Ten walkers made the longish journey from Waterloo to Shawford in Hampshire on Saturday morning to meet up with leader Roy who lives in the area. Soon we were up on Shawford down and crossing the M3 to Compton Down. It was not an arduous walk, undulating rather than hilly, and Roy treated us gently, with frequent pauses for information about the history of the area.
He had certainly done his research – we learnt about the mizmaze (turf maze) on St Catherine’s Hill, the WW1 troop camps surrounding Winchester and the history of Richard Cromwell (son of Oliver) in the village of Hursley, where we stopped for lunch at the Kings Head. Roy raised the bar for leaders by providing a handout on the history of the area – which is proving a great help in writing this report! Either side of lunch we picked up the Monarch’s Way, a 615 mile footpath marking the approximate route Charles II took escape after defeat at the Battle of Worcester. All too soon we were going back under the M3 and into the prosperous commuter town of Shawford with some impressive properties. With a 50 minute wait for our train we stopped to look for fish in the Itchen Navigation and then repaired to the pub across the road in search of liquid refreshment. Unfortunately the service was so slow that most of the group gave up.
Thanks Roy for a very enjoyable and informative day. Gillian
photo of King’s Head Hursley by Peter Facey