A walk along the canal

002bOn Sunday the weather was a bit grey but dry so I decided to track down a castle.

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.

003bColt Hill Bridge is in Odiham and there’s a marina there and a nice little town. I finally captured the wren I was after as I was walking and also some reedpolls, although they were well camouflaged.

050bAnd there were lots of other interesting things to see along the canalside. I liked the way this grass had grown over the top of the barbed wire … it looked like a curtain.

064bAnd 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.

100bSorry, rambling again lol. Anyway this was my destination. This is King John’s Castle at Odiham. A ruin of a gatehouse that has stood since the 13th century.

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.

135bIt 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.







1 comment
  1. In my experience, Dory, grass like that has been left after a flood… d’you think that might be too?… loved the canal pics, misty and magical…

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