- 3.8 miles
Today’s walk was only a short section of the route as it was my birthday which meant a later start and fitting in a lunch out. The next logical section (Ovington to Cheesefoot Head) would have taken us too long so instead we opted for a cicular route, planned as a figure of eight, but private roads made it more circular and a lot more road than hoped.
The walk took us along through Ovington past the quaint thatched cottages to a short stop at St Peter’s Church - which helpfully had a portaloo just outside. We continued along the road overlooking the fields where we saw a pair of Roe Deer skipping joyfully across the crops. After the fields we passed through a wooded section at the top of the hill, seeing an unidentified bird of prey circling and hovering through a clearing and then headed out of the woods to cross the A31 to rejoin the footpath the other side. Fortunately the road didn’t prove to be too busy and crossing was easy.
Along beside two more fields led us to the town of Tichborne, another town with pretty thatched cottages with perfectly trimmed hedges and Wisteria growing up their walls. This was where todays walk departed from the Allan King Way and we attempted to circle back. When planning the route initially I’d failed to distinguish between a path (which turned out to be private) and a public footpath. So after walking past where I’d expected the path to be, passing Raimes Sparkling Wines which was also disappointingly closed today, we ended up back tracking and walking along the road back round Tichborne.
We conveniently found a bench to gather round for a coffee stop and Laura surprised me with a birthday cake and candle that she’d secretly been carrying - so we had a lovely birthday cake and coffee stop then followed the road along until we reached a path through the fields back up to the A31.
The A31 at this point was much busier but we crossed safely and were pleased to see the wildflower verges there on both sides and on the roundabout. We then rejoined the St Swithun’s Way and Watercress Path along the road into Ovington - a road we’d driven along a couple of times in the two days, but hadn’t appreciated the beauty of the stunning foliage above and the water either side with wild watercress growing in it.