Beacon Hill - wet, windy but worth it?
|Looking through the rain to Beacon Hill in the distance|
"Why?" I asked myself as I pulled off the A34 after a 30 minute drive from Romsey in heavy rain and pulled into the flooded car park at the foot of Beacon Hill. "Why would anyone choose to walk in this weather?"
I'm not a fair weather walker really but there has to be a point for wandering up a hill in the wind and rain amidst some of the worse weather we've seen in a while, and there was; 2 of my colleagues (Jodie & Emma) from work who are planning to attempt the 3 Peaks challenge later in the year wanted to "walk up a hill" somewhere close by as driving to Wales (the closest proper hilly area to us) wasn't possible this weekend - and Beacon Hill was the closest, highest and easiest to walk up and around.
|The sign of things to come?!|
The whole area is home to a variety of ancient earthworks, forts and Bronze Age barrows as well as the tomb to George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon famous for uncovering Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 with Howard Carter.
The walk itself (as you can see in detail from the Social Hiking & ViewRanger log at the end of the post) was fairly short; 2.3km with an altitude gain of 134m. Walking around Beacon Hill was more so that Emma could start to assess her fitness as she's not done much/any hill walking before - a warm up to our trip to Pen-y-Fan in a few weeks time.
It was certainly a test for waterproofs and balance on the muddy, chalky slopes if nothing else!
|Montane Fast Alpine Stretch Neo - amazing jacket|
I'll be writing up a more detail "first impressions" blog on the jacket soon but in summary the build quality is fantastic and as I normally run very hot when walking I've been really impressed by its breathability - a quality that is often claimed by many waterproof garments but, for me anyway, is not always as good as I'd hoped for.
Full route and stats on Social Hiking, recorded on ViewRanger via GS4;