- Date: 11 June 2022
- Walk Leader: Val Wood
- Distance: 9 Miles
- Start: 10:00 am Kingley Vale Nature Reserve CP, GR: SU 824 O87
A Ramble Around the Vicinity of Kingley Vale
15 intrepid ramblers gathered in the car park to join Val’s walk leaving from West Stoke, near Funtingdon around Kingley Vale Nature Reserve. This walk had been scheduled to take place on the previous Wednesday but the forecast of thunder, lightning and heavy rain for that day, caused a postponement. There was a cool breeze blowing but with the promise of plenty of sunshine and temperatures climbing, we set off.
The 15 ramblers were regulars plus new member Phil on his first walk with our group.
We noted wild orchids along the way and concluded that this must be a bumper year for them as they have also been prolific on other walks in the area.
We walked uphill through the vale via Bow Hill before we had our coffee stop on Stoughton Down with amazing views over the downs. On this section of our walk, we met countless “runners” (they were often walking, due to the steep ascents) who were participating in the SDW100, a foot race that encompasses the entire South Downs Way National Trail from Winchester to Eastbourne, expected to take under 30hrs. We were suitably impressed.
After walking down part of the Monarch’s Way, we walked through the lovely village of Stoughton passing the Hare and Hounds before stopping for a picnic lunch in a small field close by. Lots of convivial chat and banter ensued before continuing on our way after this welcome rest.
We continued through Walderton, back along the other side of Kingley Vale via Stoke Down to the car park, staring into the gloom of the forest of ancient yew trees as we passed.
The walk of 9 miles took 4 1/2 hours on a sunny but windy day with two steep hills and varied countryside and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Authors: David Roberts & Linda Farley
Photography: Linda & Paul Farley