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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Saturday Third Walk – the Basingstoke Canal

Extra Walk 84 – L=3.84
Length: 19 km (11.8 miles) or 16 km (9.9 miles) with short cut. Toughness: 4/10

09:42 Basingstoke train from Waterloo (calls Surbiton 10:00 but not Clapham Jct), arriving Hook at 10:48. Buy a day return to Hook.

This is the direct train, but you can also take the faster 09:45 Portsmouth train (Clapham Jct 09:52) and join it at Woking (arr 10:11, dep 10:19). [The 09:50 Salisbury train from Waterloo might work too, but you'd need to nip across the footbridge pretty smartly at Woking.]

Return trains from Winchfield to Waterloo are at 05 & 35 minutes past. The 05s stop at Clapham Jct but you'd need to change at Farnborough for CJ on the 35s.

This Hampshire walk featuring the Basingstoke Canal has been compromised by a landslide which closed part of the towpath for a couple of years, but the damaged section finally reopened in the spring. As it's due to close again in the winter for further repairs this seems an opportune time to give this walk its first Saturday outing for four years.

Near the start you might have to find your way around some boggy stretches on Hook Common and you'll also have to put up with a burst of motorway noise as you cross the M3 (where on a fine day you can just see Basingstoke). The remainder of this walk is much more rural and there are several interesting sights along the way, including the ruins of a castle where King John stayed en route to Runnymede 800 years ago, a medieval pest house and a cottage orné.

There's no shortage of pubs on this walk, with the suggested lunch stop being at the halfway stage in the attractive town of Odiham (I'd be tempted to give The Bell another try, although there are several appealing alternatives on the High Street). At the end of the walk the Winchfield Inn is conveniently situated near the station.

Before you print the walk document, clicking 'Main' on the Walk Options heading line will save a sheet or two of paper as it will hide the instructions in §7-10, which only apply to the Circular Walk.

† On a perfect day you can't see it at all.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bridie for all your hard work.

Yes reverting to Nicolas Alberys wonderful timetable is one idea.The poster has got to have access to a computer.

All best for the future.


Sean said...

On a W=hot_and_mostly_sunny day N=12 walkers were not deterred by the proximity of this walk to the M3; indeed one walker complained that she couldn't hear it as promised in the walk notes. We also overtook a gang of four doing the walk independently, who will doubtless look more closely at This Week's Walks next time. Our group mostly stuck together and all took time out to inspect the various sights en route, although one disappeared after our cheap'n'cheerful lunch at The Bell to forge a new route to Fleet station.

A noisy beer festival at the Barley Mow persuaded us to carry on to the Winchfield Inn for some much-needed liquid intake in its beer garden before the 17:35 train. In this last stretch we caught up with two walkers who'd gone on ahead, stumbling out of the bushes with an unconvincing tale of dodgy walk directions. A good day out for all!