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…

Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

13 June 2018

We’d made it to Kiln Lane without getting stung, which felt a little like a miracle. We’d got across three bank breaches, one that had left me with wet feet, and had climbed over one fallen tree. According to Commando, there was at least one more fallen tree and, possibly, one more bad bank breach somewhere along the eight and a half miles between Kiln Lane and home. If I was a betting woman, I’d have put my money on it being on the next stretch of towpath.  Continue reading Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

Once more into the breach

13 June 2018

Shortly after we got going again we passed the first houses of Shawford, with their huge green gardens sloping down towards the river. These were closely followed by a triangular Navigation marker telling us it was nine miles to Northam Wharf, and the bridge over Shawford Road. Those nine miles are a moot point. Mapping the walk, it’s nine and a quarter miles, give or take, to Cobden Bridge. Northam Wharf is ten and a half miles. Perhaps these measurements are by barge? Continue reading Once more into the breach

A reconnaissance mission

13 June 2018

Last summer the Spitfires had a Summer Challenge run from Winchester to Woolston on the Itchen Navigation. John asked me if I’d lead a walking group, as there were a few people who didn’t feel up to running the fifteen miles but didn’t want to miss out. Obviously I jumped at the chance and we all had a tough, but amazing day. In fact, it was such a success John decided to do it all again this year. On Sunday, Commando and the fast boys went on a reconnaissance mission. Today, CJ and I did the same.  Continue reading A reconnaissance mission

Snowmen and spring flowers

18 March 2018

Of course we couldn’t stay in the warm pub forever. We lingered as long as we could, sipping our coffee slowly and letting the warmth seep back into our cold bones. When we could put it off no longer we bundled ourselves up in our warm coats and hats and stepped back into the frozen world outside. After the warmth of the fire it seemed colder than ever.  Continue reading Snowmen and spring flowers

Frozen bridges, frozen feet

18 March 2018

“I’m not walking up Woodmill Lane,” CJ said, once I’d presented him with all the options.
He had a point, even without snow it’s a steep and seemingly unending climb to the Castle at Midanbury and an even steeper descent on the other side. Despite the cold, he didn’t want to turn back yet either though so we crossed the road and kept going along the river. Continue reading Frozen bridges, frozen feet

When winter and spring collide

18 March 2018

Today I was supposed to be tailwalking the Eastleigh 10k. With the bitter cold and unending rain of the last few days it wasn’t a prospect I was relishing. Tailwalking is usually a slow business and the current weather demands a fast pace to keep warm. As it was, the weather decided to intervene. A few flakes of snow began to fall as we left parkrun yesterday morning. While we were enjoying our post parkrun coffee in the Bellemoor a message came through to say the race was cancelled. It was something of a relief.  By the time we left the pub it was snowing in earnest and, by this morning, it was clear cancelling the race had been a smart move. Continue reading When winter and spring collide

Lovely weather for ducks

15 March 2018

After the snow came the rain. It seemed to go on and on with one cold, grey, damp day following another. Walking was something to get from a to b as quickly as possible rather than an enjoyment. There was plenty of it but nothing that warranted pulling my phone out of my pocket. Today though, there was a brief dryish spell and I had an errand that took me along the riverbank.  Continue reading Lovely weather for ducks

The beast from the east

1 March 2018

Just when it felt like spring was yawning, stretching and preparing to throw off the winter covers, the weatherman said a big snow storm was blowing in from Russia. I frantically searched the house for my yaktrax and thought about where I could go walking in it. Ok, maybe I have issues, but we don’t get snow very often here on the south coast. My inner cyclic said it would probably come to nothing. The Met Office are fond of making snow mountains out of a few flakes.  Continue reading The beast from the east

West Side wanderings

18 February 2018

The River Itchen meanders through the centre of Southampton dividing it roughly into two halves, west and east of the river. Almost all my life I’ve lived on the east side, so much of the west side of town is something of a mystery to me. Today CJ and I thought we’d explore a small part of it. There was a plan, albeit a fairly vague one, centred around an unusual church we’d seen from a bus some time ago.

Continue reading West Side wanderings