Thursday, 10 April 2014

Watership Down

Yesterday my Husband had the day off work and as the weather was good, the three of us decided to go for a walk around Watership Down.  We planned a 5 mile walk as I haven't done any real exercise since hurting my back.  Somewhere along the way we changed route and ended up doing 9.5 miles!  I'm a little sore this morning! :)
Warning: Despite the title of this post no rabbits are featured - we saw a few, but they were too fast for me to photograph!
We parked the car at Sydmonton and started the circular walk by heading away from Watership Down,
 across the farmland.  Jay found a huge pile of wood chippings to play in.  He may be nearly 19, but still makes his own fun whilst out on walks.  He runs around so much, that I'm sure he covers twice the distance that we do! :)
 Laundry Cottages - part of the Sydmonton Estate.  I would love to live out "in the middle of nowhere" like this.
 We discovered a woodland full of wildflowers.
 Jay found a "bridge" to cross,
 whilst I was busy taking photos of the wildflowers -
Wood Anenome
 Red Campion
 The footpath ran between the woodland and the fields, which were full of ewes and their lambs.
We had a short walk along a narrow road with high banks covered in a tapestry of wildflowers.
 Wood Violets
 and Cowslips.
 We passed many old farms and stables.
 Here we are near Nuthanger Farm, one of the many real locations that Richard Adams writes about in "Watership Down".
 Coming out into the open again and we could see Watership Down again in the distance.  Our path took us away from it
 and along side another field of sheep,
 where Jay made a friend.
 Continuing with our walk, through ever changing environments.  Sometimes surrounded by trees
  and at other times along footpaths
with views across the farmland.
 A couple of times we had to walk along country lanes,
 before turning into the fields again.  Can you see what we saw?  Just sitting in the edge of the field was a hare!  Not just one though,
 there were three!
 We couldn't quite believe it when they started hopping towards us.
 These beautiful creatures are usually so timid,
 but they didn't seem to notice us at first.
Being so close to them was the highlight of the walk for me.
 Once they spotted us they were off at high speed across the field!

Finally we started to head in the direction of Watership Down.
There are no photos of the climb up the side of the down - it was so steep and I don't seem to be as fit as I used to be! :)  We did see some bunnies as we started to climb - just their little cottontails as they ran away from us.
 The climb was worth it as the views from the top are amazing. 

Some parts of the top of the down are not as wild as Richard Adams would have us believe.  Beside the Wayfarer's Walk there are gallops along the top.  This area is famous for its horse racing.
 On Watership Down a tree has been planted in honour of Richard Adams.  I hope it is a Hazel!

 A trig point at the highest spot - 237m.

 Time to head back to the car.  We spotted some local inhabitants.
 It was early evening by the time we finished our walk.  These two photos were taken within 5 minutes of each other.  The light was so changeable!
 One last look at Watership Down.

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