Friday, 23 December 2016

A week of route marches

Yes, Monday saw the beginning of my Christmas hols - I was determined to make up for the forthcoming gorging and inactivity with at least a daily route march.

Monday was drizzly but, kitted up in full waterproofs, I headed off for Figsbury Ring. This is an Iron Age hill fort just outside of Salisbury on the London road. It's owned and managed by the National Trust and isn't very big, but would have had nice views (damned weather). Nevertheless, I continued on the Monarch's Way down the valley towards Winterbourne Earls. Apparently, this long-distance footpath (615 miles!) approximates the escape route of Charles II in 1651 after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester - it runs from Bristol to Brighton.

Winterbourne Earls is on the banks of the River Bourne - a chalk stream tributary of the River Avon, and provided some nice views of it's clear waters.

On Tuesday I met up with a friend north of Devizes at Roundway Hill - a beautiful sunny afternoon, with stunning views across the undulating landscape of this incredible hill, and beyond to the flatness of the plains below.

 Well, I'm surprised it took me until Wednesday to head to Martin Down for a quick yomp with another friend - not much wildlife apart from a buzzard. The raindrops on the hawthorn berries did look beautiful though.

Yesterday was walk-less due to the hellish food shop and cake baking, but today I met up with a friend and walked to Old Sarum. I am so lucky to have this stunning walk on my doorstep, and some starlings (not many though) put on a bit of a show. Mind you, I don't remember there ever being lots around here. Certainly nothing like Somerset or Brighton. The glowing berries of spindle certainly 'popped' in the gloom of the building storm.

This will probably be my last post of 2016, what with Christmas festivities - I'm off to Snowdonia for the New Year, and of course will fit in a few local walks before then I'm sure - got to walk off the excesses!

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