue for bridleways and cycling.

The hedgerows here are laden with sloes so fat we thought they were damsons, hops, rose-hips, haws, elderberries and hazelnuts.

So much seasonal fruit is available for free but also at our farmers’ markets — Discovery apples and plums galore.

The bullace plums, crab apples and damsons are tumbling from the trees and wild greengages are ripening as the blackberries lose their savour, while the cloying scent of the flowering ivy is attracting bees and butterflies. Stand still and listen when you are near an ivy-clad tree.

Go on up the lane and before reaching the Nuffield road, turn back on a field path to the right towards Oakingham Bottom, where there are sturdy tan and white Shorthorn cattle.

Alternatively, go via English Lane to Newnhamhill Bottom and see stately Longhorns.

These BOATs join to become a road and in Bush Wood Lane you can take one of the tracks up to the right to reach Nottwood Lane, past the Crooked Billet and back to tea at the Stoke Row store (excellent chocolate cake), or beer at the Cherry Tree.

The next farmers’/craft markets in Henley are on Thursday, September 28 and October 14, 26 and 29 and in Wallingford on September 30 and October 7 and 17.

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