Monday, 15 June 2020

Crookham and the River Enborne

We started this walk at the Travellers' Friend pub in Crookham and headed south past some houses to suddenly emerge into farmland. A little further on, a meadow on the right was covered in Oxeye daisies. We immediately saw our first Marbled Whites of the year, a few Skippers and legions of Meadow Browns.

We passed through a bit of woodland to soon reach the River Enborne, here a narrow, shallow and winding stream. The river rises between West Woodhay and Inkpen, to the west of Newbury and meanders eastwards to join the Kennet near Aldermaston.

We followed the line of the river and enjoyed spotting this damselfly, which seems to be a Beautiful Demoiselle. We were a bit surprised that the fields here seemed to be hardly cultivated.

We reached a road and turned left towards Folly Farm which we skirted, spotting this toad on the path as we passed by.

We crossed a road and walked through a series of fields, passing this substantial cattle trough - rather like our own bath we thought.

We headed then through woodland climbing towards the top of Huntsmoor Hill. Just as we approached the top we passed this curious construction. We could come up with no plausible idea of what it could be.

At the top is Hill House, an intriguing construction, which seemed to us to be reminiscent of a Mexican hacienda.

Now down a narrow lane to reach the hamlet of Goose Hill and along a path, identified as Park Lane, through woods and then across fields - we were disappointed that the next path wasn't called Mayfair - to reach the Brimpton to Crookham road.

Conditions: warm and sunny.

From: Rambling for pleasure. Kennet Valley and Watership Down.

Map: Explorer 158 (Newbury & Hungerford)

Distance: 6.25 miles

Rating: four stars, mainly for the first half.

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