Backup Only

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, 19 May 2018

Rowlands Castle (Grand) Circular


Length: 37km (23m) or 25km (16m) or something in between
Toughness: 10+/10 or 9/10 or something in between
Transport: For the Grand Circular (313) morning leg take the 8:00 from London Waterloo, change at Haslemere and arrive at Rowlands Castle at 9:21. For the circular (68) morning leg take the 9:00 from London Waterloo, change at Haslemere and arrive at Rowlands Castle at 10:21. Return trains are at xx:46 with the odd 17:32 thrown in.

This is the first outing of this new walk. It visits all the highlights towards the north-east of Rowlands Castle: A "Saxon" church at Stoughton, a yew tree forest and bronze-age burial mounds in the Kingley Vale Nature Reserve (morning leg), a remote pub in the middle of nowhere and magnificent views from Beacon Hill. The landscape the walk passes through feels remote, as if time has stood still from a more pastoral era.

The full Grand Circular (walk 313) is a very tough walk: It is long and includes several steep climbs. In addition, it is 18km to the recommended lunch pub, The Royal Oak at Hooksway, which stops serving food at 14:00. This means you would need to be able to cover this distance in about 4.5 hours. However, there is a fall-back option: The White Horse, 15.5km from the start which serves food until 15:00. Hence the following idea: Those who want to do the Grand Circular morning leg take the 8:00 train, those who want to have a more leasurely morning take the 9:00 train and walk the morning leg of walk 68 (This will not lead to Stoughton nor Kingley Vale Nature Reserve). Both walks meet at the lunch pub The Royal Oak (provided the grand circulars manage to get there in time). After lunch you then have again two options: Take walk 68 back to Rowlands Castle or follow walk 313 via Chalton (nice pub) and a beautiful sunset walk across the downs back to Rowlands Castle. This afternoon section is again about 18km, but now without the pressure of a closing lunch pub.

There is also a bus crossing the afternoon section of walk 313 6km after lunch which can take you back to Petersfield.


Anonymous said...

Anyone for the circular walk catching the 0900hr train?

Stargazer said...

5 regulars and 1 neophyte emerged on the platform in Rowlands Castle immediately setting off under w=bright-blue-clear-skies. A brisk pace was set over fears of not reaching the lunch pub (10 miles away) in time -- though time was taken to admire some stunning views from the tops of some hills not previously explored by the SWC. We arrived at the lunch pub in ample time and enjoyed our lunches in shade in the garden. Towards the end of lunch, we were joined by 2 from the later train who decided to reverse walk the new morning route. After lunch, we bumped into yet another off an even earlier train who had paid a visit to Uppark -- making a total of n=9 on this new long walk. Towards the end of the walk, we stopped in the lovely Red Lion in Charlton for early evening bevies before completing the final stretch over and along the downs in beautiful evening light -- a super ending for a grand day out! Most caught the 19:46 and 2 the 20:46 (after a meal at the Castle Inn). This new route is interesting and varied with grand views and nice Woodlands with loads of wild garlic.