Today was the first day of the Downs Benefice Walks - every 2 years the benefice runs a week long series of walks. This year we have a series of 6 circular walks close(ish) to Winchester all with some literary theme.
Today's was an 11, or so, mile walk (at the end my pedometer said 27,158 steps which feel about right) starting and ending at Minstead.
We had a lovely day for the walk and at 9:30am an intrepid group of 16 walkers headed out from Minstead into the forest.
The walk was a lovely mix of tracks, road and open areas in the New Forest and we saw our fair share of ponies as well as some free roaming pigs.
After lunch we stopped in Brook at the Green Dragon pub for a quick beverage and to collect another group of people who would be joining us for the afternoon section of the walk.
Our numbers swelled we pressed on back through the forest to Minstead, stopping off at the village church to see Arthur Conan Doyle's grave and look round the lovely church.
The day finished with an ice cream at the suddenly very busy village shop.
Few photos from the day in a set on flickr - here