March 15, 2014 · 10:15 AM
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A 7.5 mile walk from Whitchurch, a pretty Hampshire town on the River Test. The River Test is a world-famous trout stream. The walk gives you chance to see many of the former water mills that were at the heart of local industry producing everything from cloth to corn and paper along with the lovely village of Freefolk. The clear, iron-free water of the river is ideal for several industries, including silk-making. Overton's silk mill failed, but Whitchurch Silk Mill is still operating today. We will be stopping for a pub lunch in on the way.
An even more prominent local industry is paper-making. The industry was started in 1712 by Henri Portal, a Huguenot refugee who brought over the secret of watermarking paper. The business was so successful that he was soon able to transfer production from Bere Mill to the much larger Laverstoke Mill, a short distance upstream. Success was assured when the Portals won the contract to supply watermarked banknote paper to the Bank of England in 1727. The contract has continued to this day, although production is now at De La Rue's modern Overton Mill, alongside Overton station.
The 7.5 mile route, on and near the River Test, follows a mixture of field and woodland paths along the way. There are just a few gentle climbs and descents but mostly flat.
What you need to bring/wear:
Suitable walking boots and waterproof layers including a coat. Warm clothing suitable for the temperatures at this time of year. It is your responsibility to ensure you are suitably kitted out. Water, money for lunch.
Bell Street car park in Whitchurch is free and where the walk ends. Nearest post code RG28 7DD.
There is direct trains from London Waterloo taking only one hour. Good news again this walk starts from the station!
Cost: usual meetup fee of £2 each, payable on the day.
Safety, terms and conditions: I am an experienced walker and a qualified outdoor first aider. First aid kits are carried on all walks. It is fully your responsibility to ensure you are well equipped and medically fit for this walk. Whilst all care is taken during this walking event, the group or it's organizer/event host is not liable in any way for any attendees death, injury or damage/theft of any attendees personal property during this walking event. By signing up for this meetup event you agree to these terms and conditions.