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‘In the Footsteps of Hazel & Bigwig’ – ‘Jon’s Odyssey’

A 5 mile walk from Whitchurch finishing at the Watership Down Inn Freefolk and including a rare opportunity for a private group visit to the ‘Watership Down’ locations inside Laverstoke Park.

Jackie Browne Co-ordinator of Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome writes….

” I bumped into Jon and his wife in 2016 as they were attempting to find a parking space in Whitchurch, not an easy task as residents will know. In the brief chat that followed I found out that Jon has had a life-long love of a book very dear to the heart of Whitchurch folk, namely ‘Watership Down’ and was part way through a personal ‘odyssey’ to visit all the locations mentioned in the storyline. Unfortunately, he was unable to fulfil that odyssey as some of the locations are on private land, with no public access.

Jon was very taken by our lovely little town and has spent the past three years back in his home county of Yorkshire ‘banging the drum’ for Whitchurch and keeping in touch with the activities of Walkers are Welcome via Facebook…… today we are delighted to welcome Jon back to North Hampshire to continue his odyssey “.

Our walk will depart from the far end of Bere Hill, Whitchurch by The Oak Tree Nursery (RG28 7EB) on Friday 19th July at 10.30.

We will follow a path in to the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on to the ancient ‘Harroway’ and the location of Woundwort’s ‘Efrafa’ where we will be joined by a group from Overton. After a short reading from Richard Adam’s book, we will continue along a path that follows the route the fleeing rabbits took across the fields in to Laverstoke Park.

We have a private group visit arranged to the Park giving time to visit the River Test and the road bridge that the rabbits encountered in the story; again, there will be a short reading and an opportunity for photos. The walk will follow the road through the Park, behind Laverstoke House and will continue out through the lodge gates at Freefolk. We will finish our walk at the Watership Down Inn for those wishing to enjoy refreshments and or lunch.

The route back in to Whitchurch is not part of the guided tour. There is a half hourly bus service to the town centre, the bus stop is just a few hundred yards from the pub, or we can provide maps for those choosing to walk the 2.5 miles back to town.

The walk will be conducted at a moderate pace; regrettably it is not suitable for small children or those with mobility problems and dogs are NOT permitted on this walk.

Tickets are now available by donation at the Gill Nethercott Centre, Winchester Street, Whitchurch RG28 7HL

Revenue from ticket donations will support the ongoing voluntary work of Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome; footpath cutting, walk leaflets etc.

Email:                                              Tel:   01256 896270

Walkers-Are-Welcome official logo from town website