Compton & Shawford Walker’s Group: An Autumn Circuit of Farley Mount
There was a gathering of 9 members for the walk the last weekend in October, including a potential new member (Welcome Sonia) who was “trying us out” and a very old member – Paddy, the dog, who tries us out all of the time.
Having driven to Farleigh Mount car park (Sparsholt junction) we set off to the South West along the ancient track towards Berry Down Farm and Farley Church. We immediately scattered a covey of young Partridge on this relatively unknown path (the road is only the other side of the hedge to begin with). As we progressed the view of the Monument kept tantalising us from a distance. We soon got into our stride and before we knew it we were ready to take the track further south towards Berry Down Farm. We made a quick photo stop to record the event and then headed onwards. Berry Down Farm enjoys a remote location and would make a good film location. A most attractive ancient farmhouse, now renovated, a very peaceful setting – we carried on with only the black faced sheep keeping an eye on us as we debated the pro’s and con’s of being so remote – the baa’s won the vote for no change.
A short climb up the lane to Farley Church soon distracted us from our bucolic thoughts. What a difference a week makes! At the time of our recce Viv and I had the church to ourselves. This week it was packed for a Christening. A couple of our number made a discrete visit but it is certainly worth a re-visit at a quieter time. We enjoyed our coffee while the numbers for the Christening continued to swell.
Onwards and more climbing, we continued north and through Farley Farm to Parnholt Wood. No sight of deer this week. A right turn and then the half a mile under woodland canopy with distant light permeating the wood from the vista to come. After 20 minutes we arrived at the Clarendon Way and Beacon Hill and began the descent enjoying the northerly views across the country. There being no takers for hide and seek at the Monument we continued on the top path at Farley Mount Country Park for the return to our cars.
The walk was completed in 2 hours and enjoyed by all.
We all also enjoyed our a lunch at the Dolphin in Hursley. The Landlord is always accommodating to walkers (and dogs) the food is good and there was a welcome log fire (The first of Autumn and not sure whether it was laid on especially for us, but nevertheless welcome).