CANCELLED Amongst the Watercress at Alresford

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Lowland and Hill Walks
Oct 26

Sorry, this event has been cancelled.

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18 km (12 miles), 244m of climbing in total

In Britain we associate new towns with the mid-twentieth century; this one dates from the early-thirteenth. New Alresford is a made little town, laid out in 1200 when the 'Novum Forum' was awarded its market charter. The Novum Forum became Broad Street and this is where this walk, which cleverly combines bubbling chalk streams with sweeping chalk downs, will start. 

The overall impression of New Alresford is Georgian, the medieval fabric having been destroyed in fires in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The town grew in importance in the eighteenth century when the turnpike road to Winchester arrived in 1753 and the medieval industries of tanning and cloth weaving were replaced by watercress growing, especially with the arrival of the railway in 1865. Indeed the Mid-Hants (preserved) Railway Line is called 'The Watercress Line'. 

And on this walk (see the route here), watercress will be much in evidence along the beds fed by the pretty River Alre, a tributary of the River Itchen, that quietly cuts through some prime Hampshire downland landscape, particularly at Abbotstone Down near Itchen Stoke. Abbotstone village was abandoned in 1589 but the earthworks remain as well as the current farmhouse which incorporates a Tudor mansion. As well as handsome farmhouses, mills will be noticeable, such as Fuller's Mill on the Alre.

Dogs are welcome to join us on this event but we do ask the following:
Please ensure you adhere to the Countryside Code at all times - see (Keeping Dogs Under Effective Control)
If your dog is uncontrolled and strays in open land frightening other animals or livestock, the leader is supported by the OutdoorLads board of trustees to ask you to leave the event as this is not acceptable behaviour.

All images are licensed for re-use under Creative Commons. The credits are: Golden Light on Abbotstone Down by (unknown); The Fulling Mill, New Alresford by John Smitten; Broad Street, New Alresford by Richard Slessor; New Alresford West St by John Cullen; New Alresford by Dave Jacobs; Watercress Beds, Alresford, Hampshire by Peter Trimming; Water Course at Alresford, Hampshire by Peter Trimming; Path through woodland at Abbotstone Down by David Martin; Farmland, Itchen Stoke by Andrew Smith; Farmland, track and woodland, Brown Candover by Andrew Smith; Cottages at the junction, Abbotstone by Robin Webster)

My thanks to Gavin for writing this one up for me.


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