Super-Duper Trooper Looper (Hampshire)


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18 km / 11 miles

6 hours

Some landscape and settlement notes:

Ashford Hangers - Shoulder of Mutton Hill: In his England's Hundred Best Views, Simon Jenkins regards the vista from Shoulder of Mutton Hill as one of nation's finest. He writes: 'In the distance we can see the long ridge of the South Downs floating comfortably across the horizon. To the south the contour softens towards the coast at Portsmouth. But above the village of Steep the hills seem to lose all discipline. The greensand ridges of the Hampshire Downs argue with each other. Escarpments bunch and jostle. Beech woods cling to the slopes in dramatic clumps known as hangers...The area is known from its contours as Little Switzerland, though Little Tuscany might be more appropriate'. Evoked and mythologised by local poet Edward Thomas, we'll see his monument at the viewpoint.

Ashford Hangers - Cobbett's View: The journalist, politician and social reformer William Cobbett described the view from Wheatham Hill in 1822 thus: “... out we came, all in a moment, at the very edge of the hanger! And never, in all my life, was I so surprised and so delighted! I pulled up my horse, and sat and looked; and it was like looking from the top of a castle down into the sea, except that the valley was land and not water.” This was on the 24 November. 195 years and one day later we'll be sharing his delight.

High Cross and Froxfield: Two spacious, scattered flint and chalk villages high up on the plateau behind Stonor Hill and Shoulder of Mutton Hill. At altitudes of 190 to 204 metres above sea level respectively, they are among the highest villages in Hampshire. Both possess fine late-Victorian churches. Froxfield in particular has a pretty village green with thatched cottages and symmetrical late Georgian villas around it.


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