It is only a couple of days since I returned from walking in the Black Mountains and it is time for the car to go for a service. Rather than take a courtesy car for the day I prefer to head out for a walk from the garage, so my starting point is in the village of Middle Wallop, which is just over the Hampshire border from home.
Starting my walk from Pinchbecks Garage in Middle Wallop, (the garage is next door to the George Inn), I walk a very short distance north besides the A343 and then take a footpath on the right and follow the way-markers heading east.
There are a series of easily manageable stiles and then I enter a field with some discarded old farm machinery.
Continuing to follow the way-markers I cross two minor roads and then at the third road I turn right and wander down into Nether Wallop. At a crossroads I head straight across to pass the village green, or Moulands Meadow as it is known. The Wallop Brook runs along the north edge of the green.
At a junction I turn left and then follow the road as sweeps to the right to pass the now closed Five Bells pub. Sadly this pub closed in 2013 and despite a continued campaign by villagers it shows no sign of re-opening any time soon with the current owner reluctant to sell to the community. Earlier in 2019 the Test Valley Council served an urgent improvement notice on the owners to prevent further deterioration of the Grade II listed building. About forty years ago I used to visit the pub occasionally, in those days it was always a busy local boozer, lets hope it can soon return to its former glory.
At a junction I turn left into Aylwards Way and then fork right to follow a footpath that runs besides the village playing fields.
I stay with the way-marked footpath as it heads across an arable field to pass Berry Court Farm and then on towards the A30.
I cross the A30 and continue on a footpath heading south across fields towards Broughton.
I enter Broughton close to the village school and then pass the Doctor’s Surgery to reach a road junction where I turn right along the High Street. As I walk through the village I stop at the village well. The stone plaque in the wall sates “This Well made in the drought of 1921 was given to Broughton by John Trude Fripp in memory of his son Lt. John Trude Fripp who was killed in action in the Great War at Loos October 1915”.
Soon after passing the well I take the next turning on the left to head down Rectory Lane, I cross the Wallop Brook and at a crossing of paths turn right to walk between the ends of gardens and an arable field. On reaching a track I turn left to follow this route as it heads in a north-easterly direction.
I stay with this track, ignoring another track coming in from the right and after going through a small copse I reach a minor road, here there is another track coming in from the right which I follow between high hedges. The hedgerow is interspersed with Blackthorn and the Sloes are ripe and ready for picking so I collect a few in my empty lunch box, they will be put to good use in making Sloe Gin.
The track soon opens out as it heads towards the A 30.
On reaching the main road I turn right to follow the road verge for a couple of hundred yards before veering away from the road to head towards a copse. In the field to my right is a large sculpture of a lamb.
At a footpath on the left I leave the track I am on to head through a copse to reach the A30, which I cross and continue heading north-westerly on a footpath besides an arable field. There is a ditch that has been excavated by the edge of the field, the purpose of which is unclear, this is chalk downland so its not for drainage, I can only assume it is to prevent access to vehicles associated with hare coursing.
I stay with the footpath as it turns to the left still following the edge of a field. This brings me to the end of a minor road, I turn right and follow a track which heads in a north-easterly direction towards a minor road.
On reaching the road I turn left and walk the short distance to the entrance driveway of Danebury Hillfort, here I turn left and follow the track to reach the access land around the hillfort. I continue uphill to reach the trig pillar. It is almost thirty years since I have been here and in those days I did not bag trig pillars, so this is number 169 on my “bagged” list.
It is a cracking day and the views are stunning, so I sit and enjoy the vista.
From the trig pillar I wander over to the Iron Age Hillfort. It was built in the 6th Century BC and occupied for about 500 years. It is a stunning location and not that far from home, so I will have to bring Lynnie here again.
From the hillfort I head back down the entrance driveway to reach the road and I turn left to walk besides the road. I stay with the road for just over a mile and then take a footpath on the right going besides a hedge towards woods.
After entering the trees I turn left along a track heading towards Kentsboro.
On reaching the A343 I turn left and then take the B3084 almost opposite, after almost a mile besides this road I take a turning on the left to join a track, Park Drove and follow this towards Park Farm, just before reaching the farm buildings I take a footpath on the right which heads across arable fields and then follows a track.
After crossing a minor road I continue on the track, at a junction I turn left and then almost immediately right, then left again at the next junction. After going through a small copse the footpath runs through a caravan storage yard and then a further field to reach the A343 where I turn right and walk the short distance back to my start point.
My walk has covered close to 16-miles and it has been a cracking afternoon to be out. It’s amazing that this countryside is so close to my home but much of the route I have followed is on footpaths I have never previously walked.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 131 – Romsey, Andover & Test Valley
19th September 2019
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)