Saturday, 16 June 2012

Hinton Ampner to Wind Farm (Wayfarer's Walk 13)

 Hinton Ampner

The weather forecast promised a morning free from rain, so I thought I would make the most of it and continue the Wayfarer's Walk. I picked up the route near Hinton Ampner House, catching a glimpse of the house - neo-Georgian in style, dating only from a substantial remodelling of 1937. Eventually I will get to see Ralph Dutton's celebrated gardens, but not today.

The nearby church is of Saxon origin, although the tower dates only from 1879.  I then followed the fenced path around the boundary of the National Trust property.

At a cross roads of paths I diverted briefly to the right to photograph this obelisk (marked on the OS map as "Monument") at the edge of the grounds of the house. I know not what it commemorates.

The path now led uphill through grazing sheep, all the time with fine views back to the house.

Soon you reach the village of Kilmiston. The official route goes through fields at the back of the village but I decided to take an alternative route through the village itself, in case the church or manor house were of interest. The small church looks Victorian, although a sign says that it dates from 1730. The early 18th century manor house is substantial, but currently being restored.

Now the path went beside a paddock and through a lightly smelly field of rape to pass through a hedge and head straight across a vast cornfield. Well done to the farmer for marking such a fine wide track!

This led, via another couple of fields to Wind Farm where the route merges briefly with the South Downs Way. This made a sensible stopping point so I headed back after admiring the pleasant view over the country I had just traversed.

The route back was notable for the sighting of a Small White butterfly: the only one today and the first I have seen for what seems like weeks.

Conditions: cloudy, but some glimpses of the sun; reasonably mild.

Distance: 6 miles of which 3 were forwards along the Wayfarer's Walk; 46.5 now covered.

Map: Explorer 132 (Winchester).

Rating: three and a half stars.

Flowers of the day

There was quite a bit of White Campion about.

And, less familiar to me, also this dramatic Bladder Campion.

No comments: