The latest lockdown ramble through Oxfordshire countryside takes in a walk from a park and ride in Oxford to Sandford Lock.

Walking looks set to remain popular as lockdown eases, as more people have enjoyed getting close to nature.

Residents in walking groups have been devising their own short circular walks during 2020 and this year.

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One local rambler is Wendy Thomas, who has been enjoying walks in and around the city.

Wendy Thomas

Wendy Thomas

Several of the park and rides in Oxford are regularly used by the ramblers as starting points for their walks.

Ms Thomas said: “I find the four-mile walk from Redbridge to Sandford Lock to be both interesting and scenic."

To start the walk, cross the Abingdon Road in front of Redbridge park and ride, turn right and follow the cycle track - cycle track 5 - towards the roundabout and then for a little way beside the southern bypass.

You will come to a path on your left leading down to the Thames Path below; take this and turn right onto the Thames Path itself.

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After walking along the riverbank under the bypass and, a little later, under a railway bridge, you will see an attractive gate and a path and cycle track on your right leading away from the river towards Kennington.

Follow this recently upgraded cycle track as it continues south with the railway line on your right.

A raised walkway on the route

A raised walkway on the route

Ms Thomas added: "This makes for easy walking with occasional glimpses of the fields and the river between the trees on your left and a chance to walk on the grass on the left for a while when you reach the newly cleared section."

When the cycle track reaches a narrow lane, turn down it, unless you want to cut the walk short and walk up to the more main road above to catch the 35 bus back to Oxford, using the raised walkway on your left when you reach it.

At the bottom of the lane you are faced with a choice of routes back.

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Ms Thomas said: "Whichever choice you make, you might like to go straight ahead anyway and look at Sandford Lock and, possibly, go over to the King’s Arms for a snack.

Sandford Hydro

Sandford Hydro

"If you want to see the Sandford Hydro at close quarters, you need to take the rather high stile on your left at the bottom of the lane opposite the little parking area.

"Once over the stile, keep walking with the river on your right and before too long you will pass the Hydro, also on your right.

"The Hydro is at the Weir, below which there was a pool known as the Lasher, notorious for numerous deaths by drowning; five of these were students at Christ Church.

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"If you look carefully along from the Hydro you will see in the distance, a 19th century obelisk recording these deaths. A little further on, this path will join up with the Thames Path, where you should turn left to retrace your steps back to Redbridge."

Parts of this walk can be impassable in times of flooding.