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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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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Wednesday Walk - Hook to Winchfield

Length:  20.0 km (12.4 mi) [shorter or longer walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  153/154m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 - 4 ½ hours [the last 15 mins are along roads so you should in any case be fine for light]
Toughness:  3 out of 10 
Take the 10.12 Basingstoke train from Waterloo (10.19 CJ, 10.30 Surbiton etc.), arrives Hook 11.18.  
Return trains from Winchfield are on xx.05 and xx.35  (ca. 60 mins journey time). Buy a Hook return.

The start of this walk is affected by Hook's proximity to the noisy M3, but after crossing it on the edge of Bartley Heath nature reserve the motorway is soon out of earshot. The walk then alternates between stretches alongside the River Whitewater and the Basingstoke Canal, with the weather-beaten ruins of Odiham Castle at their intersection. After passing through the attractive village of Greywell with its ancient church and mill the route doubles back to a lunchtime stop in the elegant town of Odiham, with its wide Georgian-fronted High Street.
In the afternoon the walk re-joins the canal at Odiham Wharf and continues along the towpath to Broad Oak Bridge, where there is a choice of routes (see Walk Options below). The Main Walk goes through the extensive Dogmersfield Park  estate (once a royal hunting ground) and past Tundry Pond to re-join the canal at Blacksmith's Bridge. It then heads back along the towpath before going across fields and along country lanes to Winchfield station.

Walk Options:
·        The walk directions include a short cut in the morning (cuts 1¼ km by cutting out the loop to Greywell Mill).
·        After lunch, at Broad Oak Bridge you could remain on the canal towpath, omitting the section through Dogmersfield Park. This Short Walk saves nearly 4 km and has the added attraction of going past a picturesque Hunting Lodge on the edge of Odiham Common.
·        The Long Walk adds 4¼ km by continuing eastwards from Blacksmith's Bridge along a rural stretch of the canal to Crookham Wharf and then returning through the village of Dogmersfield.

Note: Earlier in the year, ”…the morning route was substantially changed as the paths across Hook Common had become increasingly difficult to follow”. This is the first outing of the new version.

Early Lunch: The Mill House  in North Warnborough or The Fox and Goose in Greywell.
Lunch: The Bell, The Bel & The Dragon and The Red Lion, all in Odiham (9.3 km/5.8 mi, food to 14.30).
Tea: The Winchfield Inn, which may or may not be open weekday afternoons…

For walk directions, map, height profile, some photos, a video and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.84


Walker said...

N=11 on this walk, including the walk poster who caught us up at lunch.

We were promised sun but in fact the morning was grey, with the cloud breaking only at about 2pm. There were then some nice sunny intervals but the cloud soon dipped behind a bank of cloud to the west. So w=cloudy-with-a-bit-of-sun.

The trouble with having a lot of lunch options is no one can agree which to patronise. After complex negotiations, five tried the Red Lion but as it was busy with Christmas parties it recommended we had soup and sandwiches. One (me) decided I could do better in the coffee shop two doors down where I had a soup and baked potato. By the time I had finished the others four in the pub, joined by the walk poster, were just getting their grub. There was nowhere to sit and the sun was shining, so I wandered off.

A nice sunny walk along the canal. In general this is a very pleasant walk and a good choice for a winter’s day. Getting to the decision point I found it was after 3pm (and there was due to be only a crescent moon) so I decided to do the short ending along the canal. Did the main group do the full walk?

At Winchfield there was disappointingly no tea because the pub was closed mid afternoon. Luckily I was just in time for the 16.05 train. Three picnickers were also on this, having also done the short walk.

I look forward to hearing how the main group got on.

Thomas G said...

6 of the rest walked the full main walk and got to the station just in time for the 16.35. I thought the stretches in the morning along the Whitewater River were an unmitigated delight, and Odiham Castle is very interesting. Overall it's a good walk for all seasons, as even now there was little evidence of mud. The Red Lion is probably the best choice of the three pubs in the village, with The Bell more of a boozer and the Bel and Dragon more a restaurant. We had no complaints.