Walk along the South Downs Way (from Cheesefoot Head to Warnford)
|SDW - moody and overcast|
Setting off around 8:30am the weather was cool, but without much in the way of breeze, and foggy but thankfully dry and the forecast for the day was (unlike weeks before hand) dry so although waterproofs were packed as a precaution they were lightweight (OMM Cypher) and there just in case.
We headed out of the small car park and on to the SDW trail heading NNE for a short distance before taking a right hand fork and crossing a small road before heading up onto Gander Down and then across the busy A272 by Holden Farm.
|A long, muddy, trudge up hill|
|Slightly random, but works for me!|
We passed through a gate with an old bike frame propped up on top of a rotting tree stump and I couldn't resist a quick picture!
After passing through the gate next to the old bike we entered a field full of sheep, one of which had managed to get it's head and front legs totally tangled in the middle of a large thorn and bramble bush.. Well I couldn't leave it there so waded in to try and help.
5 minutes, lots of blood and scratches (mine, not the sheep) and some hacking with my knife later the sheep was free and charged off across the fields to re-join the flock pausing briefly for a quick look back and bleating noise that I took to be a "thank you"!
|Hero? not sure about that but I hope the sheep appreciates the scars!|
|Everything looks better in B&W doesn't it|
|Em & Jodie at the Beacon hill trig point|
Arriving in Warnford in a respectable 3.5hrs (17k in total) we were just about to walk into the car park of the pub where we'd left Jodie's car when she announced that she'd left the keys in the glove box of my car, which was parked 10 miles away at Cheesefoot head. A number of choice phrases sprang to mind as did the words "off you go then, we'll have a pint!". Luckily we managed to get a lift back to my car and collect the missing keys - not before taking the chance to have a swift pint in the pub!
But despite the slight key mishap the walk was great. Not too challenging in terms of distance or terrain and we really do need to get up into the mountains "proper" soon for some real 3 Peaks training but the weather held out, the scenery was lovely and the company was good - what more can you ask for?!
Full details of the route (slight hiccup; from the top of Beacon hill back to the SDW track is missing) recorded on my LG Nexus 5 with ViewRanger on Social Hiking - LINK