The walk down through the village of Upper Heyford was accomplished in short order, then we left the previously beaten path and shortly encountered some locals in the form of cows! Giving them as wide a berth as we could we carried on until the railway, then turned back in order to avoid passing through the cow field in the dark. Even the five minutes between crossing and recrossing the canal made a huge difference, in two ways. Firstly, waist deep mist sprung up all across the valley. Secondly, the cows repositioned to just the other side of the bridge, cutting us off from Upper Heyford and leading to an odd standoff between us, who wanted to get back to the accommodation (via the pub, of course) and them, who seemed inordinately interested in licking us...
After a tense ten minutes - and the somewhat huffy rejection by one of the cows of the amorous advances of the bull - they got bored of trying to lick us and wandered away. We gave them a few minutes to get away and then beat a hasty retreat in the other direction, stopping for a quick pint at the local before beating it back up to the accommodation. It's definitely a lovely weekend walk but perhaps not really feasible as a means of getting to and from the bus, being at least an hour each way when not lumbered with flight bags and/or shopping.
|My flatmate (right), some locals and our bovine captors
|The settling mist