Tuesday , February 20 2024

Ladies Walk

Ladies Walk is a footpath located on the south eastern edge of Andover in the north of the borough, between the entrance at Old Winton Road crossing over Micheldever Road and ending at the A3093. It is on chalk downland ridge and is just under 2 kms in length.

We found the details on Alltrails and extended the route by starting from a footpath on Winchester Road that runs alongside the top of Andover Golf Club and the A303 trunk road. The footpath narrows in places with some impeding bushes while the ground in this section does get muddy during the winter months. We did not see any other walkers on this section although I’ve since added the path as a running route and have seen walkers, runners, and cyclists on my travels.

Maple led us onto the Ladies Walk entrance at Old Winton Road where the path is well used, well preserved, and in constant use. There were walkers, dogs, runners, and cyclists all along the path while the public benches were often in use by folk taking in the fine views overlooking Andover.

The Test Valley Borough Council site provides historical background on Ladies Walk:

The main path bordering the site known as the Ladies Walk, was laid out by the Enclosure Award Commissioners in conjunction with the Corporation of Andover in 1785. The ancient common field system of agriculture originally comprised of three open fields. The Enclosures Act later designated this as the Andover South Field which stretched to the Picket Twenty Road. Later this was again divided into the more recognisable fields we see today. The walk itself forms part of the pre-roman track known as the Mark Way and in 1863 was planted with 121 trees to commemorate the wedding of His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales (later King Edward VII) to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Of the original 121 trees the remaining trees largely comprise of horse chestnut, beech, oak and sycamore.

The path crosses the Iron Bridge, a Grade II listed building, before leading gradually downwards towards the A3093 road. We walked over a footbridge into Picket Twenty Park where our route looped around the park and back to cross the A3093, this time navigating across the road rather than over a footbridge. A wide path leads back up until we reached Micheldever Road where a sharp right brough us back to the Iron Bridge, now walking underneath where you can appreciate the design and build of the structure.

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About Dan

Barkrunner (A117556).

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