Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Chutes

St Nicholas church, Upper Chute

This is new territory for us: an area just over the border from Hampshire into Wiltshire where there are a series of small settlements called Chute. We start from the bus stop in Upper Chute and walk towards the church. It is by John Loughborough Pearson and dates from 1872 and is quite picturesque, but the elements seem to have been arranged in a fairly random way.

We turned right along a lovely green lane. This is the view looking back.

The lane continued into woodland where we saw a wonderful concentration of wild garlic.

We turned left into Breach Lane and enjoyed a lovely clump of Beech trees.

At the end of the lane we emerged onto Chute Casueway, a section of the Roman road from Winchester to Mildenhall (in Suffolk!). This section is not straight, as was normal in Roman roads, as it follows a ridge to avoid a deep valley.

At the end of this section is Conholt House, which unfortunately was so well tucked away that we could form no impresssion of it. We entered Conholt Park and followed a path through scattered trees.

This gave way to a couple of large fields and then more parkland. I was pleased to spot my first Small Heath of the year in this area.

The pleasant winding trail emerged into the village of Lower Chute. This thatched cottage just before the pub was the most pleasing house ...

... but the pub was even more picturesque. Shame about the van!

Next door was a building with a rather lovely tree decoration.

To complete the walk we headed across agricultural land to return to Upper Chute.

Conditions: a lovely sunny day.

Distance: 4.5 miles.

From: Jarrold short walks: Wiltshire.

Map: Explorer 131 (Romsey & Andover)

Rating: four stars.  A delightful short walk.

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