Churchill Heath, Kingham, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 6UJ
What could be simpler? A lake, a few trees, some grass and a loo shed in thecorner – all you have to do is supply the accommodation and a will to chill. The only thing complicated about Lyneham Lake is finding it in the first place. Ordnance Survey maps conspire to confuse in this respect, since they continueto show caravan and tent symbols at a place that’s just around the corner (and safely out of sight), which has been a cluster of holiday lodges for some time now. Put the postcode into your GPS and it too will have you heading for the lodges. To find the campsite without resorting to anguished gnashing of teeth, follow the main B4450 from Kingham towards Churchill, but turn off right, down Lyneham Road, and the entrance is on the right. The area is a cyclist’s paradise – there’s nothing by way of steep hills, just plenty of quiet roads and oodles of small Cotswolds towns and villages desperate to be ridden to and pootled around in. A day’s circular tour, for example, could take in Adlestrop (immortalised in a poem by Edward Thomas), Stow-on-the-Wold, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Fifield (a Domesday Book village) and Shipton-under-Wychwood for a pint at the Shaven Crown (www.theshavencrown.co.uk), a 700-year-old hostelry once used by the monks of Bruern Abbey as a hospice for the poor. Back at the peaceful campsite, should your tummy fancy the look of any of the lake’s fishy inhabitants, you can buy a day’s fishing licence for £6 and try catching one or two for your supper.