Posts Tagged ‘Long Valley’

Walk over Long Valley

June 18, 2015
open heathland

open heathland

orchids

orchids

oak and Scots pine in open woodland

oak and Scots pine in open woodland

After a not very good lunch at The Foresters, a walk over Long Valley.

I have not been here for a few years and was surprised by how much it had changed.

Where there was a vast area of sandy soil, it was now impenetrable thicket a couple of metres high. I barely recognised where I was.

Long Valley is open heathland between Aldershot and Church Crookham.

orchid

orchid

Carvery at The Foresters

October 14, 2012
carvery at The Foresters

carvery at The Foresters

I decided as it was a lovely sunny day, albeit cold in the shade, go for a walk over Long Valley, but instead of as in the summer eat at The Foresters, then go for a walk, go for a walk, then eat, to make the most of the autumn sun.

And so off we set, a friend, two dogs and myself. We arrived back at The Foresters hungy and tired and ready to eat, only to find it full, no dogs.

Rather than hang around, we followed a track out the back of the pub and found ourselves on Velmead Common.

We arrived back, even more tired and hungry than before. Although still very busy (it was now late afternoon) there was a free table, which meant the dogs could come in.

During the summer visit, I had slow-roast belly of pork. I was looking forward to trying this again, but saw they had a carvery (new the last few weeks), therefore I thought I would try the carvery.

I was a little unsure. It was all laid out on a trestle table. I thought maybe the roast meat had dried out, the roast potatoes looked dried out, the Yorkshire pudding looked burnt, the mixed vegetables though, cauliflowers, broccoli and carrots, looked very fresh. There was also parsnips. At the end of the table gravy. On another table which I had not noticed, mustard and what I assumed was various sauces.

The portions of meat were generous. For the vegetables, I helped myself.

My initial misgivings on the meat, Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes proved unfounded.

I would rate this as the best carvery I have had. Cooked to perfection, quality cuts of meat.

At £11-95, for a pub that is usually very pricy, cf a burger at £11-95, it was reasonably priced.

To drink a pint of Tea from the Hog’s Back Brewery.

Where we were sitting, the exhausted dogs fell asleep, I noticed books. A reasonable selection: The Algebraist Iain M Banks, A Quiet Belief in Angels E J Ellory, The Millenium trilogy Stieg Larsson, though they did then let themselves down with 50 Shades of Crap. No Paulo Coelho.

I asked were the books a new addition, and was it possible to borrow?

Yes, the books were a new addition, and yes, it was possible to borrow.

I suggested they registered on BookCrossing and encouraged people to leave books.

The Foresters is in the middle of nowhere, not far from Church Crookham. Dogs are welcome.

The Foresters is being hit with fake reviews on TripAdvisor. I have eaten there twice. They clearly take a pride in their food and the service is good. TripAdvisor is losing all credibility when it fails to root out fake reviews.

Autumn afternoon walk over Long Valley

October 14, 2012
Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Long Valley an area of heathland and hills

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

Dexter a rare breed of cattle

It was a cold night last night, I was told frost this morning, though I did not see it.

Lovely and sunny late morning. Very cold, but warm in the sun.

I decided a walk over Long Valley, but to do it different to the summer when had Sunday lunch at The Foresters, then go for a walk. Make the most of the afternoon sun, go for a walk, then return to The Foresters for lunch.

We parked across the road from The Foresters, a lot more cars than in the summer. From there we set off, a friend, two dogs and myself.

Long Valley is an area of heathland, heather, open pine and oak woodlands, heath grassland.

We encountered Dexter cattle, but little else.

I would have walked further that we did, but by time we got to the pub I was feeling very tired.

Last time I had excellent slow-roast, belly pork. I was looking forward to trying it again, but noticed they had a carvery (new for the last few weeks).

The pub was full, no dogs whilst full, so we decided to come back a little later.

We thought we would go for a walk along a footpath out the back of the pub. This turned out to be Velmead Common. Very cold walking in the shade through the pine woodland, but once we reached open grassland and into the sun, very pleasant.

Like Long Valley, Velmead Common is heathland.

Dexter Cattle are a rare breed. They are on Long Valley and Velmead Common (though did not see any) to maintain the biodiversity.

Very little of the landscape in England is natural, it is semi-natural, maintained by farming, It is industrial farming that destroys and poisons the landscape. Left to it own devices, Long Valley and Velmead Common would eventually be open heath woodland and lack the varied habitats that grazing creates.

Dexter cattle are small and stocky. Roughly the size and build of a pit pony.

Long Valley is located between Aldershot and Church Crookham.

Afternoon walk over Long Valley

August 13, 2012
Long Valley open pine woodland

Long Valley open pine woodland

Long Valley Dexter cattle

Long Valley Dexter cattle

Long Valley open grassland

Long Valley open grassland

I would normally enter Long Valley by crossing a bridge from the Basingstoke Canal, but as I had Sunday lunch at The Foresters in the middle of nowhere, I crossed the road from The Foresters and entered Long Valley from a different direction.

Long Valley is an area of heathland, heath grassland, pine and oak woodlands, gorse.

A decade ago, vast swathes of pine trees were cut down. The area is now grazed, it was Highland cattle, now Dexter cattle, strange small dark brown almost black cows with a broad white stripe around their middle.

Dexter cattle are a rare breed that originated in the South West of Ireland. Like the Kerry, they are descended from the predominately black cattle of the early Celts. The smallest native breed of cattle in the British Isles

Heather was in flower, the area I walked did not have large areas covered in heather, merely isolated clumps.