1 November 2023

  • Date:                          1 November 2023
  • Walk Leader:           Flick
  • Distance:                  7 miles
  • Start:                         10:00am, Kilmeston Church GR: SU591 263

We parked at Kilmeston church on the first day of November, the day that the forecasters warned of Storm Ciarán, so it was a party of just 11 of us who braved whatever the weather threw at us on the day.

We did start in rain wearing our full waterproofs, but very soon it cleared and we enjoyed a delightful walk of about 7 miles. Storm, what storm?

We set off in our usual fashion of walking and talking and headed along a muddy lane to the delightful hamlet of Beauworth (pronounced Bewith) which contained some very attractive thatched cottages. Later we headed uphill and came to a building where work was being carried out. It had been a public house called The Milburys where I remember buying a drink and a group of us having our sandwiches on a previous walk – sadly no longer possible. Another pub closed.

Trekking along the South Downs Way and admiring an abundance of berries and colourful leaves still on the trees, we came to a large field where our leader had planned an early lunch stop at the top corner where we could admire the view, but suddenly rain and wind set in, so we carried on for a while until the sun came out, so lunch was eaten and enjoyed.

We came across a field of attractive plants with lovely blue flowers which none of us had seen before. Upon investigation via Google, we discovered that it is called Fittleneck and is related to the borage family. It is apparently very attractive to insects, and it is a good soil improver – you learn something every day! We wondered if the farmers just dig it in to ‘feed’ the next crop?

We arrived back close to our cars, but our leader gave us a choice of walking an extra half mile to the National Trust house of Hinton Ampner for a cup of tea and cake. This was enthusiastically taken up by all!

As always, whatever the weather, it’s always wonderful to be out in the countryside; good for our health, physical and mental.

Author: Sheila Gadd

Photography: Various walkers

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