This route mostly uses minor roads to tour arable and pastoral countryside and villages loved by the wealthy 'county set. It takes in some places worth seeing and some political and celebrity gossip. The hills are numerous but not steep. There are a few short off-road sections with alternatives suggested.
In addition to the summaries here, there are notes on each waypoint. These can be difficult to find and access on Outdooractive. You can find better edited and updatded versions on my blog site, www.pootler.co.uk . Look under the 'Pootler' heading.
This is a tour around the Eastern part of the Cotswolds AONB, a 'chocolate box' landscape of rolling green hills and honey stone houses. The Cotswolds are famed for pretty villages and this route takes you through several; Hook Norton and Great Tew are standouts but the larger towns - Charlbury and Chipping Norton are also attractive.
The geology is typically Oolitic Limestone, a stone formed from small ball-shaped 'ooliths' (or egg stones), stuck together by lime mud and formed when calcium carbonate is deposited over sand grains on a shallow sea floor. This would have happened some 150m or more years ago in the Jurassic period. As you would expect the landscape was folded, dissected by rivers, eroded and generally mucked about a lot in subsequent eras as this part of the earth's crust enjoyed a world cruise while the climate changed on a scale that dwarfs our present pre-occupations. If you are interested there is a summary and downloadable leaflet here:
The area has deep history. Stone Age people left their 'barrow' graves all over the place. The Rollright Stones, which are on the route, straddle both the stone and bronze ages and also lie on the complex of Roman roads which are still followed in many places today. Later, the area played in a big part in the medieval wool trade that paid for some of the fine buildings.
Ethnologically, this remote area is inhabited by the 'Toffs' tribe who don't have much communication with modern society and are of great interest to sociologists, anthropologists, gossip columnists and paparazzi.
If you want a better edited version of these notes or to comment or add to them, please visit my blog (link) www.pootler.co.uk