Starting at the village of Steep, near Petersfield in Hampshire. We parked next to the church, just next to Bedales School, attended by Lily Allen, Daniel Day-Lewis and John Wyndham. Just the three of them. In a class together. The church has an interesting wood beamed tower, with tile cladding.
It was a sunny morning, and walking through the woods was delightful. Such abundance of new growth, and the bluebells near their full glory.
This area between Ashford Hangers and Petersfield is known as Little Switzerland. Very little. But quite charming. The hangers rise sharply to the north west.
I like how the puce of the smaller tree brings out the colour of the copper beech’s new leaves:
Back into the woods and across Ashford Stream. Dappled light all around.
More bluebells in this wood, as we headed north:
And cute footbridges:
Approaching Steep Marsh Farm, some creatures in the woods. The sharp-eyed cockerels and the pigs, rooting and curious. The pigs seemed very happy and had plenty of room to dig, eat, roam amongst the trees. They liked the tree barks and eating sticks.
Then to some more huge farm sheds, probably for chickens. At least they had the RSPCA Freedom Foods sign on the shed, but I couldn’t help thinking what it was like in there. I’ve worked in sheds like this and there’s not a lot of room for each chicken, and no natural light.
Out of the woods, towards Mill Lane, the sky opened up. Splendid clouds today.
A short walk down Mill Lane towards Ashford Chace
I like these early 20th Century-style road signs:
At Ashford Farm in this old shed you could buy free range eggs, and a variety of organic meats. Just leave your money and take what you want. How’s that for trust?
Then views to the Hangers. Cool names: Shoulder of Mutton Hill and Stoner Hill. The trees in various stages of leaf, giving many textures and colours to the woods.
Then we picked up the Hangers Way and headed south, catching a glimpse of Ashford Chace House through the trees. Built in 1912, it is now apartments.
Further south there has been some work done to open up the path to the pools near the springs. Very clean water. We felt like floating in it, and exploring the waterways.
But this Canadian Goose might not have been pleased if we had:
More white clouds and blue above the new green:
And then a lovely surprise just off the Hangers Way. A Waterfall! And not two miles from Petersfield. I’d have never have guessed it was there. Not sure about the red parasol though:
Nearing the end of the walk, looking back to Oakhurst Farm and Little Langleys:
And back through Northfield Wood to the church.
We saw such variety in a small area. I really liked Little Switzerland and will definitely walk here again.