The Sprat and Winkle Line
How Geocaching Works
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
*** CAUTION in Summer the cache may be overgrown with nettles***
An easy stroll along an old railway line will lead you straight to this cache. This is an ideal one for youngsters due to the good level path.
There are many walks and cycle trails in this part of the Test Valley, and a few other caches. This cache can therefore be reached from different directions, or form part of a circular excursion, however the most direct approach is from the Horsebridge (free) car park at N 51 04.325, W 001 30.544. The turning to the car park is opposite the John O’Gaunt public house.
To find the old trackbed walk through the car park, with your back to the pub and join the footpath, fork left at the junction (footpath marked SES Endurance) rather than crossing the wooden bridge (marked Test Way and off road cycle track). You will pass the old Horsebridge Station on your left, this is now a private residence, please respect the privacy of the owners. The station has been well maintained and even has a railway carriage standing at the platform.
All you really have to do is follow the trackbed for approximately ¾ mile, enjoy the countryside, see if you can spot some rabbits, sheep, a badger set or the ghost of the signalman.
The track will inevitably get busy with cyclists and walkers at certain times, so mind you do not get knocked down by a mountain bike and be sneaky when you find the cache.
The cache is a slim 1.5 litre Tupperware box filled with lots of small children’s toys. No room for a camera or cuddlies this time, but of course we managed to squeeze in a logbook.
We hope you enjoy the walk and find the time to explore the area a bit further.
A HISTORY LESSON:
Horsebridge station was opened on 6 March 1865 and was part of the Andover and Redbridge (Southampton) Railway, later the LSWR. In its heyday the line was known as the "Sprat and Winkle", presumably because sprats and winkles were transported from Southampton to the north of England along the route. The line was largely built over the similar route of a 1794 canal after it had been filled in.
In 1985 the station was bought at an auction for £50,000 from Hampshire County Council after it had suffered 20 years' of dereliction. Since then it has been lovingly and sympathetically restored complete with signal box, waiting room, parcel room and carriage. All is not how it seems though, because the original signal box, signals, track and station signs had disappeared, those you see now were found elsewhere. Track was bought from Eastleigh works, the signal box was originally from Yalding in Kent, and the coach, built in 1921, had latterly been used as a canteen for workers repairing the line in the Bournemouth area. The two signals were obtained from Weymouth Station. In early 2002 the station was sold for approximately £700,000.
Nffhzvat lbh nccebnpu nf qrfpevorq nobir, ba gur evtug unaq fvqr bs gur genpx vf n ynetr gjvfgrq gerr ng gur onfr vf n pbapergr fyno naq haqrearngu gung …
- The Sprat and WinkleA nice easy path, great for kids.
- Horsebridge StationNo trains today, but what a lovely spot to wait.
- A good signal!You are bound to get a good GPS SIGNAL from here!
Loading Cache Logs...
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum