Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Seven Shires Way Day 8 - 12 October - Poundon to Piddington

 I spent the night in a belt of mainly conifer trees between Godington and Poundon. The path goes through it, in theory. There was a clear way in but, this morning, I walked towards the path but overshot it and only located it by identifying the way I had come in last night. However, the path just disappeared in the middle of the trees. I was able to get to the other side by walking towards the daylight and there was a wide strip of grass the other side and then a hedge so I walked alongside the trees to the other end where I should have met the path coming out of the trees but path there was none. However, in a field corner there was a stile so I knew which way to go.

My trail guide book from 2002 said that the path through the trees was not clear and recommended going around the woodland. 

The path to Marsh Gibbon should have been easy. However, north of the village at about SP647246 I was on a clear path but there was a new fence ahead of me with no way through. I cut back towards the road and emerged at a gate at SP649246 where there was a notice saying that the path uphill from there was closed due to East West Rail works. This seems to be the proposed new line from Oxford to Cambridge. There was a lot of work going on and the path won't be open again till July 2023. Once at the road, I walked from there into the village.

After walking through fields the other side of Marsh Gibbon I followed a lane to a junction with the A41 at SP636200. There should have been a path across the road but I went back and forth and it just wasn't there so I walked along the nearby side road and took a path at SP636195 and rejoined my route a short distance into the field. It was quite wet underfoot due to the recent rain. I begged water at The Old Farm House and then made a navigational mistake a few yards away. Basically, DO NOT go straight ahead here into the large field immediately ahead. Instead, turn sharp left as you enter what is optimistically described as an orchard to a stile in the corner and into the adjacent field.

Ludgershall was nice with its wide grassy verges either side of the road. It came on to rain a bit as I made my way across fields to Piddington and the end, for me, of this part of the Seven Shires Way. To be continued but probably not until next year. About 151 miles remaining.

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