On my day off this week on a beautiful sunny but breezy day we drove to the village of Hannington to enjoy another walk. Hannington is one of the highest villages in Hampshire set on the North Hampshire Downs and is in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
It is a location I know well, being only a few miles from my home village of Kingsclere and for six very happy years in my far distant youth I worked on top of the Downs at the Home Office Wireless Depot (more of that later).
Having parked up the car at the Vine pub we made our way up through the village, over the village green and down by the side of the Church to the footpath that takes you to For Down and the Wayfarer's Walk.
The Wayfarer's Walk is a long distance path that extends for 70 miles from Inkpen Beacon (just across the Berkshire border) through Hampshire to Emsworth (near the Sussex border).
Once you reach the end of the footpath the vista opens up as you reach the open fields. The farmer's have left field margins and the wild flowers that grow there are so beautiful. As you might be able to tell one of my favourite flowers is the poppy and I got a bit carried away taking photos of them and afterwards wished I had taken a greater variety of the other flowers that were on offer!
I love to see fields of barley shimmering in the breeze.
We have now reached part of the Wayfarer's Walk and the stunning views you get across the Hampshire Downland are truly wonderful.
From reading some of my previous posts you might have gathered that I love cloudscapes and this was a perfect day for getting such shots.
After crossing For Down we followed the Wayfarer's Walk as far as Stubbington Down. The views from here looking across to White Hill and Watership Down (of rabbit fame, yes this is where Richard Adams set his famous book) are stunning and are the views of my childhood. I spent many happy hours walking with my Dad all over this Downland scenery from a very young age.
It was then time to turn off of the Wayfarer's Walk and turn right taking us up the hill towards the top of Cottington's Hill past this lovely field of clover ...
... towards the top of the hill where you can see the Hannington transmitter mast.
Just before disappearing into the trees I couldn't resist one more view, this time looking down onto the village of my birth and the surrounding countryside.
As I said previously, this is where I used to work, right on top of the Downs underneath the transmitter mast. I don't think I fully appreciated how special it was back then to work in such a location and look out on those views every day.
From here we walked downhill past the farm in the dip and then uphill again to the road where we turned left back towards Hannington.
We were pretty thirsty by the time we reached the village and as we had used the pub carpark for parking our car it would have been inpolite not to have a drink on our return (and a lovely meal).
This has to be one of the most enjoyable walks we have done for a long time on a perfect day and I am sure it won't be long until we are back here to do another walk around this lovely village, there are so many more walks we can do from here but I would be more than happy to repeat this one.
I am so thankful that having reached the age of 60 I am losing weight and getting fitter allowing us to enjoy walking in the countryside once again.