With the remnants of tropical hurricanes battering the country getting out for a walk on a rain-free day has had to wait. At last this walk has stitched together two series of walks. One from Savernake Forest and the other the southern Ridgeway, starting at Hannington and reaching Easton Royal. This twelve mile walk completes the southern Ridgeway along Inkpen ridge for the moment at Pewsey. Here is a map of the walk.
View Pewsey - Easton Royal in a larger map
Walks following the ridge through north Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Berkshire.Oakley - Hannington
Hannington - Watership Down
Watership Down - Highclere
Highclere - East Woodhay
East Woodhay - Inkpen
Inkpen - Marten
Marten - Collingbourne Kingston
Collingbourne Kingston - Easton Royal
Easton Royal - Pewsey
The stiff wind kept butterflies and birds out of view. Flowers were now looking past their best. The path up to the downs at Easton Royal, where last I had seen milkworts now had gentians: Felworts (Autumn Gentian).
Up on Fyfield Down you could see the Wiltshire farmers are still burning wicker men. Well no, I think just burning off straw, but it looked dramatic from a distance.
The Downs form a very steep curved escarpment. They are 'open access' but as they are so steep, only the path along the top is usable.
At the end of the downs a chalk horse has been cut, but only 80 years old.
From a distance it can be seen as the rather small and unimpressive figure that it is.
But the views from the top were impressive, the stiff cool breeze giving good visibility.
The hedges were thick with autumn fruit, this Guelder Rose was spectacular.
The town of Pewsey was not inspiring. It is a village that has grown in the last century, there are some nice old houses, including this school, but no central heart. Shops are struggling and it is on a very busy road.
Pewsey has a large village church, suggesting wealth over the centuries, set as it is near the source of the River Avon (the River Avon that flows south past Stonehenge to Salisbury and Christchurch). The light was catching the West window, looking like a Victorian creation to me.
The church has quite an eccentric font cover. Richly carved it is a World War I war memorial, the knights with swords are positioned above the angels.
There were some attractive flowers still blooming, including this Eyebright.
Milton Lilbourne is a nice looking village similar to Easton Royal, there is only one road and along it are a number of thatched houses.
One of the gardens was growing the Cape Gooseberry (Physalis) which is very striking in autumn.
This impressive building with defending lion, I think is King Hall.
One final plant, no rarity, in fact a foreign invader, but the snowberry fruits looked good.
Seemed to be between seasons for the fungi, saw quite a few that had gone over, still too early for the main display. This one had the colour and texture of Parmesan, could it be Handkea excipuliformis?