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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.

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Saturday Second Walk - Dean to Mottisfont & Dunbridge (Test Valley and surrounding Downs)

SWC Walk 265 Dean to Mottisfont & Dunbridge:  Varied Woods, the Dun, Wallop Brook & Test Valleys and Broughton Down
Length: 27.4 km (17.1 mi) [shorter option: 22.4 km/13.9 mi, splits post-lunch]
Ascent/Descent: 500 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ½ hours [short walk: 380m, 5 hrs]
Toughness:  8 out of 10 (short walk: 6 out of 10)

09.20 Exeter St. Davids train from Waterloo (09.27 CJ), changing at Salisbury for Chandlers Ford (arrives 10.42, usually platform 4; departs 10.56, usually platform 6), arrives Dean 11.08. Buy a cheap off-peak day return to Mottisfont & Dunbridge for £16 on the SWT-website or at the station ticket office (but not the machines) before midnight the night before.
Return from Mottisfont & Dunbridge at xx.56 via Salisbury (from 113 mins journey time) or at xx.14 via Southampton Central (126 mins journey time). Memo: the £16 ticket is only valid on SWT-trains, therefore ignore the Virgin Cross Country trains at So’ton Central (to Reading, connecting to Paddington!)
Or make it a weekend: stay at The Mill Arms in Dunbridge and explore Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens  and/or walk all or part of SWC 58 (Dunbridge to Romsey) on Sunday.

New Walk, we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions!
This walk explores woods and rolling chalk hills in the Dun, Wallop Brook and Test Valleys of remote West Hampshire. Rising out of the Dun Valley through varied woods and along field boundaries and farm tracks (some tarmacked), the walk takes on a very different aspect upon approaching the steep sided chalk downs near Broughton, with splendid views north east across the Wallop Brook valley. After lunch in Broughton you follow the rim of the wide valley south easterly to cross the meadows of the Test River, Hampshire's longest and finest chalk stream. The Test is a prominent feature of the afternoon, as its several arms are crossed twice.  
In between you climb again, up to the hills along the easterly side of the Test valley, walk through some quiet woods and past scenic side valleys to then steeply descend back to the Test Meadows. The finish is through the NT-owned Mottisfont Estate, past Mottisfont Abbey, a historical priory, and its grounds, as well as the 12th century St. Andrews church, one of the few Grade I-listed churches (on a short diversion). A shorter route, cutting out parts of the afternoon, is described (rated 6/10).

The recommended lunch stop is The Tally Ho! Inn in Broughton (11.4 km/7.1 mi). There is also The Greyhound next door, serving Thai food, as well as an earlier option and a couple of later options (on the full walk only) [see page 2 of the pdf for details].
The tea stop is The Mill Arms Inn in Dunbridge, meters from the station, or one of the options at Mottisfont Gardens, if walking the short walk.
For summary, map, height profile, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here.


DAC said...

Intend going.

Thomas G said...

27 km in 27 degrees, everyone survived it, intact and in good spirit.
n=10 walkers (incl. 1 first-timer) set off in w=hot weather, with the morning stretch featuring plenty of shaded woods and lanes though, and with some views as well down the Dun Valley and from Broughton Down into the Wallop Brook Valley just before lunch at the Tally Ho! in the lovely village of Broughton (home of Hildon Mineral Water).

2 walkers (incl. the walk-checker) then decided to take the shortcut, mainly through woods and between fields. The others ploughed on through the Wallop Brook, then the Test Valley, only to hit a major 'delay' at the bridge over the Test, where an extended padddling and wading session arupted. Surprisingly the crystal clear water would've still been just about high enough for swimming, alas: no one had their swimmies with them.

Onwards and back up to the rim of the valley, then looping south to Mottisfont, via some scenic side valleys, with plenty more tree cover, plenty of churches to visit and hardly a soul in sight. And across the Test Meadows once more. A very good walk for a hot day, I'd say (but then I'm biased).

Some took the first train going, most stayed at The Mill Arms for dinner. 20.56 train for those.