For this leg we hit on the slightly odd idea of taking just the one car and walking a few miles, then turning back and retracing our steps to the car. At the time it seemed a good idea, but we realised that it would take a ridiculous amount of time to complete the South Downs Way if we did this for every leg!
After the obligatory uncertainty of which way to go, we (Liz) worked it out and off we went. The South Downs Way signposts were not very frequent today, and when we found one, there was quite often a “temporary alternative” one as well, which was somewhat confusing. We had quite a steep downhill (and at the front of our minds was the fact that on our return it would be quite a steep uphill) which led into fields of wheat which looked ready for harvest.
South Downs Way legs
Exton to Old Winchester Hill 3.125 miles
Where to park ...
that is the question!
Parking certainly wasn’t a problem today as we had the entire car park to ourselves!
After a detour round the field Liz dived through a hedge shouting “this way” and yet again she was right, Allison has obviously been very wrong to doubt her navigational skills. To make Allison feel better, Liz said that Allison’s navigational skills come into their own in Marks & Spencer!
We eventually reached the old railway line and after a short walk here, the point where we would turn round for today. We found a bench for lunch as we contemplated the return journey. Setting off again it quickly became clear that the sun was extremely hot; however, the views were magnificent.
The star navigator led us back along shady paths wherever possible and a real bonus on the climb back up to the top was a different hill, which was part shady, and probably not so steep.
With the clear skies and cotton wool clouds, the views were just wonderful, and a really striking feature today was the amazing wild flower fields with numerous species of butterflies, including the chalk hill blue (we are fairly sure about this).
We then did a recce of the next leg, so it will be all systems go, before stopping at Warnford at the George and Dragon for a Diet Coke and crisps. And then it started to rain heavily, weren’t we lucky!
And the best thing about today is that there were no bloody cows!!!!!