I went for a walk along the Basingstoke Canal starting here at Colt Hill Bridge and heading towards the village of Greywell.
Again, it wasn’t somewhere I had been before. It’s amazing how you miss what’s right on your doorstep. Yesterday I found a whole nature reserve about half a mile from the office that I had no idea was there … but that’s another story.
Back to Sunday.
And I’m seeing a lot more natural fences on my travels. Well either that or I am noticing them more. There are courses you can do in land management that teach you how to make them. I even found a one-day dry stone wall course yesterday. Shall I? I am not sure what earthly use it would be to me but it would be fun.
It was build by King John between 1207 and 1214 as a stronghold but has been primarily used as a hunting lodge over the centuries. There is not much of it left now and, in fact, the canal was cut through some of the archaeology, but you can see the holes for the joists for the first and second floors and the remains of a fireplace or two.
You can go in but be warned bits fall off. This canopy has not been installed for aesthetic purposes, it’s to stop visitors getting knocked out by falling debris on the way in.
King John’s Castle at Odiham is also one of the castles on the long distance walking trail the Three Castles Trail. This route is about 60 miles long and leads the intrepid stroller from Windsor Castle, through the Berkshire and Hampshire countryside and small villages via Odiham Castle to Winchester Castle. I’d quite like to give that a go.
It was a nice walk. Loads of people use the canal and there were lots of cheery ‘Good Morning’s to be said to walkers, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers. Fishermen, I’ve found, don’t enjoy cheery Good Mornings, apparently it disturbs their fishing.
I might venture further next time, the walk was just over 3.5 miles long and there is a lot more to explore.