Circular Walk – Caesar’s Camp Aldershot - Saturday 20th May 2017

The third of our Walk The Valley season of circular walks started and finished,as advertised, at the Wellington Statue in Aldershot.  Despite rain being forecast, a large group of 30 people (and Ebony, the dog) assembled in the car park to walk to Caesar’s Camp.  It was good to see Jane, who was in my group for the Big Valley Ramble and was attending her first monthly walk, plus the many regulars and friends.   As is sometimes the case with Paul’s walks, after his safety briefing, he pointed in the direction of Caesar’s Camp and we set off in the opposite direction, towards Rushmoor Bottom and through the impressive “arch” into Wellesley Woodlands.  This was so that we could see one of the areas being managed by the Blackwater Valley Partnership.

I can’t pretend to remember the route because I was walking with friends, but I’ve done too many walks with Paul to worry about where we are going because I always know we are going to get there safely, and back again.  Paul pointed out interesting things on the way.  Occasionally, there was a single high brick wall standing in the woodland, or a building of mysterious purpose, perhaps a stable?  Paul said he could make up a story about giants living there in the past, but they were probably vestiges of activities by the army, which first came to Aldershot in 1854.  Most interestingly, Paul showed us an ancient monument that is shown on maps, the earthworks called Bat’s Hogsty.

As we walked past a reservoir, where the locals (cows) showed no interest in us at all, there was a quick rain shower, but it didn’t last and most of the walk was done in cloudy weather with sunny intervals.  Unfortunately, it was too cloudy for us to see the Shard or Canary Wharf from the top of Caesar’s Camp.  What we did see, though, was Marilyn and Angus with the “tea trolley” and that familiar wheelbarrow full of cakes.  Full marks to them for getting it all to the top, which can’t have been easy.  After everyone had enjoyed their hot drinks and cakes, we all posed for a group photo.

As always, Paul had pre-walked the route, but a heavy rainstorm only a day or two before, had created a stream on the way down that we all had to cross.  I was able to take some great action shots of our walk leader helping everyone across.Before we knew it, we were back at the Wellington Statue, having walked some 6 miles. Most of us climbed up to have a closer look at it and spent time reading the information boards before thanking Paul and our backmarker, Mike Burns.

This is the third of a number of circular walks BVCT is providing this year, all led by Paul, and which can be found by going to the BVCT web site – http://www.bvct.org.uk/events

Hilary Godber