The magic of Winnal Moors

5 August 2018

Of course I couldn’t stand in the park gasping at the wonderful views across Winchester forever. Eventually I dragged myself away, walked back down Blue Ball Hill, which was certainly the easiest direction to tackle it from, and headed somewhere far more familiar. It was now around twenty past nine and Commando wouldn’t be back at the car park until just before eleven, so I had more than enough time for a stroll around Winnal Moors. Continue reading The magic of Winnal Moors

Winnall Moors, giants, runners and walking in circles

3 September 2017

In the end I couldn’t resist going through the gate although I did stop to check the strange sculpture of the man from the other side just in case he held some kind of notice. He didn’t because he was actually the giant from the Winnall Moors Story Book not a guard at all but, of course, I didn’t know that at the time.  Continue reading Winnall Moors, giants, runners and walking in circles

Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

3 September 2017

Back on the main trail again and trying hard not to scratch my itchy ankles and make them worse, I carried on. Google Maps told me the Winchester School of Art was somewhere behind the trees to my left but I couldn’t see it.  There was water too, part of a network of streams and canals running off the Itchen to drown the water meadows, but this too was invisible to me from the path. what I did see was another rustic bench, this one carved like the little totem poles I’d passed earlier. Continue reading Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

A little more history than we bargained for

20 August 2017

Garnier Road was always going to be the tipping point of my plan. As we stood looking over the wall beside Meadow View Cottage, I was frantically trying to decide which way to go. The water of Lockburn Stream tumbled through a sluice below us. The pretty little house perched precariously close, looking as if it might once have been a mill.  Continue reading A little more history than we bargained for

whoever seeks abroad may find

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3 November 2016

Following in the footsteps of John Keats, we’d walked from the centre of  Winchester with its Christmas decorations, across the water meadows to St Cross. At the kissing gate beside the old sluice we stopped. Back in Keats’ day these sluices would still have been used to drown the meadows and encourage new grass for the grazing cows. These days the sluice stands idle but the cows still graze and the grass is lush and green. Continue reading whoever seeks abroad may find

Woods, meadows and hidden history

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20 September 2016

Just when I thought we had somehow missed the brick kiln and we were about to go through the gate and off of the Woodland Nature Trail I noticed another trail. It was fairly overgrown and I had an idea it would just lead us round in a circle but I decided to walk a little way just in case. This turned out to be a brilliant plan. Continue reading Woods, meadows and hidden history

water, dog dips and an interloper on the trail

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24 May 2016

With one last look at the alpacas In the field, we crossed the road at Kiln Lane and I showed CJ the half hidden entrance to the next section of the canal.
“If I hadn’t met Peter, the smiley man, that first time I might never have found it,” I told him. “It’s one of the few places you can get lost on the Navigation.”
Then we carried on, hunger driving us to pick up the pace and get to the rustic benches as soon as possible. There aren’t that many dry places to sit on the Navigation, even in the middle of summer and this is one of the muddiest stretches. Continue reading water, dog dips and an interloper on the trail

Breaking new ground

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24 May 2016

We’d reached Bishopstoke and the more scenic part of the Itchen Navigation without incident. Well, apart from the circus, a koi carp in the Itchen and some slightly scary cows behind a flimsy fence. CJ seemed to be holding up well, despite Commando’s misgivings. It took a while to get across the road, it always does, but soon we were on the other side of Stoke Bridge looking at a much wider, tarmacked path. Continue reading Breaking new ground

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 break in the rain

Osteospermum
Osteospermum

25 July 2015

Friday’s severe weather warnings came to nothing but steady, all day rain. Mostly I stayed indoors, catching up on housework. On a dash to the bins I passed the new waterbut and could hear water trickling in. On the way to the shops in the afternoon, the trickling had stopped. Lifting the lid I saw water to the brim. It had been empty the day before. Continue reading a break in the rain