If you find yourself in the South Oxfordshire town of Watlington, you’ll see walkers wandering parts of the well-known Shakespeare’s Way. Now while the walk might have been a little hard for the busy bard to complete – it is 146-miles long after all – the route does try and recreate the journey the writer might have taken between his home at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe Theatre in London, where his greatest plays were road-tested.
Typical South Oxfordshire countrysideUsing existing footpaths, bridleways and a few minor roads, the circuit takes in sights such as the River Stour, the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and Blenheim Park.
After passing through the City of Oxford, Shakespeare’s Way passes through the most scenic part of the journey – South Oxfordshire, of course!
It’s here that you will set foot on quiet countryside by the gently-flowing River Thames, cross the wooded hills of the Chilterns and start your descent into the Thames Valley.
Shakespeare’s Way is typical of several walks near London: it takes in some of the best countryside England has to offer, and it even carries you on into the capital.
You might want to break up your journey by staying in the lovely market town of Watlington – a place Shakespeare might well have been aware of as it was certainly around long before he was – it was mentioned in the Domesday book. Clearly, during Shakespeare’s lifetime much building work was going on, as many of the beautiful houses and churches in the town and surrounding villages date back to the 16th Century.
Steeped in history, the town also played a big part in the English Civil War. Interested in wandering or wars? walks near London or treks further afield? Visit South Oxfordshire, you could make any of its villages your base for a weekend in the hills of the Chilterns.