- 6.8 miles
Inspired by the Wildmans’ Wildmen on the borders, we were encouraged to start a walking project of our own. The Allan King Way is a 45 mile path from Portchester to Winchester. As we live in Portchester and I work near Winchester it seemed an appropriate walk to set out on, although we decided we wanted to walk towards home, so made Winchester our start point.
I dropped Laura and Abi off in Winchester by St Alfred’s statue to find the start of the walk and headed off to park my car and meet my parents at the end of the days route. We then headed back and met them by the tunnel under the A34 by Kings Worthy - hence I can only claim that as my start point!
From there we headed along past St Mary’s church in Kings Worthy and along by the pretty thatched cottages towards the A33 and over into the countryside. The path went along the edge of a copse with trees in a fantastic variety of colours from lime green to a rusty red before heading down to our first stretch along the side of the Itchen. Even on this short first stretch we see so many routes coinciding for a while and then going their own way.
We found a nice tree to sit under for our lunch which was a bit chilly as the wind caught us but still a lovely lunch break and we were ready for it! As predicted though, a short way on afterwards we came across a fantastic area with full sun and a bench which would have been a much better lunch stop, but instead made a spot for tree climbing and exploring along the waters edge.
We then made it along to St John the Baptist church at Avington where we discovered they had a stamp to collect as one of the churches on the Pilgrims Way so started a collection. Then after a stretch along by Avington hall and golf course, we found ourselves entering a field where the sky was full of Swifts and Swallows. We were mesmerised watching them soaring around above us and sometimes so close to our heads that we could hear the air being pushed away as they flew past.
We then headed across to Itchen Stoke and back down to the Itchen for a beautiful last stretch for the day along the river, ending at the Bush Inn, Ovington just in time for a drink even though they were just closing.