Hike: From Longstock to Danebury Hillfort Loop in Hampshire
On new year's eve we decided to get out in the freezing fog and get some fresh air as the sun was promised to break through at some point today. Walking from Longstock in Hampshire to Danebury Hillfort seemed like the perfect thing to do after going to the butchers to pick up some lovely steaks for a special new years feast with the three loves of my life. In non Tier 4 lockdown times the loop starts and finishes in Longstock where there is a lovely looking pub called the Peat Spade Inn, or just a short drive away is Stockbridge with lots of treats to reward yourself after this 7 mile loop.
The start of this walk turned out the most fun for my 8 and 3 year old, the farm track you set upon is full of frozen over puddles, so they relished in jumping on them to crack the ice. At the end of the track you reach the road at a junction and you will need to walk along the road for a short time just to reach the carpark to Danebury Hillfort. In the hill fort you can see a ring of ramparts and the once hidden gateway. The earth works around the entrance give a feel for the success of the Danebury defences. If you want to discover more about the finds excavated here you can visit the Iron Age Museum in Andover. We walked to the Trig point at the top of the hill and as we ascended we broke through the freezing fog to wonderful blue skies, it was quite magical, and metaphorical to what we wish 2021 to become and what 2020 has been. The loop back takes you back down a bridlepath then onto fields as you walk your way back to Longstock. We need to do this again as the freezing fog had gotten really thick at this point so we could have been in the most amazing scenery but we just didn't know. It was quite exciting and scary at points as there was a shoot happening nearby, so the air was punctuated with frequent gunshots. We past a cattle barn on the way back and I was surprised to find it full of cattle. They all bundled to the front to see us, sadly we were not bringing them food, one half had the adult cows and calves where on the other side, but still a nice little treat for the kids. We ended our walk just in time before the sun began to set and drove home in the heat to get a nice hot chocolate. Happy New Year everyone, I hope this year is kinder to you than the last one. But if 2020 has taught me anything it is to hold those you love close, take pleasure in the small things and get outside and have adventures.
If you would like to do this walk you can follow the route here