I do hope you've all had a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing day and are feeling suitably relaxed and full of lovely Christmas food! Firstly I have to also say how saddened I am for all the people who have had to deal with the flooding and other after-effects of this terrible wet weather we've had. It hasn't affected us down here but I really feel for those who have had their Christmas ruined by flooding.
Yesterday we decided to get the map out and explore some new walking routes around here. So far we've ventured south towards Newbury on our walks to take in villages such as Beedon and Stanmore, but we wanted to see more of the Ridgeway. This time we headed along a different by-way out of our village, East Ilsley and walked to West Ilsley. The by-way brought you in through a lovely small wood and then past many paddocks with Thoroughbred youngsters. I know Mick Channon's racing yard is situated in West Ilsley so these horses could have something to do with him. They were gorgeous anyway and very inquisitive. Barry, ever the wimp, wasn't too keen to meet these tall animals but Jack forced him up to the fence for a sniff anyway and he soon gave their soft noses a lick. I loved being near horses again, I really miss being around them and I'm determined to get back into riding next year.
Once into Compton we carried onto some other footpaths and by-ways, through some lovely forests and back towards East Ilsley.
Barry loves a stick!
In all, we walked ten miles and our achey legs prove that today! We got home, showered and de-mudded and then all snoozed for the rest of the afternoon before enjoying cold meats and pickles. It certainly felt good to go for a long walk and I enjoyed exploring new routes.