This series takes you on a virtual tour of some Munro’s and is probably as close as I will get to the realthing! It is a 5 1/2 mile walk out in the wilds of Hampshire, just down the road from the tiny village of Wootton St Lawrence which west of Basingstoke.
There were a few parking places on the side of the road near to the first in the series and after quickly locating it I set off up drive sign posted in large letters “Private” but it is the way to reach the footpath. The trail is quite simple and very well sign posted through out, I didn’t have any worries that I was going the wrong way at any point. To get to the 2nd cache in the series we had to cross a stile into a large paddock full of Alpaca or Lama, I can never tell the difference but what ever they were it was quite a surprise to see them grazing here. We continued through Tangier Park heading towards Malshanger Park when it suddenly struck me, as I stopped to sign one of the log books, how amazingly quiet it was out here. I couldn’t hear any cars, machinery, nothing, wonderful!
We eventually arrived at a large lodge house at the entrance to the driveway that led us towards Malshanger House. A little bit of research on the internet once back home revealed that is belongs to Sir Michael Coleman of Coleman mustard fame! After 45 years or so at the family firm of Reckitt and Coleman, he was ambitious to revive the British peppermint crop from his farm on the estate. After several years of development he now successfully trades under the name Summerdown Mint.
After passing through the Malshanger Park Estate, the 16th Century house and tower we walked through outbuildings of Shear Down farm, it has some large drying sheds which I now assume to be drying peppermint leaves. Then through some fields towards Ibworth where we joined a byway which brought us back to Tangier Park.
In total I found 24 caches along the route, this is a really nice trail which was amazingly not at all muddy. Unfortunately it was very foggy on the day I walked it, so I didn’t get the full benefit of the surrounding scenery but, nevertheless it was a great series and it goes on my recommended list for sure.
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