10:00am saw synchronised departures from Copse Close and Bramshott Place respectively – who would reach the rendezvous first? Well it certainly wasn’t going to be Allison as 3 lots of roadworks with traffic lights put paid to that – and that was just getting out of Liphook! Today’s meeting place was Whiteways Lodge on the A29 at the top of Bury Hill, and from there in one car back to Littleton Farm.
No chance to get everything moving, today’s walk started with a long bit of climbing with quite a few stops for photos and breathing. After our speedy 5 miles along the seafront at Southsea a couple of days ago, we soon realised that this was going to take a while longer – and there weren’t any ice cream vans en route! It was on this uphill challenge that our Odyssey was renamed Sodyssey but we bravely continued and reached the top.
From here we were rewarded with distant views of the sea (luckily they were distant or we would have been miles from the South Downs Way), loads of sheep and a few urrgghh, cows! We were amazed by how many cyclists we encountered, and other walkers, with the usual polite greeting of “Good Morning” well into the afternoon.
Men in Lycra
We stopped for lunch just after Toby’s Stone, and just before the path started to go downhill again, so that we could enjoy the panoramic views. Yet more cyclists and walkers went by, today was certainly the busiest day of our challenge, perhaps due to the Bank Holiday weekend.
We then found ourselves making a sharp descent (thank goodness we were going from west to east) but of course, a down means an up is just round the corner and so this proved to be, though not as bad as we had thought.
Bugger … I forgot to put the cheese in the cheese and pickle sandwich!
Then, this was the clever bit, we left the South Downs Way path, and followed a bridle way which took us back to the car park, with the car parked right at the edge of our path!
There was just the small matter of driving back to find the other car which we did through some lovely lanes, particularly at Sutton, with some impressive houses and the White Horse Inn.
Another 5 miles completed, in glorious weather today. Most of the walking was on uneven flinty chalk with the occasional luxury of some grassy paths.
The signposts were excellent, the views outstanding, we both agreed that “the South Downs Way is definitely the jewel in the South Downs National Park crown”