So far there have been no proper walks this month. The most I’ve done is trot up and down to the village or walk around town. Today was going to be all about walking though. Some time ago John mentioned he was thinking about a Summer Challenge, a run from Winchester to Woolston. The Itchen Navigation would make up the majority of the route and he knew I had walked it many times. He asked if I’d lead a walking group for those who were recovering from injury or felt fifteen miles or more was a run too far. When I agreed it seemed like an easy distance. Now, with my fitness compromised by laziness, I wasn’t so sure. Continue reading The Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston
The first walk of May 2014 and I was all in a dither. Originally I planned to attempt the whole Itchen Navigation, starting in Winchester and walking right to Northam where the original wharf had been. The non stop rain, Southampton Central Station being closed for line repairs at weekends and the knowledge that there were trees across the path at Withymead made me wonder if I should think of another route. Continue reading Winchester, trying for the whole Navigation – first published 3 May 2014
When Keats wrote to his brother and sister in law of his daily Winchester walks he ended at ‘the most beautifully clear river,’ the Itchen, probably where it crosses Five Bridges Road. In his letter he said, ‘now this is only one mile of my walk I will spare you the other two till after supper when they would do you more good,‘ but he never mentioned it again. Even so, it stood to reason he hadn’t just turned around and walked back the way he came and I had a good idea of the route he would have taken. The clues were all there in the final verse of his ode To Autumn. Continue reading Where are the songs of spring?
Of course, the twelve mile marker wasn’t the final piece of my September 2013 walk at all. We still had to walk to the wharf and from there to the centre of Winchester to catch the train home. Finding the train station has always been an issue for me in the past. In fact, finding anything in Winchester is a problem. This time I had a guide with me. Continue reading Winchester with a guide – first published 11 September 2013 quote
My first attempt at walking the whole Itchen Navigation could easily have ended in Shawford. It was a hot July day and, even after a rest and a cool drink in the pub, I was feeling tired and overheated. Dithering as usual I’d left the pub and, after a little look at Victor’s famous bridge and a long look at the station that could so easily take me home I turned, quite reluctantly to the Navigation. The path ran through a cutway beside the pub. The sign said Winchester three miles, that didn’t sound so bad, not much more than the walk to work. Continue reading Shawford to Winchester, not so simple – first published 16 July 2013
It started with a bus. The bus was late due to the roadworks on the bridge. It crawled along but it got me there in the end. Then there was a train. The train was delayed due to signalling problems at Woking. It arrived at the wrong platform, necessitating a mad dash up the stairs and down the stairs but I got there in the end. Good job I’m intimately acquainted with Southampton Central station so I knew where to go. I’m pretty sure a few people missed it. At least I’d had time to grab a coffee from the station cafe beforehand. Continue reading Winchester, an exercise in not getting lost