A Hop onto Watership Down
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A late summer hike across the North Wessex Downs with a number of moderate (South East standards) ascents.
It will be a long day at a brisk pace but if we make good progress there will be a country pub stop too.
This event is targeted at those seeking a more challenging day.
Key points of interest:
- Two Iron age forts at the summit of Ladle and Beacon Hill
- A view of "Downton Abbey" (Highclere Castle)
- Burial place of Lord Carnarvon (of 'Tutankhamun's excavation' fame)
- Site of Sir Geoffrey de Haviland first flight
- Sydmonton, location of the estate of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
- Watership Down, setting for Richard Adams Novel
The Down is best known as the setting of the 1978 British animated adventure drama film, based on Richard Adams' 1972 novel. The area is popular with cyclists and walkers, a bridleway (Wayfarer's Walk) runs along the ridge of the Down which lies at the south-eastern edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Natural Beauty.
We will pass the following points of interest from the Book/Film:
- The Iron Road (Chapter27): "We came upon broad, flat pieces of wood and two great, fixed bars of metal.....this is mens work all right"
- The Combe Bigwig v Fox (Chapter30): "a shallow, dry downland combe....The fox was below them and still some way off"
- Caesar's Belt (Chapter30): "the line is marked by Caesar's Belt, a strip of woodland as straight as the road, narrow indeed but more than three miles long"
- The Beech Hanger (Chapter48): "On the ridge between Hare Warren Down and Watership Down, Doctor Adams stopped the car"
- The Hanger and the Honeycomb (Chapter19): "It consisted almost entirely of well grown beeches...."
- The Pylon Line (Chapter18): "...unnatural humming of a pylon in the summer air... Fiver's assurance that it could do them no harm"
- Nuthanger Farm (Chapter24): "Nuthanger is like a farm in an old tale"
- Watership Down (Chapter18): "You can see the whole world!"
You should have regular experience of walking 15+ miles before signing up to this event.
What to bring
Water: bring at least a litre
Medicines: if you have any ailments etc.
Rucksack: or any other bag
Footwear: hiking boots or sturdy trainers.
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally not jeans which become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
Bring plenty of food and drink, there are no shops on the route and no shops at Overton station. You will need snacks to maintain energy levels.