First up a confession – we didn’t bother with the bit of the Wayfarers Walk that goes over the M3!! I don’t think we missed much!
Instead we parked up, just south of the M3 in the village of Dummer. An odd name for a place, but apparently it’s from ‘dun’ (meaning hill) and ‘mere’ (meaning pond). Despite the name, it’s a pretty village with some thatched cottages, a pub and a church – and some friendly residents
Actually Honky, Julio and Dougal weren’t at all friendly – they stayed at the far end of their field. But we met a friendly villager and his dog who told us they were rescue donkeys and pointed out the Shetland pony in the next field.
The Wayfarers Walk follows a well made track out of the village. At the top of the fields there is a lovely bench for a stop, but we hadn’t walked far enough to justify making use of it! It’s in memory of a little girl Ellie who died just before her 2nd birthday.
This area is full of good place names – next was Tidley Hill. Name aside, you’d have thought we were in France in mid-summer, not England on Hallowe’en!
The path got very muddy when we got past Breach Farm, but it improved over Becket’s Down and we found a good spot for our tea-break sitting on some railway sleepers by Lone Barn Farm.
We were grateful for good tracks to follow, because by the time we got to Woodmancott, it was getting dark! Fortunately, we’d learnt from our last experience and packed our torches! Just as well as the cars were about 4 miles away!!
It wasn’t so very dark because it was a blue moon. Apparently that’s a real thing, not just a turn of phrase and it is when you get a 2nd full moon in a calendar month. It was beautiful to watch it rise, glowing a warm yellow/orange shade. And to complete the scene a couple of bats darted across our path.
We decided to keep to the main paths and take the route that was easiest to navigate because it followed the edge of the woodland. We could then follow the roads – and inparticular the well named Dummer Down Lane – back into the village and our cars.
This circuit was 9.5 miles.