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Old Winchester Hill

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Had a change of scenery today and revisited Old Winchester Hill. Last time I went there was with a group of students from the Landscape Archaeology class at Southampton New College which I belonged to. I'll never forget that day, it was Halloween and it was pouring with rain. There were some other students there at the time and they were dressed as witches and were filming their antics. As we were walking towards the hill fort, all we could see were the witches all in black and it looked quite scary as we thought they were the real deal. We got quite wet that morning, so we all retired to the pub and had lunch. It was a good day in spite of the weather.

Today, the weather wasn't quite so bad, although we didn't go far as Adrian was not feeling well and it also started to drizzle. The rain would not have bothered me, but he doesn't do rain. My hope for the day was that we would have a 2 hour walk right round the Hill Fort, but no such luck!

The Hill Fort has been occupied throughout the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages, so it is quite interesting. It is now a National Nature Reserve and the South Downs Way runs through it. On our short walk we saw wild mint, wild oregano, Cornflowers and Rose Bay Willow Herb, and a few other wild flowers that I have not looked up yet. The blackberries were ripening nicely and they were delicious, very sweet. I should have taken a punnet to pick them. The views were amazing, even in the mist you could see across to the Isle of Wight.

There weren't many people about. On a sunny weekend it gets a lot of visitors. There was a dog walker, but you have to be careful, because there are sheep in some areas. I don't know what it's like now, but not long ago there were shells and things left from the war and there used to be warning signs up although the land was supposed to be cleared. We didn't get to that area today.

It was lovely driving through the country lanes to get there. I've been promised that we will go there again, soon, so that I can have my 2 hour walk, but on a better day.

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  • no profile photo CD2894356
    Haven't been there foryonks, you have just re kindled my need to visit. It's great to see all the wild flowers. We always have bags (normally for dog poo) in our pockets so we would have been able to pick those blackberries. On the other hand we will be picking a load of sloes this evening ready to make some Sloe Vodka, Brandy and Whisky.
    3993 days ago
    Old Winchester hill I love it, it is mentioned in one of my blogs. I think it can be as hard or as easy as you feel upto, the views are magnificent I can nearly see my house.
    One of my physical goals is to be able to go to the bottom and back up that really really steep slope without stopping. emoticon
    3994 days ago
    Great blog. We have a hill fort here in Oswestry, N Shrops. Keep blogging, it's the best way to get to know people. Welcome to the site, BTW, and it's good to meet someone who can write proper English! Have you noticed that it's usually the older ones who do?!

    3994 days ago
    Fantastic! It's great that you have started to blog.
    I find it so useful in my efforts as it makes fully aware of my life and how things are going, so please, please, please blog some more, especially with interesting journalising like this!

    I loved the story of the witches and how it must have seemed, very atmospheric!
    I also love the piece about the wild herbs, oh to have wild Oregano!

    Once again, it's great that you have started to get into this and, also adding photo's was a great addition to your page, well done!
    Take care,
    3995 days ago
    Sounds like a very interesting place! I wish I could have been walking there myself today, I would have enjoyed identifying the plants and seeing the historical aspects. Glad you enjoyed your day even if you didn't get to walk as far as you had hoped. Take care, Kathleen
    3995 days ago
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