• 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.

St Peter's Church

Solomon's-seal (Polygonatum mulitflorum)

Roe Deer in field

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.

View down the A31

Along beside the rapeseed

Lone tree

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.

View down the A31

We parted from the route


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.

Views over the Itchen

Stunning foliage over the road

Nesting Swan

  • 6.8 miles

Allan King Way

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.

St Mary's church, Kings Worthy

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.

River Itchen

River Itchen

Interweaving routes

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.

River Itchen

River Itchen

River Itchen

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.

St John the Baptist, Ovington

St Mary, Itchen Stoke

Itchen Stoke

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.

Water Avens (Geum rivale)

River Itchen

Bush Inn, Ovington

Selsey Bill

This Saturday we had a lovely walk along the coast at Selsey Bill with my parents. We started off heading North up towards Pagham Harbour but made it about half way there and then headed back down to the Lifeboat Inn for lunch. After lunch we headed South round the Bill. It was striking particularly on the way back how different the sea was from the calm sheltered side to the end of the point.