Hike: Back to Itchen Navigation Trail from Bishopstoke to Brambridge
As mothers day is not the usual affair, mum and I spent some luxurious time walking going back to the Itchen Navigation and picking up the path from Bishsopstoke to Brambridge, which is approximately 7 miles there and back. This stretch of the path is not so flooded but there is one particular bad spot, so wellies are definitely your best bet on this path. However the wildlife and the locks you continue to spot along the path are still in abundance. There are two low railway bridge tunnels you walk under on this walk which adds interest, as well as dream house spotting from the riverbanks. Also the proximity to the Railway is always close at hand on this particular stretch, from the Railway Yards at Allbrook, you also walk in line with the South West Railway line along most of this part, which can add extra delight to your family walk. As you get to the final stretch to Brambridge you see a field of Alpacas, we saw them grazing in the sun, then on our return a huge hailstorm hit us and they were all running back to their huts for shelter. I suspect these are the Hensting Alpacas - which is also another lovely day out of Alpaca walking, which we haven't done yet but we would like to do. The walk ends at Brambridge Garden Centre, where you could have a spot of lunch. If you are with your family there is a falconry centre next to the Garden Centre so you could extend your day to a proper outing. However if you wanted to do it all in one go, then back at Bishopstoke not too far away is the relatively new Steam Town Brewery, which is worth a visit for a much needed refreshment after a 7 mile walk. Unfortunately all of this we couldn't do in lockdown but there is no harm in planning for next time!