Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Time Out Country Walk Book 1 No 48
Pints of Ringwood Ale: 1.5
To Hampshire during a much needed break in the wintry weather for a long walk mainly along the Test. The river is high; not quite bursting its banks but nearly there. The water was clear in the strong March sunlight and you could see the enormous trout the Test is famous for. We explored two churches, both dating back to the 11th century, one with stocks outside and another with a 1610 picture of somebody being stoned for collecting firewood on the sabbath (see above).
The pub was the Plough, one of those bland affairs with maddening soft rock muzak which have turned into a restaurant to survive. But the fish and chips were great and it was good to find locally brewed ale.
The walk's been messed around with, partly by landowners who are keen on enjoying their bankside privacy and also by a farmer who's let the path become overgrown and at one point has actually barred access to a style. And elsewhere Hampshire council have diverted 'the Test Way' around a huge and smelly pig farm. In my rush to get out of the house for the train I'd printed out the wrong updates so it was unnecessarily stressy at one point, what with Ms T needing new boots because the pair she has are pinching her ankles.
Apart from that it was fine.