St Mary's church, KIngsclere
This is a walk we have done before, albeit in the reverse direction: Watership Down and Cottington Hill. We set out from the car park near the Norman church of St Mary and climbed Anchor Road to reach the playing field. We headed along the right side of the field towards the Hannington radio mast on Cottington Hill, first walking along the right hand side of the gallops of Park House Stables owned by the Balding family.
At the far side of the gallops, just as we entered the wood, we had a nice view back towards Kingsclere, enlivened by some horses out for a gallop.
As we climbed we were intrigued by this tree which had split into two and then somehow created a branch which linked the twin trunks.
At the top of the climb we headed right (west) passing the radio mast and continuing along the same line to reach the car park at White Hill, where the path crosses a road. This was the view ahead towards Watership Down.
And this is a more comprehensive look at White Hill.
We walked along the ridge, soon with gallops on our right and after a mile or so doubled back across the gallops (there is a gate) and headed back along the other side. Then down through a little bit of woodland and along farm tracks to reach the road back to Kingsclere.
Entering the village we crossed the shallow stream ...
... and walked along the main street back to the car park.
New flowers of the day
Rough Hawk Bit?
In the past when I have done versions of this walk I have always been struck by the ferocious yellow of large fields of oil-seed rape. Today there was no sign of any rapeseed. A quick Google suggests that there is indeed less demand for it. It certainly would enable the countryside to revert to a more natural-looking colour palette.
Conditions: warm and sunny.
Distance: 5.75 miles.
From: Walking in the North Wessex Downs (Cicerone).
Maps: Explorer 144 (Basingstoke, Alton & Whitchurch.
Rating: four stars.