Written by Graeme Davis
As weather improves I’m sure many people will want to take to the road on their bikes. A bit more effort than my previous rides is my ride to the Chutes.
Start out at Charlton Village. The first part of the journey is all uphill, but takes in some great scenery. Head up the Hatherden. Road from the village, then across the roundabout to Hathernden Lane past The Old Bell & Crown. Continuing up the lane, before The Fox Inn keep your eyes peeled. On the fields to the left, before the Inn, you can often see brown hares sprinting around. The road changes to Hungerford Lane. Hidden in the hedges some way along this lane is an old gypsy caravan.
Near the end of this road is Conholt Park. This estate often has unusual livestock like longhorn cattle and occasionally lamas. Before continuing your journey on the right hand folk, known as the Chute Causeway, you have to option to tail right slightly to look over the hills. These are normally teaming with butterflies. Using the air currents you can often see red kite, kestrels and buzzards.
Continue along the causeway, take note of the fields on the right, one contains a highest point marker or trig point. Turn right down Dummer Lane, make sure your brakes work! This is an incredible downhill, which after a long journey is a nice break. Turn right at the bottom of the hill to The Hatchet Inn. This is a great spot for a break, bite to eat and a drink.
Once refreshed continue up a steep hill through woodland. You can continue this road over the cross roads back to The Fox Inn, or turn right to Clanville, onto Weyhill, and use the cycle path to bring you back to Andover.