Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Staycation, day 3

Out today to the north of Hampshire to visit, first, a craft centre up in Andover, and then on for a hike in nearby Harewood Forest.


Our first stop was an old fairground just to the west of Andover that's been converted into a series of arts and crafts shops (actually, they looked more like former stables). A few interesting bits and bobs to see, but not a whole heap to buy. One or two of the shops were actually pretty specialist, and very much at the pricey end of the crafts places we've visited. Just down the road, we came across the colourful bovine pictured above, the mascot for a local farm shop, but one we first mistook for a Cow Parade escapee.

2010-10-20 Middleton walk

Our hike was a fairly easygoing circular trek through 13.1 km of Harewood Forest just to the east of Andover. The weather was just about perfect, with nearly constant sunshine keeping the temperature (and, latterly, our spirits) up. We did get distracted by a futile wild goose chase to find some ancient monument deep in the woods, but otherwise the hike went more or less according to plan (= as per our walk book).

The trail itself was a mix of farmland and forest, so was a little more varied than many of the walks we do in Hampshire. It actually took in a portion of the Test Way, so it was also more straightforward to navigate. And, oddly, we had it completely to ourselves - we never met, or even saw, anyone else on it. Not an especially photogenic walk, but there were some nice vistas across rolling fields, and (I presume) the high chalk content of the soil made for a nice range of browns across the ploughed fields ...


As usual, photos over at Flickr.

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