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The Real Watership Down

Listed under Literary Locations in South East England, United Kingdom.

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Photo by flickr user terryballard
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I grew up with Watership Down, it is one of the few children’s works that treats readers like adults, and though I never paid too much attention to the details of where the action was happening I was pretty interested to come across this website of ordinance maps of where all the important events would have taken place: http://www.loganberry.furtopia.org/bnb/maps/index.html David Loganberry, who put all of this together obviously felt a greater affinity than I did to the story‘s locations and has done a meticulous job down to finding specific ditches etc. Richard Adams who wrote “Watership Down” set the book around Newbury where he grew up in and give detailed enough surroundings for David to be able to be quite specific, however he wrote the book when living in London (he visited Newbury at the weekends) so I would be surprised if some of David’s aspersions are based on his strong desire to fully map the story (but there is an excellent map in some versions of the book which provides a good initial guide.). Without going into detail “Watership Down” is set in Hampshire around the Enborne River (which the rabbits of the Sandleford Warren cross on their rafts) along the Berkshire boundary and Newtown Common past real life Nuthanger Farm (which still exists.). “Watership Down” seems to be a popular literary pilgrimage, Chris Boyce has also created a very comprehensive site about walking the journey with lots of good photos: http://www.mayfieldiow.freewire.co.uk/watershp/watermain.htm The locations are all real but the bad news is the rabbit population isn’t. While you can expect to see a few lone bunnies you won’t come across the honeycomb of warrens children or childish readers will be expecting.

Written by  Sophie Edgerton.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I just discovered Watership Down because I was playing Art Garfunkel selections on YouTube. I clearly recall "Bright Eyes" but never made the connection with this story. Thank you for posting. This scenery is so peaceful and glorious. Best Wishes, ALL.

I'm the "David Loganberry" mentioned in this review, and thank you for it! Definitely a good point at the end, that WD is not really a place for young children to watch lolloping bunnies - apart from anything else, it's several miles from drinks, shelter and toilets!

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