Dawn's Journal

By DawnP

A Road Less Travelled

While travelling between London and Portsmouth prior to 2011 you would most likely have plenty of time to take in the views across the Devil's Punch Bowl from A3 as you crawled up to or down from Gibbet's Hill. Go back further in time before 1826 and the route was even steeper on the Old Portsmouth Turnpike Road.  The original single-track road still exists in part, complete with a memorial (extra) to an unknown sailor cruelly murdered in 1786 by 3 men who were subsequently hanged and left to rot on a gibbet at the top of the hill.

In 2011 (where has the time gone!) Hindhead Tunnel was opened as part of a scheme to replace one of the remaining bottlenecks on this route, and the road through this area of natural beauty, managed by the National Trust, was grubbed up. 

Today the old road is now a broad track with only the sounds of birds and walkers enjoying the area. It has also become a magnet for tourists , families and cyclists especially at weekends, as evidenced by the expansion of the NT car park and other facilities!

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