19.6 miles – old-floor-cloth grey skies, warm, viscous airs
I decided to take the quickest and easiest route to Winchester, which I hoped to reach in three days.
After four miles, at Lullington, my odomiter informed me that I had walked 1,000 miles from Cape Wrath – a beautiful village at which to mark this point.
I had been planning to walk through the above field, but seeing how many cows there were packed into a small space, and remembering my experience on Day 53, I opted instead, as the Three Wise Men had done before me, to go home another way. However the first glimpse of the Wiltshire Downs, which would keep me company from now until Eastbourne quickened my spirit.
Warminster is neither quaint nor ugly, neither clean nor dirty, but a sort of hang-dog compromise between everything.
After Warminster everything seemed brighter, particularly as I could see the lovely chalk downland getting nearer to me on either side…
My feet were feeling very sore, so I decided to stop at The Woolpack at Sutton Veny, and got the most fabulous welcome! I was bought a pint on the strength of my story almost before getting through the door.
The pub is only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and even then it closes at seven. How is it viable? How do they manage with cask ale, which cannot survive in good condition for five days? Yet the pub still exists, and was clearly a hub, a meeting place for the villagers. I wish them success, however they achieve it.
I passed through Tytherington, which is as unspoilt as any small village can be. I was told that Jill, the lady who owns the house in the picture below, had put it up for sale but taken it off the market when she saw the sort of people who wanted to buy it. she is now 90, but for the remainder of her life I guess this tiny village will remain as it has been for decades.