This really was the best time to visit these sites, a perfect 20 degree sunny spring day. The bluebells in their first flush of flower and the beeches just coming into leaf. Later in the season, with the tree canopy developed and the understory in full growth, the sites are more obscured and dark.
To add a few comments to Nat's... The pub has been demolished and if you take the anti-clockwise path from the car park the Banjo Enclosure is first (almost impossible to photo but see FlashEarth link.) then the E barrow (with trees removed), follow the path to the conifers and turn right parallel to the (very noisy!) M3 to the N barrow.
Sunday morning we left Southampton at about 11.30 for a walk. 7 of us in all, me, my hubby, Cath & Keith, their kids and Mr Hobbs our expert in all things flora, fauna and country pubs!
Decided as we had the 1989 copy of the Ordenance Survey book of British Walks to go to Micheldever Woods. Easy to get to, leave the Motorway at Winchester and follow the old Roman Road A33 and then turn left at the Roman Pub! (Full of tales of ghosts and late night drinking exploits from Mr Hobbs). Micheledever woods are on your left handside as you go past the pub (Ordenance Map Ref SU530365). We pulled into the car park and were suprised to find we were the only people there. Decided to do the 2.5 mile walk and take in both burial mounds and the banjo!! Don't take the 1989 Ordenance Survey Walk Guide with you as they've actually changed the paths!!!
What a fantasticly well managed wood land it is. Beautiful in its colours, sounds, tree types and wildlife. Monk Jack Deer (scuse spelling) were seen and all kinds of butterflies and dragonflies. Even tales of bears were told from the footprints in the dried out mud!!
The first mound is easy to find and you can clearly see the ditches surrounding it. It has the tallest tree on the top. Well posted signs give you a brief syopsis of what it is and time periods and so on. The second mound, due to the paths being moved, is not so easy to find and is hidden away in the trees, next to the Motorway, so the atmosphere is some what ruined by the sound of passing cars. It's also been excavated over time for flint so is badly damaged.
The walk itself is stunning and easy for those who don't like hills or have trouble walking as it's very flat and the paths are well maintained. The Walk is in a circle of sorts, but due to our old map we ended up double crossing ourselves and I'm sure there is an easier way round. Before you get back to the car park is the Banjo Settlement again nicely sign posted. Again you can see the ditches and get a feel of the size of the settlement and can work out where the houses were and where the hearth was and really get a feel of life. The silence at this spot is very strange, not even a grasshopper sound. Perfect silence....
I loved it and thought it was wonderful, and never would have expected it to be there. (For a meal and a beverage afterwards I recommend The Flower Pots at Cheriton!)