Monday, 13 July 2020


The Old School House

We first did this walk in 2005 (before I began blogging) and did so again in 2007 when my blog was only embryonic. The walk starts at the Community Centre from where you cross the road past the Old School House (the picture above dates from 2007 - the bushes have grown to the point where the house is almost invisible from the road.

We passed the old mill and followed a track which emerged into a massive field.

We crossed another field and a road to walk along this delightful green track, with lots of butterflies leaping into flight as we passed by.

Further on there was a great view of Watership Down which is due south of Ecchinswell.

We passed Nuthanger Farm and a grand, new-looking Georgian style house with fine views over the surrounding country. I couldn't get a picture of it, but this light plane will have to do.

We` headed downhill in the direction of Ecchinswell and admired a new farm, not on the map, ...

... the wind in the barley (?) created some lovely patterns.

Passing this farm we turned left into the Symonton estate, passing Watership Farm and turning right to climb up to the strangely-named Laundry Cottages.

Passing the cottages we continued north, catrching a distant glimpse of my Georgian style house on top of its hill.

We followed this track across a road and past a couple of house to emerge into another massive field, this time of broad beans. The edge of the nearby wood was absolutely swarming with Green-veined White butterflies. I have never seen so many.

We made a right angle turn and this time the hedgerow had plenty of Gatekeeper butterflies (my first of the year). I was also intrigued by these beautiful berries. We have identified the plant as a Guelder Rose - the berries will become bright red in the autumn. Apparently, the presence of this rose is an indicator of an ancient woodland.

We crossed a road and admired this pretty cottage ...

... then walking through fields to reach Ecchinswell.

Conditions: bright and warm.

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

Maps: Explorer 158 (Newbury and Hungerford) and 144 (Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch).

Distance: 5 miles.

Rating: four stars.A varied and enjoyable walk, quite near to home.

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