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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, 19 January 2019

Saturday walk - Hook to Winchfield - a village, a canal and a castle

Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) or 20km (12.4 miles) with possible extension to 24.3km (15.1 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10 - fairly flat

9.42 train (destination Basingstoke) from Waterloo to Hook, arriving 10.48 (note: does not stop at Clapham Junction)

If you just miss this, catch the 9.45 train to Guildford and change at Woking (arrive 10.12 depart 10.19): this train calls at Clapham Junction at 9.52.

Buy a day return to Hook.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

This charming and gentle walk had an outing recently with the midweek walkers (apologies to them for once again pinching their idea....) but has not had a weekend airing since this time in 2017, when it made a very pleasant winter walk.

The route takes in rural sections of the Basingstoke Canal and passes the ruins of Odiham Castle, used by King John as his base when negotating Magna Carta. At its heart is the picturesque village/town of Odiham which has several lunch options - a clutch of pubs and some cafes. (Not to be neglected, incidentally, when making your choice is the Waterwitch on the way out of town: I have never eaten there but it looked quite nice when I passed it in December).

2km after lunch you have a choice of doing the main walk (12.4 miles) or staying on the canal - very pretty and passing a romantic former hunting lodge - for a shorter ending (10.1 miles). The main walk in turn has the option of an extra loop which extends the walk to 15.1 miles, for those that like that kind of thing.

Tea is at the Winchfield Inn next to the station of rather name, from where trains go back to Waterloo at 05 and 35 past. T=3.84

2 comments:

Marcus said...

Upwards n=18 of us on this walk on a w=dull-overcast-day-with-drizzly-rain-at-times.The group soon split into fast and medium speed walkers, meeting up briefly at the ruins of Odiham Castle. On reaching Odiham some stopped for lunch at the Bell, to find the service slow despite a near empty pub - apparently the food was OK when it eventually arrived. By contrast, the Waterwitch pub was buzzing and I was lucky to find a table - and be served an excellent meal promptly and with a smile. In the afternoon most of us opted for the short, 10 mile version of the walk, staying on the Basingstoke Canal all the way to the outskirts of Winchfield. A small group bizarrely decided to go off piste for the final leg to the tea pub - they may still be out there, faffing about. The Winchfield Inn served welcoming pots of tea, enjoyed by those who stopped before heading for the railway station nearby. The early finishers caught the 16-05 hrs train and there were a number of us on the 16-35 hrs train. If the off-pisters eventually made it to the pub they probably caught the 17-05 hrs service back to London. Although today's walk is not the best in the SWC repertoire it made for a perfectly pleasant winter's walk in very nice company which more than made up for the dull weather.

Sandy said...

Well Marcus, as you probably gathered I didn't manage to extract myself from the pub in time for the 1635 but I was joined by 3 others on the 1705, who had completed the walk by different routes. So the off-pisters (who in fairness just went wrong by missing one stile) are still unaccounted for.