Marian, Linda, June and Maddie decided to have a fun day out in Portsmouth, with most of us leaving Petersfield Station to meet others in Portsmouth Harbour. It seemed churlish to rush in to a walk without first having a coffee near to the Spinnaker Tower. Suitably refreshed, we headed along the Millenium Walkway marked with a chain link on the pavement. With lots of interesting views we eventually reached the funfair in Southsea, but sadly the Big Wheel wasn't working, so the nervous heaved a sigh of relief. Heading inland we found Portsmouth Cathedral for a quick visit and then wandered on to the John Pounds memorial. He was the originator of the Ragged Schools movement and was a shoemaker, altruist and teacher for the poor children of Portsmouth. Travelling back towards the harbour we walked down Lombard Street with its 17th and 18th Century houses buit within the walls of Old Portsmouth. Lunch was taken in the Old Customs House, on the edge of the relatively new Gunwharf Quays. Afternoon walking was relatively short with a wander through the Historic Dockyard before we eventually gathered together for refreshments near to HMS Warrior, launched in 1860 and at the time the ultimate weapon in warfare. A great day out and we probably walked about 6 miles
Mary, John and Barbara's walk started in the recreation field in Rogate village. After crossing the A272 the walkers headed for Haben Farm and the hamlet of Habin (at least one of these spellings must be correct!). Crossing the River Rother twice they reached the tiny church of St Peter in Terwick, with its origins back in the 11th or 12th Century. Crossing the A272 once again the route went through Fyning and on to Terwick Common before looping back to eventually reach the cars in the playing field. Splendid lunch was had in the Jolly Drover in nearby Hillbrow. The walk was about 3.1/2 miles
Pauline's walk started by the pond in the Hampshire village of Buriton known in the past for its award winning Hops, Chalk & Lime mining and Cricket. The walk went uphill through a wooded area, cut across fields and then took a gentle climb to the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Country park. After stopping to admire the views we circled back to follow the South Downs Way past the old Chalk quarries. They were once a hive of activity, now with little disturbance the area has become a rich habitat for natural chalk based species of plants, fungi, insects, birds and small mammals. A steep downhill on the Milky Way path, past Buriton House built in 1910 by Lothian George Bonham Carter because it’s said, his wife didn’t like living in the Manor House as it was part of an active farm with all the smells and activities that farming brings with it! Taking a path towards the Old Hop Kiln, decommissioned from use in the late 1960’s, later converted into homes, this building housed the drying of hops before their journey to the breweries. During the hop-picking season village children would be given time off school to help the scores of people who came to the village to work in the hop fields. If anyone is interested in finding out more about Buriton there is an excellent website - just click HERE . The walk continued to the Manor House and Church and back to the pond where the pit ponies used to be washed off after a hard day working in the Chalk quarries, the pond today is calm and a lovely recreational asset to the village. After four and a third miles, the last stop of the morning was the Five Bells pub where a delicious lunch was enjoyed by all. With many thanks to Pauline for photos and information and additional photos from Paul.
Jennifer concluded the weather was conducive to a wonderful walk from Prinsted Marina, going east around the shoreline with the tide at its fullest and stopping to look out over to Thorney Island from a well placed bird hide, (just a few old birds seen inside). A number of Common Seals do inhabit this area, protected by the Chichester Conservancy Trust and as the only known rookery (the breeding grounds of seals are also known as rookeries) in the Eastern English Channel, seals are very important, but unfortunately none were seen on this outing. On to Cobnor Point overlooking the delightful Bosham Channel, and eventually to Chidham and The Old House at Home, who provided a delicious lunch, so delicious some just had to have dessert and no one wanted to leave to start walking again. Staggering (from food) out of the pub this time going a little across country back to Prinsted, the scenery was looking very different with the tide now out. An excellent walk of over seven and half miles. Many many thanks to Isabel and Pauline for their contributions to this report.
Jennifer aided by Pauline led the walk which started by admiring the view overlooking Fryan’s Hanger at Duncton Down, climbing higher to go along the edge of Woolavington Down. After leaving the open spaces and fields now fully harvested, the route crossed the South Downs Way and went into woodland, where we stopped for refreshment before doubling back on another path to admire more stunning views. We reached Crown Tegleaze, once the highest point on the Southdowns Way until someone added Hampshire, with Butser Hill being a mere 15 metres higher. The weather for this walk was ideal with sunshine and a light breeze, although less than five miles with a little detour and lots of stops to look at views, working out what and where it was that we were marvelling at, made us a little late for the delightful lunch provided by the Badgers at Coultershaw Bridge. Friends unable to walk that day were content (we think) to wait for the intrepid and happy walkers.