We thought it was all over…

13 June 2018

We were approaching the final segment of the Itchen Navigation and had around six miles left to walk. Despite the trail being more overgrown than I’ve ever seen it, bank breaches where they have never been before and a far warmer day than the weather forecast had led us to believe, we had made fairly good time. We’d set off from Winchester Station at around ten o’clock and it was now ten to two. Ok, so four hours to walk around seven miles is positively tortoise like but, taking into account stops and the terrain, I thought we’d done pretty well.  Continue reading We thought it was all over…

Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

11 June 2017

At Kiln Lane we left the towpath briefly to cross both the road and Brambridge Bridge. There was a second half lock here in the 1700’s, probably built to retain water levels for the Brambridge water mill. A little bridge crosses the site But you have to look very closely to see the remains of the lock. Today, with everything so overgrown and the runners hot on our heels there was no time for exploring the history of the canal. Continue reading Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

A March march – first published 2 March 2014

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When I planned the first walk of March 2014 I’d hoped there would be sun, or at least no rain for once. When I checked the forecast that morning it didn’t look like I was going to get home dry though. The route was around thirteen miles, give or take and it looked as if they were going to be mostly wet ones Continue reading A March march – first published 2 March 2014

withymead bridge at last – first published 28 December 2013

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My last walk of 2013 and I’d reached the final stretch of the Itchen Navigation before the new bridge at Withymead. There were bank breaches and I wasn’t sure whether to continue or not. I did dither for a moment or two trying to decide whether to go on or take the road route to Eastleigh. It didn’t seem all that sensible to go off down a muddy trail at almost half past two with a good three and a half miles of mostly unknown territory ahead and the prospect of darkness in the next hour or two. Then again, I’m not known for being sensible at the best of times and I really did want to see the new bridge… Continue reading withymead bridge at last – first published 28 December 2013

A little mother daughter bonding – first published 11 September 2013

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It’s no secret that I’d have liked a daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I love my three boys to bits but, it would have been lovely to have a girl. Now I have a daughter in law and on 11 September 2013 we went for a little walk. When I say little, I meant about fourteen and a half miles. In my defence, she did know what she was getting into. Continue reading A little mother daughter bonding – first published 11 September 2013

Winchester or bust – first published 16 July 2013

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It was Satirday,  it was mid July 2013 and the plan for the day was to walk the Itchen Navigation to Winchester, find the Winchester rhino and get the train home. Obviously that meant an early start and the hope it wouldn’t get too hot before I got there. Not feeling too sure about that I packed my water bottle with ice and water and took my sunglasses as well as my glasses. Seeing properly is relatively important I always find. All in all I felt it was a good plan and I was fairly confident of success. Continue reading Winchester or bust – first published 16 July 2013

broken bridges and a shattered dream – first published 30 June 2013

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Some days you start out full of brilliant plans but things conspire against you. At the end of June 2013 my plan was to walk the Itchen Navigation all the way to Winchester and then get the train home. That would give me a nice off road walk. There was even a little bit of research and a map downloaded in case I got lost (not that I’m well known for getting lost or anything) and I set out full of excitement for the walk ahead. Continue reading broken bridges and a shattered dream – first published 30 June 2013

Stumbling upon the Itchen Navigation – first published 15 June 2013

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During my Moonwalk Training I’d spotted a trail at Mansbridge called the Itchen Navigation. Once I’d even attempted walking the start of it but had given up after a short while because it was muddy, overgrown and I got a bit scared. In June 2013 I found myself in Bishopstoke looking at it from a different vantage point and, taking my courage in both hands, decided to have another crack at it. After all, what was the worst that could happen?
Continue reading Stumbling upon the Itchen Navigation – first published 15 June 2013

More bridges, seats, a little garden envy and warning signs

Stoke Lock
Stoke Lock

21 April 2015

The first time I walked the stretch of the Itchen Navigation between Bishopstoke and Allbrook it ended in disappointment. A bridge had been stolen, or vandalised and I had to turn back. It would be a long time before I could walk the whole way but it was well worth the wait. Where the Southampton Eastleigh section is unkempt and overgrown this is well maintained and, as a bonus there are some lovely houses to look at. All in all it was far too tempting to bypass for the sake of a coffee so I crossed the road and set off beside the river. Continue reading More bridges, seats, a little garden envy and warning signs

Homeward bound

Water Farm
Water Farm

Eventually I dragged myself away from my seat overlooking the Itchen Valley and, humming to myself, set off along the lane towards Church Fields. There were sheep grazing on the Water Farm fields. At this point I had a choice of route, down the winding lane to Shawford and onto the Navigation, or across the road and through the southern part of Twyford Village. The Navigation was tempting, mostly because it meant avoiding the horrors of a mile and a bit of footpathless Highbridge Road with cars zooming past at fifty plus miles an hour. The Navigation, on the other hand, would have mud and breached banks. The section between Otterbourne and Allbrook was almost impassable on my last visit. Taking that option could well mean having to turn back. Continue reading Homeward bound