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

Meandering in Meadows – first published 4 August 2014

Back in 2014 Sunday was usually walking day. When the first Sunday in August rolled around though, what with funeral arrangements, I hadn’t really given it much though. To be honest, I was tempted to give it a miss. Of course, Commando told me to get off my bum and get out there so I did as I was told. One place sprang to mind just before I set off, Itchen Valley Country Park. Continue reading Meandering in Meadows – first published 4 August 2014

Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014

May 2014 and the end of my epic walk was almost in sight. As I stepped onto the final stretch of the Navigation my feet were protesting. There were more than eight miles to go if I was really going to walk the whole thing right to Northam and I could feel the tell tale burning of emerging blisters. This was when I realised I didn’t even have any blister plasters in my bag. They probably wouldn’t have stuck anyway seeing as my feet, socks and boots were wet. It reminded me of some of those long Moonwalk training walks except my legs didn’t ache too. Small mercies and all that. Continue reading Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014

What a difference a week makes – first published 14 April 2014

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The Sunday after the Manchester Marathon and it was time to get off my bum and get walking. With one eye on the hundred miles a month I’d pledged to walk in 2014 I knew it had to be a reasonable length walk too, not just a half arsed stroll along Riverside to the Swan and back. Setting myself such a challenge certainly motivated me to get some miles under my belt. There’d been some thinking on the subject and a half baked plan to get a bus to Totton and have a look at the Ealing Tide Mill but, when I got up on Sunday morning, it was a beautiful sunny day and I decided I’d check out the Navigation instead. It seemed fitting to be swapping the Manchester canals of the previous Sunday for Mansbridge and the Navigation. Continue reading What a difference a week makes – first published 14 April 2014

Putting CJ to the test

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24 May 2016

When I told Commando I was going to walk the Itchen Navigation to Winchester today and CJ wanted to come along, he was concerned. He didn’t think CJ would cope with a fifteen mile walk, no coffee stops and nothing but nature to look at. In fact he suggested we get the train to Eastleigh and start off there, on the pretty part of the Navigation. CJ insisted he’d be fine though so, fairly early (at least for CJ), we packed some sandwiches and drinks in my rucksack and set off. Continue reading Putting CJ to the test

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

Plane spotting

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30 September 2015

One of the things that’s fast becoming apparent with my drive walk efforts is the difficulty of finding somewhere to park. In the kind of places I want to go to walk this is turning out to be harder than I thought. On Wednesday morning I spent an inordinate amount of time scanning Google Maps trying to find somewhere near the lakes at Allbrook. Never having been there on foot I naively thought there’d be a car park somewhere. Turns out there wasn’t. Eventually I realised I’d been looking at the maps so long I no longer had time for the walk I wanted even if I’d found a car park, which I hadn’t. Continue reading Plane spotting

A cygnet hunt and an accident

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25 May 2015

Once we’d been food shopping and had some lunch I thought I’d go for a little Bank Holiday walk along the river. Apparently the first cygnets have been spotted at Lakside and, although I didn’t have time to go that far, I wondered if there were any at my end of the river. Commando was busy in the garden cleaning things so I left him to it, although I’d half hoped he’d come along and maybe we could stop off for a coffee in the White Swan. Continue reading A cygnet hunt and an accident