Oxdrove Way, Hampshire (East Section)

Six months after the west section, here is the video for the eastern part of the Oxdrove Way

I started back in Old Alresford and proceeded in a 22km loop around Abbotstone Down, Bradley, Lower and Upper Wield and back over classic downland. The walk follows ancient green lanes and ox droves and is often contained within tree tunnels.

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Oxdrove Way, Hampshire (West Section)

In January, on a cold, clear day, I walked the western part of the Oxdrove Way. For one reason or another, I only just round to editing it. The eastern section follows soon.

The Oxdrove Way is a 25-mile looped long distance path in mid-Hampshire. I started in Old Alresford and headed west, above the Itchen Valley to Itchen Wood and the M3, then back over downland via Abbotstone. Much of the walk follows old cattle droves or green lanes.

Weekend Walk – Bishops Sutton and Gundleton

Scenes during a walk in late autumn, from Bishops Sutton near Alresford, to Gundleton and back.

 

An old granary at the northern edge of Bishops Sutton, perched on staddlestones to keep it drier and relatively rodent-proof:

 

Granary

 

 

A new house (Southview) built next to the Watercress Line. This is looking west:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

 

Watercress line from Bighton Lane, looking east:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

A dovecote in a scruffy garden near the railway: Dovecote, Bishops Sutton

View from Bighton Lane to Northside Farm and Sutton Wood:Bighton Lane

Geese and cows at Cliveden Farm, Gundleton:Geese at Cliveden, Gundleton

Cliveden. And I thought all of this part of Hampshire was super-expensive:Cliveden, Gundleton

Feeding the horses near Gundleton. They were very hungry. C fetched them fresh grass and I pushed the fallen hay to their side of the fence: Feeding the horses

Into an autumnal Sutton Wood:

Sutton Beech Wood, Gundleton

Out of the wood, looking west. The familiar landmark of Great Clump, Cheesfoot Head in the distance:Northside Farm, Gundleton

Looking south from Northside Lane to Park Dale and the woods of Bramdean Common:

Towards Park Dale and Bramdean Common

Back under the Watercress Line (ex Mid Hants Railway). Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The bridge arch. Always interesting patterns of decay on these bridges. This bridge would have been made around 1865. Just visible top right is one of two small trees we saw somehow growing from between the bricks:Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The site of the source of the short River Alre, which springs from east of Bishops Sutton and flows a few miles before joining the Itchen near Alresford. Source of the River Alre

Lots of crows! They were all on the field before we came.A Murder, Horde, Parcel, or Storytelling of Crows

Not quite *the* Alresford but a another Alres-ford (dry) at Water Lane, Bishops Sutton:Ford near Bishops Sutton

Milestone at Bishops Sutton. Apparently Winton is an abbreviation of Wintoniensis, the meaning of Winchester. Tasker is a 19th Century ironworks company.Milestone Bishops Sutton Winton 8

A typical row of Hampshire flint cottages, at Bishops Sutton.Flint cottages, Bishops Sutton

And the rather more fancy Sutton ManorSutton Manor

A glimpse of Bishops Sutton Church, with its high weathervane:Bishops Sutton Church

And right at the end of the walk we saw a bird of prey swoop across the road into the hedge. We stood and watched for a while before it went deeper in to eat its prey. Later we identified it as a kestrel:Kestrel with rat

Six years ago, I took a similar walk. Here is the video.

Weekend Walk No. 65 – Camden to Little Venice – Regent’s Canal

From Camden in London, west along Regent’s Canal path to Little Venice at Maida Vale. The path soon leads to Regent’s Park, where the canal cuts trough the zoo, and the back gardens of some stately homes side by side along its banks. Then there’s a tunnel, so one has to re enter London streets a while, before the busy but tranquil Lisson Grove moorings and Little Venice itself. After an unusual request, I walked a little way along the Grand Union Canal, to Paddington Station.

Weekend Walk 63 – Mill Barrow Down to Soberton – Wayfarers Walk

A proper South Downs Walk. Continuing along the long distance path from the downs south of Kilmeston, along a bit of the South Downs Way before cutting south past Lomer, Preshaw, the legendary Betty Mundy’s Bottom and Corhampton Down, noisy that day with the shooting. The path then heads in a more easterly direction past Corhampton golf course and onto Fir Down above Droxford. After the village we cross the River Meon and follow the water meadows to the small village of Soberton. Outside the White Lion pub I met a white cat, who I was told is deaf and blind.

Weekend Walk 62 – Alresford to Kilmeston Down – Wayfarers Walk

Into the South Downs National Park after heading south from the market town of New Alresford (my new home town). The Wayfarers Walk then passes through Tichborne, across the small at this stage River Itchen, Cheriton, Hinton Ampner, Kilmeston and then up onto Kilmeston Down for a spot of sheep herding, and Mill Barrow Down.

Weekend Walk 61 – Brown Candover to Alresford – Wayfarers Walk

Hampshire in the spring. A walk I took in April continuing the long distance path through the low downs of central Hampshire, nine miles or so from the Candover Valley to Alresford. The walk crosses the same stream many times, and passes by the villages of Totford, Northington and Abbotstone. The stream enters the very short river Arle which we see at the end of the walk with its ducks, swans (building a nest), geese and trout. Apologies for the wind noise.

Weekend Walk 60

It’s hard to believe I’ve made 60 walking videos! This one is a little different from the usual countryside walks:

A walk from Camden to Hackney Wick along the towpath of the Regents and Hertford Union Canals. The walk goes through or near Kentish Town, Islington, Hoxton, Haggerston, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, before branching off to the north east and Hackney Wick, towards the Olympic Park. A quieter alternative to walking in London by road, this took about three hours.

More London walking videos to follow later this year I expect.

Deane to Dummer – Wayfarers Walk – Weekend Walk 56

The fourth stage of my Wayfarers Walk hike. This walk is a loop, with the first half on the long distance path to Dummer, then back to Deane via North Waltham, Steventon, and Ashe. The source of the River Test is at Ashe. The walk crosses the mainline railway, the M3 and the A30.

Weekend Walk 54 – Highclere to Watership Down – Wayferers Walk

Here’s a video I made during the second stage of walking the 70 mile route across Hampshire. A high downs section with great views passing south of the Highclere Estate, home of Downton Abbey; Beacon Hill; Great Litchfield Down, Ladle Hill, leaving the long distance path at Watership Down, of book and film fame, for Sydmonton and Old Burghclere.

Weekend Walk 53 – Inkpen Beacon to Highclere – Wayfarer’s Walk 1

The first five miles of the 70-mile Wayfarer’s Walk long distance path. This hike is high on the North Wessex Downs, starting near Walbury Hill, the highest point in Southern England at nearly 300m. The path leads south east from Berkshire into Hampshire, past West Woodhay Down, Eastwick and Highclere, where I turned back. Half way back I left the Wayfarer’s Walk for Combe and around from the south to Combe Gibbet and Inkpen Hill. Features a view of Highclere Castle, location for Downton Abbey and fine views north. Filmed last Saturday.

Weekend Walk 52 – Winchester and Hockley Viaduct

A circular walk along the River Itchen and the Itchen Navigation, from St Cross south to Hockley Viaduct, now open for walkers and cyclists, back north to Winchester city centre, cathedral and college before returning through the water meadows. Calves, newborn lambs and views of St Catherine’s hill.

Weekend Walk 50 – Ovington to Winchester – Allan King’s Way

The final stage of the King’s Way, along the Itchen Valley to Winchester, via Avington, Martyr Worthy, Kings Worthy, and Abbots Barton. The Itchen Valley always makes for a beautiful walk. Today’s was enhanced by meeting a couple of pigs. Many churches along the way, and I rested in some of them. I entered the Winchester from the north, via Hyde Gate and Parchment Street, the residential area seamlessly meeting the city centre. It’s always interesting arriving at a town or city on foot. The King’s Way ends at the Cathedral, after 45 miles in total.

Walk: Ropley / Gilbert Street

Today we walked for an hour, maybe an hour and a half in the area of Gilbert Street, just north of the South Downs National Park. Gilbert Street sounds like a street. It isn’t, just part of the loosely connected settlements in the Ropley/Monkwood/North Street area, southwest of Alton.

From Ropely we crossed a vast hayfield to towards Lyewood House:

Hay Field, Round BalesDon’t play on the round bales we were told on their introduction in the 1980s. I preferred the rectangular ones we could build dens with.

Each field a whole other scene:Ropley area

Golden Barley Field

Views to the west, climbing higherHampshire view

In Little Down woodPond near Ropley

P1020982

Near Lyeway FarmNear Lyeway Farm

Cottage at Swelling HillCottage at Swelling Hill

Into Old Down WoodOld Down Wood

Down the hill to Gilbert StreetTowards Gilbert Street

On St Swithuns Way, passing sheep and horsesMale Sheep Horse Paddock

And back to the start at RopleyRopley Hampshire

 

A good walk with many changes of countryside within quite a small area.

10 Aug 2013

Woke at seven after going to sleep just after eleven.

Deep dreams these nights. Scenarios that last and last. I can’t leave them, even if I want to, and last nights was a continual getting ready to leave a hotel-like place, or maybe a hall of residence. But I was too drunk. Or disorganised. Long time periods would pass and I’d done nothing at all to prepare.

Sitting this morning was uneventful. Some unsettledness was close by, so I moved towards it, yet most of the time all was lost in little thought stories. However, a sense of deepening stillness behind the thinking bubbles. Sat in half lotus some of the time but soon got pins and needles so back to both feet on the ground, one leg slightly in front of the other, so that neither leg weighs on the other.

A simple yoga sequence today after the long review of poses yesterday. Shoulder stand, plough, forward bend. Repeat. Sit quietly. And that’s it. Some nervy sensations back of the neck. The flaw in today’s routine – straight into the shoulder stand with no warm ups. I should know that this isn’t a good idea, especially with my prone to be stiff neck, so suffering all day from very stiff trapezius both sides. 

Then an open day with absolutely no plans. Put together the walk video from yesterday:

A nap before lunch. A shortish walk with C in the afternoon, laughing together at many things. Otherwise, listening to music, and looking at suggestions from this Reddit post: What’s the one song you’d recommend for someone to listen to to get into your music genre? Most interesting for me was the chill wave, underground jazz hip hop and the chillstep. Watched some elephants on the telly. Incredible creatures! To bed early to continue reading the 60s yoga book.

Weekend Walk 49 – Gander Down to Ovington – Allan King’s Way

The penultimate stage of my King’s Way hike, from where I left off on the Downs, not too far from Cheesefoot Head, down into the Itchen Valley via Tichborne. The church there has 11th Century origins, and at Ovington church there’s a Norman archway. Otherwise, rolling downland, open skies, arable land ready for harvest, curious calves, a gorgeous pub location, lamas, woods, then the bass and slight chaos of the Boomtown Fair at Mattersley Bowl, closing some of the South Downs Way for a week.