The Jersey Arms, Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

Saturday was beautiful and cool (low 20’s C, mid-70’s F) with a strong breeze from the WNW.  Time for a pub run and to rack up a few more new Run Across Britain miles.

The Jersey Arms : Pub #420 and in the village of Middleton Stoney…I expected Dead Heads and hippies that stink of patchouli.  Even in their absence, I have really mixed feelings about this pub. Bad: it is in a Best Western Inn.  Good: tall, attractive waitress with delightful laugh and a short skirt. Bad: the Flowers Best Bitter was ice cold.  Good: the building is an old sone inn and the various rooms have an ancient feel to them. It was dead empty as I entered and I asked if it was always this quiet. “Well, it IS pretty hot out, and people just aren’t moving about much. Did you just get off work, then?” I told her, no, I had just run from Bicester via Bucknell, and was just making a pitstop before looping back.  She shot me a look that implied she didn’t believe a word of it, which is probably a good policy for anything I say EXCEPT for when it comes to this sort of tourism. It is the only pub in Middleton Stoney, and that seems a shame to me even though there are a lot of good details like the fireplace in the lounge.  What sinks the review for me, though is this table…look closely…that’s Hello Magazine all over it.  It’s like a hair salon.  Poop! The Run Passing the sport center off Queen’s Avenue and emerging from a bike lane on George Street, there is a nice bridle way that traverses some fields just west of the railroad tracks and imperceptively raises your elevation a few tens of meters over the course of a couple miles.  This and the extra few meters you buy by crossing the bridge over the M40 motorway yields a pretty nice view of the fields and even some of the village and town landscape.  Looping around the old watertower you pass into some woods and emerge on the other side of a small fish pond or reservoir.

my shot was blurry, got this off google maps

At this point you are about 5 minutes from Middleton Stoney and will come out of the fields by this farmhouse: The route back is parallel to the way in but stays close to the wood.  Still sunny but with the wind largely to your back for the uphill run to the water tower and again for the downhill run back to Bicester, this is a fantastic way of killing off an hour.  Or, actually, an hour twenty if you stop for a pint…

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