Walking a marathon is not as easy as you might think but my training for the London Moonwalk took me through some interesting places that I might otherwise not have seen. This is the story of my final training walk, the full twenty six miles from Southampton to Winchester and back again. When I got up the rain was teaming down. Just a shower I thought, the forecast was for showers so I was under no illusion about it being a nice dry sunny walk. Then the morning TV weather forecast came on, showers all day, heavier ones later with thunder and possibly hail! Is someone trying to tell me something? Showers I can cope with, I don’t like them but I can live with them, but thunder, hail, rain all day? It wasn’t a very enticing prospect. Continue reading
The Beaulieu Estate, cars, bikes, historic houses, gardens and a lovely woodland walk
Beaulieu (pronounced Bewley), for those who don’t know it, is a tiny village on the banks of the Beaulieu river, no more than one street of quaint little houses a few shops and a pub, The Montague Arms. Even so, it attracts masses of visitors being home of the famous National Motor Museum, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Large swathes of Beaulieu are owned by the eccentric Lord Montague, Palace House is his home and the Motor Museum houses his massive collection of cars and motorbikes. Continue reading
A wet Sunday walk from Lyndhurst to Matley woods and back
Lyndhurst is the administrative capital of the New Forest, where the district council and the Court of the Verderers are based. The many interesting little shops, cafes, pubs and even art galleries make it very popular with tourists. Even so it’s a relatively small village with only around three thousand inhabitants. There are some great walks around Lyndhurst across the heathland and into Matley Woods and on one cold, damp November Sunday recently I tried one out.
Deer Leap a woodland walk and an unexplored path
On another walk in the New Forest with my son, Bard and his partner, Boho we had far better weather. We set off after lunch, starting at at Deer Leap car park again. Commando ran off in one direction for his marathon training, Bard, Boho and I strolled off in the other. Inexplicably there were no ponies about today, last time they were everywhere I looked, but there seemed to be a host of cyclists for some unknown reason. We took the odd little woodland path beyond the gate that I briefly explored last time and, dodging cyclists, trotted off to see where it led. Continue reading
A run and a walk at Deer Leap
The New Forest is one of the largest areas of unenclosed land in the South of England and spreads into three counties, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, the majority being in Hampshire. It’s not all open land though, there are villages and towns amongst all the woods and Heath and, if, likeyou’re a fan of walking, loads of foot paths and trails. Continue reading
How safe is it in the New Forest?
The New Forest isn’t like the outback in Australia, in general the wildlife is pretty friendly (with one notable exception) and the terrain mostly easy going. Probably your biggest problem when walking off road will be getting lost so a good map, preferably a GPS one, or a phone app that does the same job, is a very good idea if you plan a nice woodland walk. Continue reading
Chez Ali Marrakech, Walt Disney meets Ali Baba
Probably the most unusual experience I had in Marrakech was a visit to Chez Ali. It can only be described as Disney meets The Arabian Nights. The first time I went I was leading an educational group. On the itinerary it was billed as ‘Fantasia, Moroccan Dinner and Cultural Show’ and I had no idea what to expect. Continue reading