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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

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunday Walk 1: Pride, Prejudice and Water Buffalos

Overton Circular SWC walk 97
13.8km 8.6 miles
18.4km 11.4 miles with pub lunch
Difficulty 4/10
This Hampshire walk, that passes through locations associated with Jane Austen, suffered a bit of a knock when the original lunch pub closed. The walk has recently been checked and revamped and the outlying Fox has become part of the main walk, increasing its length to 11.4 miles. Those wanting to keep to the original 8.6 miles will have to picnic (for which, Steventon Churchyard makes an ideal location). Slower walkers and dawdlers may wish to join them. Water buffalo don't feature strongly in the works of Jane Austen but you are likely to see some when you go through Laverstock Park Farm (between points 57 and 61). They have a large herd - and a farm shop if you can find it.
Get the 10:15 Exeter train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:25) arriving Overton at 11:17
(Those of a jocular disposition might prefer to start from Waterbuffaloo station.)
The quickest return trains (taking 1 hr) are at 14:58 16:58, 18:58 and 20:58 from platform 1 (Note these are two-hourly intervals.)
(If you just miss one, it is also possible to return on the 15:15 17:15 and 19:15 from platform 2 changing for London at Andover. However these journeys take 1hr 45m )
You can get a cheap advance return to Overton for £15 from South West Trains details here 
Lunch: the Fox in North Waltham 01256 397 288 (There is another pub, the Wheatsheaf  01256 398 282 further away if needed - see notes) The way back from the Fox to Steventon used to be the same stretch in reverse. That's still an option but, for variety, an (as yet unchecked) route along a quiet road is now offered. 
Tea: I remember Overton as being pretty quiet on a Sunday but it's been a while. The recommended and recently refurbished White Hart 01256 771 431 is open, as is the Old House at Home en route to the station. I am told the White Hart does tea. Allow 15 to 20 mins to reach the station from Overton. Station Road is long. You still have 1.2 kilometres to go.
Directions: available here 


Walker said...

You won't recognise the White Hart: it has been utterly transformed and is now a very nice tea stop

PeteB said...

n=18 on this walk plus a late appearance by the walks inspector. Weather w= hazy-sunshine-with-a-cool-breeze and the going good. Perfect day for this attractive Hampshire walk through Jane Austen country which is now fully rehabilitated after its revamp but with perhaps a bit too much tarmac. On a warm summers day the lanes would be pretty busy.

A small group opted for the short circular walk but after meeting the walks inspector ended up doing a circuit of paths around the town and completing a distance similar to the longer walk. The rest of us ambled on to the Fox in North Waltham which served large portions promptly. I had a sandwich in the grounds of the nearby beautiful church of St Michael. (I'll post a photo on the walks page.)

After lunch we spotted the water buffalo in their winter quarters - another group saw a few in the fields. (Incidentally my OS map identifies this as Berrydown Farm not Laverstoke.)

We arrived back in Overton well in time for a leisurely drink before meeting the "circular" walkers and catching the packed 16.58pm train back to London.