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South Coast: Winter Walk
24th February 2018 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
All fifteen hardy sailors and one old sea dog braved a Saturdays winter morning and gathered in Winchester at the King Alfred’s Statue. As It turned out the weather was glorious with plenty of winter sunshine.
We were following two pathways, firstly the outbound leg which was to tack along the Viaduct trail before a broad reach across the River Itchen and the downwind leg back into Winchester via the footsteps of Keats, we passed through his landscape which inspired Keats’s poem “Ode to Autumn”.
Starting from the King Alfred’s Statue the round trip covered approximately 3 miles beginning on pavements, gravel paths, grass and unfortunately ending with a fair share of mud.
The walk took us through some beautiful countryside and water meadows, alongside a chalk stream of the River Itchen with its trout, moorhens, herons, and wild flowers. (see photo of a local we met along the way….)
Returning back into Winchester we passed the house where Jane Austen completed her last novel Persuasion and where unfortunately she died.
No one braved St Catherine’s Hill, or as we passed the Hospital of St Cross on foot did we stop and ask for the Wayfarers Dole, for bread and ale which has been given to travellers since the alms-house was founded in 1136.
The walk ended at the Crown and Anchor where we were rewarded with lunch and refreshments, but unfortunately not for everyone as the old sea dog was barred.