FKT: Nik Darlington - The Writers' Way (United Kingdom) - 2021-02-28

Route variation
one way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 29m 48s
GPS track(s)

One of my closest FKT routes to home but not all terrain I know that well so almost all of it I was flying blind and carrying my phone in my hand throughout to keep on top of the route, which I hate doing but I hate taking a wrong turn more! Conditions were dreamy with full sunshine, cool mid-afternoon temperatures, a chilly NE/E wind but moderate rather than strong, and relatively dry for the time of year.

I set off from the famous Jane Austen's House in Chawton and sped through a deserted Alton town centre before the first sharp incline up and over Windmill Hill, which I was expecting to be an early wakeup call, and it was.

What I was not expecting was what came next: about half a mile or so of 3-4% uphill gradient through a fast-flowing, pretty deep stream over sharp, uneven rubble! So much for me to expect that "Water Lane" was an actual lane, rather than water!

The rest of the route is storybook, sylvan, Hampshire countryside, especially the villages of Selborne and Upper Farringdon. One particularly evil climb to Noar Plantation over a rutted, ploughed field aside, it was just the right side of challenging, never boring and always picturesque. And with the entire route being uphill (finishing 385ft higher than where you started), you definitely feel you've put in a good shift.