This is the Hockley Viaduct railway bridge which was built in 1891 and closed to passengers in 1960. This fell into disrepair over the years and was vandalised in a few places as people clambered up the bank to walk along it and pull on old leavers and signs. However, it was reopened as a proper footpath/cycle path in 2013 and gorgeous views across the River Itchen and towards the City of Winchester can be seen.
I left this behind me and I spent the next 2 hours on footpaths only!
I met up with a lovely lady walking her Cocker Spaniel, or was it the other way around? 😉 She was a local lady so we had quite a bit in common to chat about.
We parted company and the landscape changed from a boggy meadow field to a tunnel of Yew trees with a carpet of Autumn leaves adorning the floor. I almost wanted to grab an armful of leaves and throw them up in the air.
This rope swing was so tempting that I actually took off my coat and scrambled up the bank. I grabbed the rope, (it was quite high off the ground) I stood for a few seconds whilst sensibility and memories hit me.
It took me back to when I was 9 years old, one of the oldest yet smallest in the class. We had a huge grass playground and a large apple orchard to play in. Lots of my peers would climb this one particular Oak tree, it was huge! One day I was persuaded and a couple of friends helped me reach the branch so I could heave myself up. I’d made it!
Of course the bell rang, playtime was over and I was stuck. Time lapsed and then I spotted the Deputy Head and the entire class (all 16 of them) running across the grass towards me. Nobody laughed or jeered but I still felt embarrassed though totally relieved. Needless to say I never did climb that tree again. This was the reason I left the rope swing swaying backwards and forwards whilst I grabbed my coat and wondered on again.
The rest of the walk passed without much drama. I could hear the wind howling either side of me but I was completely protected by the tunnel of trees.
I crossed over a bridge and dropped back down into civilisation. I decided to drop into the supermarket for a decaffeinated latte. It was good to sit down, the last part had been a fairly lengthy steep climb.
There’s nothing like a good walk to get the heart beating faster.