Although the M4 slices through
the Berkshire Downs west of Newbury, the valleys leading up to the rolling downland
and ridge running east-west reveal far more of the life and purpose of a particularly
attractive area. The principal valley is the Lamborn valley running northwest
from Newbury and the start of this route is around half way up that valley at
Great Shefford, close to J14 on the M4. The route passes through Lambourn at the
head of the valley and then, as you head out on the downs with training gallops
in all directions, you are increasingly aware of the ridge on the skyline.
Once you crest the ridge, you drop down the steep northern scarp slope and
then head across an entirely different terrain - the broad Vale of the White Horse
west of Oxford. As you pass through this undulating, farming area, brick and flint
buildings abound in the many villages and the historic market towns of Faringdon
and Witney. Beyond Witney the scenery changes with the soft colours of Cotswold
stone buildings. Near Chipping Norton you cross the A361 Banbury road and drop
into the narrow lanes through Swerford heading for Hook Norton. This route is
one of contrasting scenery with a great deal of interest along the way. It is
one that cannot fail to provide a memorable day in an MG!
Shefford to Hook Norton over the Berkshire Downs and across the Vale of the White
The truly stunning panorama from
the top of the north facing scarp slope of the Berkshire Downs looking over the
broad Vale of the White Horse (above). Left, the view driving up to Whitehorse
Hill on the ridge of the Berkshire Downs.
You can download a copy of the two page article on this second
Memorable MG Route. Later we will have a photo guide to the route and a detailed
route guide with directions, places to see, diversion options and suggested refreshment
spots. They are both PDF documents.
to the route
a copy of the guide in PDF format.
Route guide and details
MG Routes series
This is the third Memorable MG Route in a new
series launched in the revived Safety Fast! (7.3.08)
new series called Memorable MG Routes has been launched
Memorable MG Routes are not simply
about the tactile pleasure of driving the road, particularly in an MG, but they
are also about the interest along the route from the views on the road, places
to visit, sights to see and of course refreshment at tea shops and pubs!
A key feature of this series is contributions are
welcome from members with their own memorable routes. So suggestions for additional
routes will be very welcome. A note with guidelines for the style, content and
format of the Memorable MG Routes series is available. More