A group of 15 members and 1 dog enjoyed a 9 mile walk led by Richard on an overcast, and at times, rainy day starting at the village green in Cheriton.
We proceeded in an easterly direction before dropping down to cross the A 272 at Bramdean and pausing for a coffee break at the C12th church of St. Simon and St. Jude. From there we continued westwards until reaching Hinton Ampner, house and gardens owned by the National Trust. The property was originally built in 1790, but was remodelled twice before being severely damaged by fire in 1960 and restored again to its current design. We walked past the gardens and onwards to the source of the River Itchen until we reached Kilmeston and the hamlet of Beauworth, where we had a well-deserved lunch at The Milburys, a 17th century pub situated at the top of Millbarrow Down. Within the pub there is a treadmill and a 300 foot deep well dug by hand out of the chalk 250 years ago, together with a large inglenook fireplace burning huge logs most days of the year.
Well-fortified by a hearty lunch we joined the South Downs Way for the final 3 miles into Cheriton.