We were blessed with perfect weather for the annual 30 mile ROSY walk, starting and finishing at Cornbury Park and taking in some of the most beautiful Oxfordshire countryside along the way.
A record 80 walkers gathered for a swift coffee before walking south through the ancient deer park towards Wilcote. The countryside was at its absolute best with the oil seed rape in flower, the beech forest floors carpeted with bluebells and the trees a vivid green against a clear blue sky.
One of the highlights of the ROSY walk is the generosity of friends opening their hoses along the way, offering much needed refreshments. The first of these delightful pitstops was in East End where we arrived to find freshly baked cakes and piping coffee, severed in the prettiest of gardens. It was then onwards through Combe to Blenheim Palace and out towards Ditchley, all the while on a series of footpaths through gorgeous countryside.
Arriving at Ditchley is an unforgettable experience – there are few more beautiful houses in England – and it would be difficult to imagine a more perfect picnic spot than the lawn overlooking the lake. Huge thanks to the Arroyos for their generosity in making this possible. Needless to say, it was difficult to tear ourselves away but we finally set off through beech forests and bluebells in the direction of Dean. From there on to Pudlicote where a delicious tea awaited, before the last leg back to Cornbury via Ascott under Wychwood and the Wychwood Forest, finally making it back to the start (and drinks on the terrace of the main house) around 11 hours after setting out, tired but very happy.
Many thanks to all the walkers, with a special thanks to the team of ROSY nurses who valiantly completed the full distance, to the very generous friends who opened up their houses along the way, to all those who donated money and to George Hedges, for keeping an eye on us all every step of the way.
The walk raised a fabulous £25,000 and goes a long way towards paying the salary of a nurse for a year.