Walking towards a little bit of paradise

We are so lucky where we live that it's possible to have walks from our front door. Last Monday I decided to take a wandering one towards the clifftop at Barton on Sea, selecting roads that I wouldn't usually tread to reach my goal of a view of the sea.

Starting from our house (next to the cottage), the route took me out to the main New Milton road (Station Road) and then across to the Lymington Road (stretching from Christchurch to Lym).  Whilst this is a main road, I then came to Old Milton Green, which was the location of the original settlement of Milton (Middle Farm).

I came across a sign for Chaucombe Green, which is a separately named part of the green. The Chaucombe family in the mid 13th century were one of the families who managed the estate of Milton on behalf of William Chernet. They would hold a weekly market and an annual fair for Mary Magdalene for the villagers to enjoy. There is lots of information on the local buildings on the board - George Inn, The Wheatsheaf (still open), blacksmiths, cobblers, bakery, grocers and saddlemakers were all to be found here.

I continued on my journey down Southern Lane and wound my way through the streets lined with bungalows dating from around the 50s onwards and typical for the area, until the road opened up and the grass meadow on the clifftop became apparent, with the sea glistening in the sunshine in the background. Fab! I was there!

Walking across the grassland, some of which is now being left uncultivated in order to encourage rare wildlife in the area, I went reasonably close to the edge, but not TOO close - cliff falls are very common in this area!

With the sun shining, the views across Christchurch Bay to Hengistbury Head and Bournemouth, and back to the Isle of Wight are breathtaking, so stop for a few minutes on the nearby bench.

Continuing on, I walked along the clifftop, past the few shops still remaining, which hadn't yet dropped off into the sea, and then turned towards Longmeadow - an open grassland in the dip behind the houses on the clifftop through which the Becton Bunny stream runs.  Hidden away amongst the lanes around the meadow and in Barton, there are many cottages dating from around the 1800s - I'd just love to live in one of these.  The white one on the left is aptly named "Smugglers Cottage", as the area was once known for the smuggling of contraband such as brandy, tobacco, silks and tea. I completed my walk by cutting through the woods at the end of Fir Avenue. Total miles 4.5.


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