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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, 21 December 2019

Saturday Walk - South Downs Way: Hinton Ampner to Winchester ('s famous Christmas Market)

Length: 20.9 km (13.0 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 292/312 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ½ hours
Toughness: 5 out of 10

[Sunset out there will be at 16.00, giving sufficient light for walking to 16.30 at least. And the last 20 minutes or so are along lit streets.]

Take the 08.45 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (08.52 Clapham J, 09.13 Woking), arrives Petersfield 10.11. From there take Bus 67 Direction Winchester at 10.32 outside the station. The bus arrives Hinton Ampner Park at 11.04. [To while away the time in Petersfield, there is a pub with early opening 2 just minutes away, which serves pretty decent coffees and teas. Or walk to the town square for a wander around the market and take the bus from there at 10.28 (Stop B).]
Return trains: xx.18 to 20.18 (Journey Time 65 minutes), then 22.22. There are also services to Reading for connections to Paddington (xx.36 and 16.03/18.03). Buy a Fareham Return (that’s where the Portsmouth and Southampton lines meet).

Map-led walk from Hinton Ampner (Park and NT House, Source of the River Itchen). Follow the Wayfarer’s Walk up to the South Downs and turn right along their westerly end with the South Downs Way through high rolling farmland (and past the gloriously named ‘Cheesefoot Head’) towards its official start in the Cathedral City of Winchester, where one of the best Christmas Markets in the UK awaits (closes at 20.00).

For  walk directions, a map, a height profile, gpx/kml files, and photos click here. For a tailor-made gpx, pointing in the right direction, click here. [Right-click and ‘Save Link As…’]

Lunch: The Milbury's in Beauworth (6.1 km/3.8 mi)
Tea: Plenty options in Winchester. T=swc.182.a

Stargazer is away...

1 comment:

Thomas G said...

n=5 off the early train (earlier than normal due to the RMT strike), having seen some very flooded flood plains from the train window (the area just past Guildford was basically all water). The 20 minutes or so we had in Petersfield until the bus departure most spent going to the market place, while I checked out the South Downs NP info room, where volunteers ran a food and hot drinks outlet (sourced from Supermarket out-of-date stuff). What rain there had been in the area, had stopped by the time we arrived at Hinton Ampner and some blue sky was about.
We inpected the 13C church and the extra-special tree in the churchyard and slithered on, or so we had expected. But the ground was actually quite good underfoot: some standing water in pastures, no doubt, short muddy stretches on bridleways, but never long and never deep. The couple of arable fields along the Wayfarers Way were good to walk w/o sinking in or accumulating mud, and suddenly we were on the SDW and within another 15 minutes at the (early) lunch pub.
Unashamedly old school and basic it may be, but it is a very nice place, with roaring fireplaces, nice food and all the rest of it.
The going on the SDW was good, not much mud despite it being a bridleway all the way, the scenery pleasant on the eye and still no rain. We passed a pheasant shoot, just before Cheesefoot Head (which refers to the bowl at the bottom of the hill apparently, as per an excellent info panel, rather than the hill overtowering it), and crossed the motorway bridge on Winchester's fringes at 4 o'clock, just as dusk started in seriousness.
2 went straight on to the Xmas market and then the train, us other 3 paid a visit to The Black Boy, a true one-of-a-kind pub. When we left it, it finally was raining, and not feebly, but we went on a long circuit across the market anyway. Nice one. 17.36 train (via Basingstoke/Reading). w=from-blue-skies-to-overcast-to-rain-late-on