Friday, 11 May 2007

Kingsclere: Watership Down and Cottington's Hill

Looking back towards Kingsclere

The walk leaves Kingsclere, passing by the church and a duck pond, to reach open fields and a gradual but increasingly steep climb to the racing gallops on the ridge of the North Hampshire downs. (The view above was taken just before reaching the gallops.) You are just above the legendary Watership Down at this point. The walk then doubles back along the ridge and then descends to traverse a lower slope before the final stretch back to Kingsclere, through fields and along a lane. In the later part of the walk there is a lovely view back towards Watership Down. 6 1/2 splendid miles in all.

View towards Watership Down

Rating: four stars.

From: Rambling for Pleasure: Kennet Valley and Watership Down by David Bounds for the East Berkshire Ramblers’ Association Group.

Map: Explorer 144 (Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch).


The Kingsclere to Hannington walk shares part of the route (in the opposite direction) and so it is possible to see what the bright yellow field of oilseed rape I photographed then looks like now. As the photo below plainly shows, the answer is that it is green-with-a-hint-of-yellow. Another reason for not getting too wound up about it.

A field of oilseed rape


One of the key things about walking is learning to notice things: the details as well as the landscape. I spotted these King Alfred's Cakes just to the side of a stile. They seem well named.

King Alfred's Cakes

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