We did this walk during a part of COVID lockdown when pubs were shut, so we were able to use the car park at Northbrook Arms in East Stratton. We started by walking North towards the church. The name Stratton apparently means village on a Roman road and although the pub and the church date from the 19th century, some of the buildings are much older.
We kept to the right and walked to Whiteway farm and through Norn’s Copse to Lone Barn House where we’d stopped for our tea break on the last walk. Unfortunately someone else had beaten us to that spot so we rejoined the Wayfarers Walk footpath through the grounds of the house and down Church Lane where we found a swing (and couldn’t resist trying it out!)
The lane took us out at the church at Brown Candover where we found another fun thing:
The main street has a brook running along side it, but it was far too cold for a paddle, so we carried on to Totford and then up the wonderfully named Spybush Lane to Olivers Battery. This is an Iron Age hillfort, which despite its name has no known Civil War associations.
We stopped for our lunch on Abbotstone Down before following the path down to Abbotstone Farm. Here we left the Wayfarers Walk and turned north.
Just before the lane met the road, we turned left into the grounds of Northington Grange.
We couldn’t resist a detour to look at the empty house with its view over the lake. The Grange, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Europe. It was first built in the 1660s as a Palladian brick mansion, and you can see evidence of this at the back of the house. It was transformed in the early 19th century to resemble a Greek temple, complete with striking portico. Unfortunately the owner Henry Drummond didn’t like the result and sold the house to his neighbour! During World War Two the buildings were occupied by the army. After years of neglect, the house was dramatically saved from demolition in 1975 and is now the venue for an annual opera festival.
We then once again headed north and then west to Northington Down Farm and followed the road north all the way back to East Stratton and our cars.
This circuit was about 14 miles.
Other sections of the Wayfarer Walk.