Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stile styles - 17 November 2007

In the six years that we have been doing country walking in the UK we have used hundreds of stiles: ladder stiles, squeezer stiles, standard wooden stiles, stone stiles, in fact we thought we had seen every stile style there was. And there in the woods ...However, today we came across our very first clapper stile. It appeared to be a standard 4-bar gate and it was not at all obvious how one negotiated it. The bars are counterweighted with blocks of wood and pivot at one side of the stile. As you put weight on the bars they simply press one another down until it is easy to step over. As you release the bars the counter-weight blocks of wood make a clapping sound as they return to their rest position.

Kenet and Avon CanalOvernight fisherman

Our circular walk from Hungerford, started along the Kennet & Avon canal. We passed two fishermen in tents, who told us they had spent the night braving sleet and snow. The temperature wasn't that great when we passed them: after the beautiful weather all week, it was disappointing.

Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade'Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade'

After the walk we drove through Savernack Forest. This was the central reason for the weekend away in this part of Wiltshire. Savernack ForestWe last visited in January and discovered the 4-mile beech avenue, originally laid out in the 1790’s, which is the longest avenue in Britain. We wanted to see it again in the autumn. Although the autumn leaves have had a bit of a battering, the avenue still looked lovely.

From there we travelled south to Pewsey another pretty little town then back up to one of our favourites in the area; Marlborough.

Sunday was a total washout - so we went home.


Craig said...

Did you guys happen to take a photo of the clapper stile? We hadn't heard of them until we saw them here.

Murray said...

Sorry, no. If you visit Hungerford, it is in the corner of the churchyard.