A political trail with a rosy outcome

The Downton Guides follow in the footsteps of William Cobbett

A prize-winning group followed in the footsteps of the radical politician,William Cobbettir?t=eastleighnews 21&l=ur2&o=2 at the weekend on a free Hamble Valley guided walk around the picturesque village of Botley.

The Downton Guides from Wiltshire enjoyed a day out in the Hamble Valley after completing a questionnaire at a Group Travel Exhibition in January.

Celebrating the Hamble Valley’s history, the group began their visit by enjoying a strawberry cream tea at Hillier’s Gardens in Romsey before heading to Botley, where in the early 20th century strawberries grew in abundance, for a guided walk with the Eastleigh and Hamble Valley Heritage Guides.


Following the way-marked Cobbet Trail around the village that William Cobbettir?t=eastleighnews 21&l=ur2&o=2 described as “the most delightful village in the world. It has everything in a village I love and none of the things I hate”; the Downton Guides discovered that Botley still retains much of its charm and character.

Historical facts and stories were brought to life by Blue Badge Guide Jill Daniels including the gruesome tale of a soldier who was hanged for not drinking enough alcohol which gave raise to the phrase of “Botley Assizes”

Group leader, Irena Hibberd commented “We had never been to Botley before and were amazed at all it had to offer for people of all ages”. Another member stated; “A really interesting day, we enjoyed the architecture, history and tales – a great time was had by all.”

The youngest member of the group, Sara, 12 years old added “Our Heritage Guide was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and interesting.”

The Eastleigh & Hamble Valley Heritage Guides run guided walks every Sunday throughout the summer.

Visit www.hamblevalley.com for a diary of walks and to request copies of the self-guided Cobbett Trail leaflet.

To find accomodation in the Hamble Valley staying in Old Country Inns, click here