Over the fields and far away....
April 19. 2020
It was time for a walk today down Inglewood Drive and out of the town, heading east into the sweeping fields and ancient woodlands on the edge of the New Forest, stopping at a hidden graveyard & even having a singsong on our way!
Although the cottage is in a small town, it's full of pathways that take you quickly out to the countryside. We crossed Caird Avenue at the bottom of the cottage's road and meandered through a mix of bush lined paths & a small housing estate.We then took the aptly name Spring Lane which already makes one feel as the countryside is welcoming you. The photo shows my son looking at where the spring comes out at the side of the road.
Having seen a mixture of old and new housing on Spring Lane, we come out onto the Lower Ashley Road, turn right, cross over and take a detour into the graveyard. The cemetery belongs to the Ashley Baptist Church further up the Road and I've driven past so many times, but as it's hidden behind a hedge, I'm ashamed to say, not being from the area, that I've never noticed it. There is a small wooden latchgate which welcomes us in. It feels even more peaceful here, even than on the road outside which is currently so very quiet. We lingered for a few minutes, stepping inside the walled area and stopping to read some of the gravestones - including the Pettitt family (father, mother, & daughter who never married) who all lived to ripe old ages. The trees stood proud as if protecting their charges beneath them from any further dangers.
By the same gate we left the graveyard, retraced our steps along the hedge and turned east along the cemetery wall on the track which took us to a stile; an entry to a field. With Noah's Ark Farm on our left we are now on the edge of Breakhill Copse and we can see horses and sheep to our right, and open fields to our left. Following the track over several more stiles, the footpath takes us through a wooded but somewhat boggy area! We come out of the trees amongst the houses of Hordle Village (meaning Treasure Hill - not that we found any on our walk!) and have a chance meeting with some of our friends who live in the area.
We then start to make the loop back home, heading north on roads named such as Pinewood and Hare Lane, to remind us of the forest connection. We traipse through Golden Hill Woodland which is a densely wooded area named during Victorian times and on to the Ashley Lane. At this point, we start to sing Country Roads, Take me Home (John Denver); me - very badly, and tiredly take our steps heading homeward through the Ashley Village crossroads and back to New Milton, stopping of course for an obligatory ice-cream at the shop!