This was one of the best series that I’ve done for a while. The trail starts from Stockbridge, a small town in west Hampshire with a picturesque high street which we pass through at the end of the walk. Pip the geohound was at home nursing a wound so could not join me today but she would have really enjoyed this walk which is very geodog friendly.
The trail initially lead me southwards along the old railway path now part of the Test Way, a 44 mile long distance walk, a huge board sign post marked the start of the trail. Following a recent period of much rain, the sun was to shining bright today making it a very pleasant day for geocaching. Despite the good weather, the canopy from the trees engulfed the path were making quite dark along the first part of the trail, this section of the Test Way passes along side the open National Trust land of Stockbridge Common Marsh and was a lovely and peaceful.
After about 2 miles I left the old railway line and took the footpath to Houghton, crossing two lovely sections of the fast running River Rest with it’s crystal clear waters, a very picturesque location. Pip would have loved paddling here. The trail briefly passed through the southern end of Houghton and some pretty cottages and then continued along a wide byway with a gradual incline and with some great views at the top. Along this section was a cache called “anyone for a picnic” a great little surprise lay inside.
The next part of the trail continued along more nice wide byways, it was a nice change to be walking on decent paths as opposed to through long grass which had been a feature of many recent trails I had done in recent weeks. In fact the paths were pretty good all the way around and very dry where I had thought they may have been more muddy.
There was a short section along the A30 before heading back through the the town centre with it’s very wide high street which in a bygone age was a “drovers” road where apparently it was common to see herds of cattle and flocks of sheep being driven along it on their way to various fairs in the area. Unfortunately, I missed out a clue and could not locate the bonus but no matter.
This series goes on my recommended list for being a great series with excellent caches where lots have effort has gone into making them a bit different from the norm. They were also that are ideally spaced out, providing time between caches to enjoy the beautiful countryside. Geodogs should have a great time on this series too.
We’ve found a river wide and slow
We’ve found a place where kingcups grow
We’ve a meadow yellow – white
and watched the swallows dip in flight
The meadow mist is white as lace –
We’ve found another magic place
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