Day 69: Clarendon Palace – Pitton – Middle Winterslow – Broughton – King’s Somborne – Farley Mount

19.2 miles – The sun valiantly vanquishing the drear clouds to leave a hot, dusty afternoon

The remains of the Great Hall of Clarendon Palace.

I would not have my readers be in any doubt; the doors of Clarendon Palace closed for the last time many centuries ago; I was offered none of its former luxury. It was founded and grew in importance in the 13th Century under the auspecies of Henrys II & III. The royal court used to come here to escape the disease which was rife in london.

A funny sort of a day, as I never quite got into my stride and I started to feel decidedly odd and tired towards evening. I spent the whole of it walking the Clarendon Way, which links Salisbury and Winchester. I had hardly started when I had to stop at Pitton to write my fortnightly article for the Hastings Independent.

The colours of late summer: seeded dock and ragwort.
Gently rolling Wiltshire downland.
Yew forest – unusual – I’m not sure whether it’s wild or a plantation.

A lovely interlude was when I stopped to speak to a man and a woman, whose son was immersed in the River Test fishing for young trout and dog fish with his little net (I didn’t know there were freshwater dog fish). They persuaded me to make up for my lack of a shower by taking a dip in the river, which I did with a great pleasure, and I dare say relief to everyone present.

The beautiful River Test; there was nowhere to stand that I could get all of this massive willow tree into the frame.

It was after this respite that I started to feel really odd. The sun was (for a change) strong and bright. Perhaps it was that I didn’t bother with sun cream, or maybe it had something to do with the wild plums I gauged myself on, some of which I picked up from the ground. Whatever it was, I felt exhausted, I had worse aches than usual in all the old places, and my stomach hurt, preventing me tightening my hip belt properly.

By the time I pitched my tent I was too tired to cook, so I made do with a tin of fish.

The Clarendon Way
Straw bales waiting to be collected.

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