Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.

‘Last Chance (HS)To See’ – Scene 6:

‘The Leam Valley from Hunningham Hill’

Taking in the expanse of the Leam valley, from Lillington to Eathorpe

5th May 2018

The Millennium Way crosses the Leam at Hunningham bridge, then climbs the hillside towards the top of the hill where it meets the Fosse Way at the top of Hunningham Hill, and the long shady walk along Ridgeway Lane 5½ miles all the way to Ufton. Crossing the valley on a high embankment, HS2 will dominate the view to the west as it crosses the River Leam.

This scene is taken some distance off the route of HS2. For that reason the section of the HS2 route map has been superimposed on top of a map of the local area.

At over 10 metres above ground when crossing the River Leam, and then climbing to enter the hillside below Cubbington South Wood at around the 80 metre contour (roughly one field below the bottom edge of the woods in the panorama below), HS2 will redefine the view to the west.

On the left of the panorama below you can see the transmitter masts at the Campion Hills on the edge of Leamington, and then the high flats at Lillington. The embankment will begin to come into view just after that point, rising as it crosses the valley to the River Leam Viaduct – standing a little less than ten metres above the level of the flood plain below.

It then enters a cutting below Cubbington Woods, before transferring into an engineered retaining wall as it passes through the woods (otherwise the slope required to engineer a cutting would have obliterated a large part of the woodland).

Though the view along the track is somewhat oblique at this point, if you follow the road towards Offchurch the view of the cutting will be more direct.

Panorama over Leam Valley from Lillington to Cubbington

Use the slider to move the view from side to side
Load map of this location.

One of the great features of the Leam valley upstream of Offchurch is its remoteness from major roads, and thus its relative tranquility. Crossing on such a high embankment, HS2 will significantly change the sound environment between Offchurch and Eathorpe.