Monday, April 14

Ibsley Common - A trip into New Forest history Pt 2

A descent into Pitts Wood, and then a steepening rise. Amongst the woodland flat areas of verdantly grassed clearings - possibly the legacy of military buildings? As I cleared the trees, the rain started to fall and with it a roll of thunder. A ridge is definitely not a good place to be in such a situation, so a hasty retreat back into the woodland, to shelter amongst a solitary holly grove, an excellent rain cover compared to the conifer trees that made up the majority of this particular Inclosure.

Pitts Wood Enclosure established 1775

Recognising the weather's contined dour mood, my hands now chilled with the temperature drop, it felt like a good place to call a halt for this particular trip; Especially as I'd been walking for a couple of hours, and one of my aims, to understand the geography of the area in better detail, had been largely achieved.

There just remained the thought of a two hour stomp back, playing hide & seek with the lurking rain clouds; Wary that one of my doggie companions had quite recently been showing extreme signs of old age, dropping down to the use of three legs for a couple of months. And now showing a certain disinterest in doing more than tag along in my wake.

View from Pitts Wood S to Hasley Hill (a little bit of Scotland?)

Thankfully the return trip proved rain free, helped by spotting a short cut from the south of Hasley Hill to the edge of Linwood, and a unmade track back to the Red Shoot Pub. A pint and food was beckoning. But the call for food proved illusionary with the food last orders announced half an hour before I arrived.

Suitable compensation then was a beer with a side chaser of a bag of nuts as I sat in the sunshine, the sky perversely now clear of cloud.

Eleven miles in 3.5 hours with a (nose-bleedingly) high point of 99 meters; Much ground covered, and much new territory to return to explore now the feeling for the area had been established

A good day.

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