Winnall Moors

A Bit Moor-ish

Harry Kiely

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you shouldn’t actively venture out when you’re sick. I know I said I’d never leave the house again in my last article, but I wish to provide the world, and my mum, with tales of my misfortunes, so away I went to Winnall Moors.

One of the benefits of living in Winchester is that everything is within walking distance, that is if you’re not as lazy and unfit as I am.  I got to the moors at about 1 in the afternoon, it was cloudy and I was sweating from the treacherous walk (seriously, I think there’s a medical reason as to why I’m so unfit). Once I walked through the wooden gate that signposted the moors, I was hit with a very distinctive smell, as though you’re walking through fresh linen that was washed with a forest conditioner. It punches you in the face about ten times before you get used to it.

When I walked down the path, there was a circle of tree stumps sitting in a grassy area. Pretty boring, I know, but my mind likes to wander, and I thought about the no camping sign by the entrance. Winchester has a pretty low crime rate, and I can’t imagine the police get called much for people camping on the moors. But just imagine a camping raid, police cordoning off streets and the armed response team arriving to this important call of an illegal camping ring. Why haven’t Hollywood employed me yet?

Once I’d moved through, I was greeted with a crossroads. One jets off to the right, and the other veers off to the left.  To avoid a family having lunch down the left pathway, I hopped onto the right and, to say the least, it was quite a strange walk. On the left hand side, there’s this stunning swamp-like lake with sinking trees and footprints of what I assumed was squirrels and otters.  On the right is an industrial estate, a real statement from the 21st Century, if I’m to stretch it out too far. But when I realised I was being too political, that’s when I decided to move on.

Once I got past overthinking, I was greeted with a footbridge over the actual moor. There were wooden plaques with wooden quotes scattered across the path. I tried to do some research into them, and turned up nothing, so I suppose I’d have to use my imagination for that again. There were things written such as ‘1963; it was a dreadful winter,’ and ‘a short walk and longer walk, the cows grazing.’ Most of them have to do with otters and other animals surrounding it. I saw no otters, though, which kind of made me upset, all that build up and no otters. What was the point of even getting out of bed?

But in all seriousness, the footbridge lead nicely onto a more rocky and natural path.  That is until you reach a large gate that barricades a large body of water. It’s probably for reservation purposes, but it looked as though someone was trying to restrict it from flowing into the rest of the water in front of the gate. No water integration here, folks.

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I’m sure George Orwell would have something to say about this.

As I walked to the left, however, I was led to a few benches and a little stream that flowed into the River Itchen, quite peaceful to sit there.

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It was a short walk back to the original path, and surprise, it went full circle. I was hit with that nature smell again and endured it for the lighter photo while I could.  Red, because it represents my immune system and how awful it is, but also because I think it’s the colour of a stop light, and I got to stop and take in the nature. So deep, I know.  It’s a really nice place if you want to escape Winchester during lunchtime, and I do think you could gain something from exploring it.

Even if it is a cold.

5Editor: Joel Emmons

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