Sunday, 20 March 2011
Exton → Winchester
One hundred miles later
« Not walked | Not walked »
First things first: we can highly recommend Corhampton Lane Farm for bed and breakfast. Suzanne couldn't have been more helpful, picking us up from the end of our walk, ferrying us to and from The Shoe inn for an excellent meal, and dropping us back on the Way this morning. The breakfast was great too, especially the freshly laid eggs.
Between Exton and Winchester there's not much to write home about, although the stretch leading up to Cheesefoot Head was a delightful path meandering through copper-tinted beech trees. After the climb out of Exton, the remainder of the day was either on Tarmac roads or level chalk farm tracks. Reportedly, there are fine views of Winchester from the last few miles but today's mist obscured them.
When we started this walk almost a year ago the fields were full of newborn lambs. At Lomer Farm springtime activities were well under way as we passed a pen of pregnant cows and in another enclosure the antenatal ward.
Our arrival into Winchester was abrupt and there is no marked end point of the National Trail. We chose to celebrate our completion beneath the statue of King Alfred but in all honesty you could claim the Way ends at the M3.
Winchester itself deserves a return visit. We had time to look around the stunning cathedral, but didn't get to see much else. (The Cathedral Refectory was the perfect place for a post-walk ploughman's.)
So marks the end of Paul's third and Emma's second National Trail. It's one hundred miles between Eastbourne and Winchester and we both thoroughly recommend it, although truth be told the eastern section is better than the west. Now our attention turns to completing the other three Trails we have on the go at the moment: the South-West Coast Path, the Thames Path and the North Downs Way.