A Trail with a Tale (Tail) – Watership Down

Looking for a pleasant walk to take the Grand Children on that has a tale to tell, then, maybe this is what you are looking for.  Forever associated with the book and film the scenery is breathtaking and landscape allows your imagination to run wild.

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Watership Down in Hampshire became well-known as a result of the Richard Adams book of the same name, later made into a hit movie and follow-up television series.  It is the story of 11 young rabbits on their quest to find a new, safe, warren to make home.  Although a relatively black tale it is loved by children the world over.

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I started the walk at the White Hill Car Park, Stubbington Down (SU 51648 56480) and followed the line of the Wayfarer’s Walk.  Initially heading west, there is a gentle climb on a well made track up onto the top of Watership Down eventually arriving at the trig pillar.  From here the path continues down through the woods and across a minor road finally arriving at the Ladle Hill Iron Age Hill Fort.  From the car park to here takes about one hour with plenty of photo breaks.

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The track up onto Watership Down through the gallops

The one thing that is very obvious as you walk along Watership Down is the presence of race horse training.  The track way leads through two large, expansive gallops lined with the classic white rail and marked up in furlongs and with steeplechase jumps scattered along the way.  Whilst the place will forever be associated with Richard Adams, you could imagine the artist George Stubbs sketching the horses as the thundered past.

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The author at the Trig Pillar

The return journey followed the same track, though with a few deviations to explore the countryside.  Once back at the car park a short walk took me to the top of Cottington’s Hill and the site of the very obvious transmitter tower that dominates the landscape.  The search for the missing trig pillar took longer than expected as the farmer has dragged it to the edge of the field and abandoned it to the hedgerow.

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Ditch and bank surround the part finished Iron Age hill fort – Ladle Hill

This is a lovely, and very straight forward walk as witnessed by the plethora of other walkers enjoying the day.  The large majority are dog walkers choosing to ignore the constant signage requesting all dogs to remain on a leash.  Who am I to judge? Though I do wish they would take their used ‘poo bags’ home with them!

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The gallops heading back down Watership Down
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The Gallops
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In recognition of Richard Adams
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Track back to the car park with the Cottington’s Hill transmitter tower dominating the landscape

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