The Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

11 June 2017

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

Shawford bound, the easy bit… – first published 3 May 2014

The beginning of May 2013 and, in time honoured tradition, I stood on Tun Bridge looking down at the water wondering what to do. I couldn’t really see the authentic barge man’s path so I was none the wiser and I left the bridge making towards the car park to St Catherine’s Hill still undecided. As luck would have it, as I passed the Footpath sign I saw a man disappearing along the waterside trail. Maybe he knew something I didn’t? Then again, he may have been just about to run into trouble. Either way it made up my mind, I’d take my chances with the barge man’s path. Continue reading Shawford bound, the easy bit… – first published 3 May 2014

Viaducts and more dredgers

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13 July 2015

Back in March I paid my first visit to the viaduct and, as CJ loves all things train, I was sure he would like it. Before long we were walking up the slope and CJ, his walking stick still in his hand, looked ahead and said “cinders and ashes,” quoting Thomas The Tank Engine I believe. We set off across the viaduct with me pointing out the benches and the lovely colourful woodcarvings in the shelters where the linesmen would have stood to let trains go past. Continue reading Viaducts and more dredgers

Plague pits, locked gates and dredgers

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13 July 2015

Pretty soon we were back to where we would have been without the castle detour, looking over Blackbridge at the wharf that is the start of the Itchen Navigation. The river still looked very low to me and it wasn’t long before we found out why. I’d been hoping to take CJ over the 1760’s built Wharf Bridge, the oldest bridge on the waterway, and onto the Navigation path as far as Tunbridge. When we walked onto Domum Road the gate to the bridge was barred and a sign told us the river was being dredged. I couldn’t help thinking that dredging equipment was going to make a real mess of an already uneven and at times precarious path. Continue reading Plague pits, locked gates and dredgers

Winchester, an exercise in not getting lost

Right, which way now?
Right, which way now?

3 March 2015

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