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Watership Down Trail

A NEW stunning 24-mile trail has been launched in Whitchurch, Hampshire to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of the much loved modern classic; Watership Down.

The trail starts from Whitchurch Railway Station and leads walkers through the stunning North Hampshire landscape that author and Whitchurch resident Richard Adams so loved to wander and where he told his tale of the rabbits of Watership Down.

The route will take you past ancient broad leaf woodland, across wide sweeping downland and up to the high chalk ridge and has been mapped to take walkers to some of the book’s locations; the ancient Harroway where Efrafa is located at the ‘crossing point of two bridle paths’, Nuthangar Farm, Watership Down and Hampshire’s famous River Test chalk stream where the rabbits made their way to safety on a raft.

“He reached the top of the bank in a single powerful leap. Hazel followed; and together they slipped away, running easily down through the wood, where the first primroses were beginning to bloom.”

Jackie Browne from Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome said: “It’s taken seven years and there have been many hurdles to overcome, but a successful collaboration between two local community groups, Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome and Whitchurch Conservation Group has finally seen the project completed and what better time to launch the new trail than the 50th anniversary of the book publication and the 50th anniversary of the creation of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the setting for the story.”

A celebratory illustration has also been commissioned by local artist Jo South.

This new trail is an important part of a wider initiative which looks to build on Whitchurch’s rural tourism identity and encourage more staycation visitors to the town.

You can download the walking trail here.

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