Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

To Basingstoke, and Back, on Foot!


You may be asking yourself why anyone would choose to walk to Basingstoke and back (you may be asking yourself why anyone would go to Basingstoke at all; it’s a valid question). Well, it just so happens that the closest edge of Basingstoke is almost exactly 10 km away, via footpath, over the North Downs. So, it makes a perfectly reasonable practice walk for 20 km over the South Downs. Plus, I wanted to buy some broccoli, and there is a farm shop on that edge that I mentioned.

Muddy Boots after today’s walk

I left my husband in charge of the children and set off. It rained very nearly all morning, and the ground was very muddy. Most of the landscape photographs that I took were dull and gloomy, but I did get to see plenty of wildlife, including a deer (I think it may have been a roe), pheasants, hares (I didn’t notice any rabbits), red kites and alpaca. Oh, OK, the alpaca weren’t wild. In fact, they seemed very nosey as I walked through their field; it’s just that I thought it quite unusual to see so very many of the Andean camelids in the Hampshire countryside (there were lots of them, in multiple fields).

My husband sent me a text suggesting that he and the children meet me for lunch. I was a bit later than he expected – I’d made an unfortunate decision to go the long way around one of the country estates that seem to ring Basingstoke – so he picked me up just before I reached the farm shop (but after I’d reached the road it’s on).

White Barrow, near Basingstoke

Lunch with small children is never a quick affair, and it was nearly 3 o’clock before I set off again. Unfortunately, the farm shop doesn’t open on bank holidays, so I didn’t get to buy my broccoli. This disappointment was offset by the appearance of the sun, and I decided to divert to see something that was marked as “White Barrow” on the map. There it was: a large, wooded lump in the middle of a field of rapeseed (there is a lot of that about at the moment). I followed the tractor tracks to get closer, but, as there was no access without forcing my way through the crop, I made do with a few photographs.

I took a different route on the way home and, despite my concern that something had gone horribly wrong and that I wasn’t as good at map-reading as I thought I was (it hadn’t and I might be reasonably good), all went well. Apart from having to call my husband to ask him to feed the children because – of course – it took more than 2 hours to get home. In fact, it took about 3.5 hours, largely because I didn’t choose the shortest route. Again.

I haven’t measure today’s walk on the map yet, but I’m certain that it was over 20 km.

All set for next weekend, then.

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One last photograph:


4 thoughts on “To Basingstoke, and Back, on Foot!

  1. do you still need some broccoli !?

  2. that is very commendable, even the thought of walking that far is making me want to go back to bed at the moment. Don’t wear yourself out before next weekend!

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