East Meon Walk

In bright winter sunshine in a crisp breeze we walked a loop of a few km from East Meon church:

East Meon Walk Route Map

From the graveyard the path rapidly ascends 100m up into Park Hill giving great views over the village. Very soon we were higher than the steeple:

Over East Meon church


Even higher above some red kites effortlessly circled over a corn field. A local said they had been recently introduced:

Red kite

On the top of the hill looking east to the south downs stretching away in the haze beyond Butser Hill:

View to the downs

The rolling grassland of Park Hill near to Vineyard Hole. (Now there are some vines nearer the village at the Court House.)

From Park Hill-2 From Park Hill

On the Bereleigh Estate, Park Farm. The ice on the pond would be soon to melt:

Park Farm


Hey you forgot the hay!

Hey you forgot the hay!


Over open country, down through Rookham Copse, over the road to Pidham Lane. These sunken lanes with trees on the bank always remind me of The Fellowship of the Ring:

Tree roots


Old lanes eaten up by motorbikes and sodden led us to the gravel of the Greenway Track:

Greenway Track

No cars. Look how dated the sign design is, some kind of 1960s car:

No cars signpost UK


Frogmore lies to the east of East Meon. Only 2km from its source, the Meon turns west here into the Meon Valley proper. Old cottages and a bridge here:

Frogmore cottages The Meon at Frogmore


Taking the lane instead of more mud in the fields, we were soon in the village, with it’s thatched cottages and Georgian houses and pub:

Thatch East Meon East Meon-2 Ye Olde George Inn, East Meon East Meon-3


Then back to the church in it’s downland situation:

East Meon Church and Park Hill East Meon Church

The old Court House c14 onwards:

Old Court House


Ventilation tile:

Handmade ventilation tile


Scarecrow at the village allotments:

Scarecrow at East Meon Allotments


Ramsdean Walk

Wanting to explore the area to the north of Butser Hill, east of East Meon, south of Stroud, we parked in the small Hampshire village of Ramsdean. The area is more varied than is often found around the South Downs, with small streams, undulating countryside and ancient lanes between meadows and copses. The track from Ramsdean to Stroud (pr. strood) is a delight, with warn stone underfoot and steep banks up to beeches overhanging the path. Very hobbit-like. We turned north off the track towards Langrish, up through meadows with great views of Butser Hill behind us. Then down through Mustercoombe Copse almost as far as Stroud, meeting a herd of cows, both curious and literally shit scared of us. Then it was back onto the ancient track to the village with its cottages and farms.