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.

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Weekend Walk No. 58 – Morestead and Chilcombe

An almost-loop at the very western edge of the South Downs National Park. From Magdalen Hill east of Winchester, up towards Cheesefoot Head and then across the downs to Morestead. Then down into Chilcombe through the firing range and finally across the M3 into Winchester via The Soke.

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.

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.

Chidden & Hambledon Walk

In warm sunshine and cool winter air, we walked from the hamlet of Chidden on the South Downs to Hambledon and back again in a loop.

Chidden Hambledon Walk Route

With larks calling high above (where are they?) we proceeded south from the village over open downland:

Chidden Hampshire

Near Chidden

Some winter flowers hinting at spring:

Open snowdrops Yellow flower

Into Park Wood:

Park Wood Hambledon Park Wood Hambledon Park Wood Hambledon Park Wood Hambledon

 

 

Bird of prey scarecrow:

Hawk scarecrow

Park House:

Park House Hambledon Park House Hambledon

Cricket has been played up on Windmill Down, Hambledon for more than 250 years:

Hambledon Cricket Club

Buds budding:

Spring bud

View north to Leydene Park:

Leydene Park, Hyden

Hampshire downland:

Hampshire downland

Horse and foal

Hambledon vineyards, producing English ‘champagne’:

English vineyards Hambledon vineyards

Into the village. Very nice. Very expensive. Sports cars in front of cottages:

Hambledon churchyard Hambledon church Hambledon church cross Hambledon peoples market Hambledon High Street Old letter box MG, cottage

Footpath north through the vineyards:

Vineyard footpath

Panorama north to Chidden Down:

Chidden Down Chidden Down

And back to Chidden:

Chidden Hampshire

Gundleton and Bighton Walk

It’s rained a lot recently so we stuck to lanes this morning. Paths are crazy muddy right now. Starting out just north of Gundleton, Hampshire’s best named village, an hour’s loop:

Guntleton & Bighton

The order of the photos has got muddled and so shall the order of the descriptions. Here are some geese at a small farm in Gundleton:

Gundleton Geese

Snowdrops on Goscombs Lane:

Snowdrops on Goscombs Lane

Two bulls at the farm. The lighter one dominated and soon walked in front of the other, blocking his view of us.

Two bulls

Pigs in the barn and a curious goose:

Goose and pigs

The cows were eating what looks like watercress:

Eat your greens

A wet and muddy horse:

Muddy horse

Many plants were pushing through for spring, the green so bright. Here’s some moss that also seemed to have a glow on:

Fresh moss

A pair of donkeys:

Donkeys

I think this was called Clivedon. Totally old school bungalow:

Bunglaow at Goscombs Lane

A place called The Coffee Tavern. No sign of it being a cafe:

The Coffee Tavern

Greening signposts:

Bighton Dean Lane

A thatched cottage at Bighton Dean:

Thatched Cottage

The Three Horseshoes Public House. Proper old school again Also known as The Three Osees:

The Three Horseshoes, Bighton

The Old House at Bighton. Digging the windows:

The Old House, Bighton

Pines at Bighton Dean Lane:

Pines, Bighton

Looking west from Bighton Lane:

From Bighton Lane

I’m not sure which house this is. Perhaps Bighton Manor:

Bighton Manor?

Windybanks Cottage in Bighton:

Windbanks Cottage Bighton

There’s no ‘r’ in Bighton:

Bighton. No 'r'

South Downs Way – Final Leg – Alfriston to Eastbourne

For the final stage of the 100-mile SDW, I took the Coastal Route from the downland village of Alfriston, through the Cuckmere valley, across the Seven Sisters Country park with its bright white cliffs, via Birling Gap, up to Beachy Head before leaving the downs, descending into Eastbourne and it’s seafront promenade. A thoroughly enjoyable last twelve miles – a classic!

Weekend Walk 39 – Beaulieu to Lymington – The Solent Way

From the Hampshire village of Beaulieu to the town of Lymington, the Solent Way proceeds south then west. At first it follows the bank of the Beaulieu River to Bucklers Hard, where many of Nelson’s fleet was built. Two unique terraces of Georgian houses survive. The path then head inland to St Leonards Grange, Sowley and Walhampton, with its oversized monument. The walk finishes in maritime Lymington, with cobbled streets and historic quay. It was surprising to see the wild (if owned) donkeys of the New Forest right there on the streets of Beaulieu. While much of this stage is on tarmac, the lanes were quiet even on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The Vyne, Basingstoke

The Vyne - EntranceThe Vyne - LobbyThe Vyne - InteriorThe Vyne - TapestryThe Vyne - InteriorThe Vyne - Bedroom
The Vyne - Four Poster BedThe Vyne - InteriorThe Vyne - HallThe Vyne - FireplaceThe Vyne - WindowThe Vyne - Statue Charles I
The Vyne - StatueThe Vyne - PaintingThe Vyne - StatueThe Vyne - Main StairsThe Vyne - Staircase HallThe Vyne - Staircase Hall
The Vyne - SketchesThe Vyne - StudyThe Vyne - WheelchairThe Vyne - Plant RoomThe Vyne - Plant Room HeatingThe Vyne - Statue

The Vyne, a set on Flickr.

Photos of the interior and exterior of The Vyne, a National Trust Property near Basingstoke in Hampshire. There are many statues inside, and some freaky paintings. It was a relief to get outside away from the oppressive panelled rooms and into the grounds and woodland. I did like the Staircase Hall and the surprisingly simple bedrooms

Hampshire Architecture: St Cross

Is St Cross a Winchester suburb or is it a village? St Cross is one mile south of central Winchester next to the meadows of the Itchen, underneath St Catherine’s Hill. Away from the main road there is the feel of a village, in the Back Street and around the medieval Hospital founded in 1130, along with some old cottages. On the busy St Cross Road it’s very much part of the city, with groups of C18 and C19 town houses, Georgian and Regency. The group of buildings of the hospital is described in the Listed Buildings section of English Heritage as “One of the most beautiful groups of buildings in the country”

Favourites today are 6, 7 and 10 St Cross Back Street, and of course the mini-cathedral of St Cross Church. These are ordered first in the photographs below:

Weekend Walk 31 – Woodingdean to Alfriston (South Downs Way)

A 12 mile hike along the South Downs, from a suburb of Brighton to the village of Alfriston (mispronounced in the video). This section of the trail goes above Kingston, Lewes, Ilford, Rodmell, into Southease with its interesting c12 church. The path then leads across the Ouse Valley past Newhaven back to the downs above Firle and Seaford.

It was a very windy day and my camera’s wind reduction couldn’t cope.

One more stage of the South Downs Way left to walk, to Eastbourne along the river and coast. I hope to do this in the next couple of weeks before the days get too short.

110208 Alton to Selborne

Yoga when I woke up, then breakfast before driving to Selborne. From there I caught the bus to Alton so I could walk the first part of the Hangers Way back to Selborne. The path is 21 miles long and heads south and east from Alton to Queen Elizabeth Country Park south of Petersfield, so today’s walk was a third of the total. I expected the bus to be a mostly empty Tuesday morning rural bus, but no, it was full of teenagers headed to the college. That feeling of being watched as I looked for an empty seat, only one spare because the kids were sprawled over a couple of seats each. The first part of the walk was fairly boring, through the industrial part of town and over large fields. As it got hillier, it was more fun. It took about two and a half hours walking, with a couple of short breaks, sitting in the late winter sun. New growth pushing up in the woodland, the leaves of the bluebells. Keep it rural! Here’s the walk video I made:

Weekend Walk 24 – Alton to Selborne – Hangers Way from Duncan Toms on Vimeo.

This afternoon, resting, editing the video which takes an hour or so, plus export and upload time. Otherwise continuing looking at TVs and buying a Playstation 3. But this morning during yoga I saw through all this entertainment and constant occupation, to something simpler, purer, more in touch, real, whole. It’s a question of right action and what to do with my time on this earth, what to do with each day. At the end of it: ‘Oh, I saw some fine movies and played some games, rode some waves, made some good friends, loved and was loved, worked a lot.’ Well, maybe that’s what there is, but something else is touched upon when deep in a stretch or in relaxation. I can’t force it, but I can allow it to come. It’s not something more, but unrelated to all that I know.

Steps stepped: 14,706