A walk from Petersfield over the South Downs to Bishop’s Waltham

From the banks of the Rother (almost) via Stroud, Ramsdean, the source of the Meon (just about), Frogmore, East Meon, Old Winchester Hill, Droxford and Upper Swanmore to the source of the Hamble (very nearly). Featuring an erudite parrot, Edward Thomas and John Owen Smith, William Cobbett and Gilbert White, Charles II and Winston Churchill, Eric Ravilious and a 1791 chic doggerel tombstone, and two extinct railways.

Old Winchester Hill from the north.

Winchester is the centre of English civilisation

Sez Lucio Vicente López in Recuerdos de viaje (1881). This is apparently in part due to the Normans having invaded without women, thus enabling the maintenance of The Saxon Character. He’s wrong. Winchester is suspiciously continental, while Romsey is Ethelflaeda, who sang psalms while skinny-dipping in the Test, and lithe & lusty hooligans.
Empty car park, Romsey.