The Test

The Test

Overton Circular If you have time, it is worth straying from Station Road to have a look at the Test

30-Apr-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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St Michaels Church North Waltham

St Michaels Church North Waltham

10-Apr-16 • peter.boon on Flickr

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Sun through shade

Sun through shade

Overton circular

22-May-10 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 overton newwalk swcwalks walk97

The Test

The Test

Overton circular

22-May-10 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 overton newwalk swcwalks walk97

Cow parsley vignette

Cow parsley vignette

Overton circular

22-May-10 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 overton newwalk swcwalks walk97

Ashe House

Ashe House

Overton circular Home of Jane Austen's aunt

22-May-10 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 overton newwalk swcwalks walk97

Orchard, Ashe House

Orchard, Ashe House

Overton circular

22-May-10 • moontiger on Flickr

book3 overton newwalk swcwalks walk97

Overton Circular walk

North Hampshire hills and Jane Austen's literary landscape

Group Walk Posts

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Like our walks, these posts are copyrighted. You may re-use them for non-commercial events only.

Date # Post
Sat, 21-May-16 7

Saturday Second Walk - Jane Austen's literary landscape

SWC Walk 97 - Overton Circular
Length: 18.7km (11.6 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.50 train from Waterloo (9.57 Clapham Junction) to Overton, arriving 10.46

For walk directions click here.

This walk has been "hors de combat" for a while because its most convenient lunch pub closed. But the other lunch pub, The Fox in North Waltham, is very acceptable and seemed to cope well with the midweek walkers recently. The problem used to be that it required and out and back diversion from the main walk route, but a new route has now been created after lunch involving a walk down a quiet tarmac lane (at least, it was quiet in February) that removes the need for repetition.

(Sandwich eaters can avoid this section of the walk altogether, eating their lunch in Steventon churchyard and reducing the walk length to 13.8km/8.6 miles)

Tea options for this walk have also taken a turn for the better with a very pleasant revamp of the White Hart Hotel in Overton, which now makes a nice tea stop, serving tea in pots, and with an outside deck at the rear. The Overton Gallery also has a small tea room if you can get there before it closes at 5pm. In addition, Overton has a convenience store but I am far from suggesting that you smuggle a packet of biscuits into the White Hart - perish the thought!

Otherwise this is a pleasant walk over high rolling downs and for Jane Austen fans it has the added attraction that it passes through the landscape she knew as a child. Several places she would have known are passed during the walk, including the site of the putative romantic fling that formed the subject of the the film Becoming Jane, a possible model for the Bennet's house in Pride and Prejudice, the church her father was vicar of, and the site of her childhood house, now long ago demolished, alas.

Trains back from Overton go at 20 past the hour. Allow 20 minutes to get from the village to the station, and don't miscalculate as there is nothing to do in the vicinity of the station if you miss a train
With many SWC regulars walking in the Highlands of Bonnie Scotland, just 7 on this walk with a brief morning shower but continual drizzle after lunch.
Nevertheless stunning scenery with swathes of fresh mown meadows and stunning architecture.
Most of the group visited Deane House where our elected narrator told us of it's history and association with Jane Austin. Then onwards to Steventon Church and Manor passing the field where the house where Jane Austin spent her childhood stood. Our diligent narrator produced a sketch of this home for us to imagine how it looked in days gone by.
Then on to lunch at the Fox where a hare departed shortly. The remaining six enjoyed lunch or refreshments before heading back to Overton with five taking tea in the delightful café at the rear of the Overton Gallery. A super walk despite being a dreary day.

Crowhurst Battle. Just 3 of us started at Crowhurst with David catching up in Westfield making four. Two of us rushed ahead at the end to catch the cup final. Apologies for not saying goodbye to the other half of the group. Great walk apart from an excess of nettles at one point.
Sun, 10-Apr-16 18

Sunday Walk 1: Pride, Prejudice and Water Buffalos


Overton Circular SWC walk 97
13.8km 8.6 miles
18.4km 11.4 miles with pub lunch
Difficulty 4/10
This Hampshire walk, that passes through locations associated with Jane Austen, suffered a bit of a knock when the original lunch pub closed. The walk has recently been checked and revamped and the outlying Fox has become part of the main walk, increasing its length to 11.4 miles. Those wanting to keep to the original 8.6 miles will have to picnic (for which, Steventon Churchyard makes an ideal location). Slower walkers and dawdlers may wish to join them. Water buffalo don't feature strongly in the works of Jane Austen but you are likely to see some when you go through Laverstock Park Farm (between points 57 and 61). They have a large herd - and a farm shop if you can find it.
Trains:
Get the 10:15 Exeter train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:25) arriving Overton at 11:17
(Those of a jocular disposition might prefer to start from Waterbuffaloo station.)
The quickest return trains (taking 1 hr) are at 14:58 16:58, 18:58 and 20:58 from platform 1 (Note these are two-hourly intervals.)
(If you just miss one, it is also possible to return on the 15:15 17:15 and 19:15 from platform 2 changing for London at Andover. However these journeys take 1hr 45m )
You can get a cheap advance return to Overton for £15 from South West Trains details here
Lunch: the Fox in North Waltham 01256 397 288 (There is another pub, the Wheatsheaf 01256 398 282 further away if needed - see notes) The way back from the Fox to Steventon used to be the same stretch in reverse. That's still an option but, for variety, an (as yet unchecked) route along a quiet road is now offered.
Tea: I remember Overton as being pretty quiet on a Sunday but it's been a while. The recommended and recently refurbished White Hart 01256 771 431 is open, as is the Old House at Home en route to the station. I am told the White Hart does tea. Allow 15 to 20 mins to reach the station from Overton. Station Road is long. You still have 1.2 kilometres to go.
Directions: available here
T=swc.97
You won't recognise the White Hart: it has been utterly transformed and is now a very nice tea stop
18 on this walk plus a late appearance by the walks inspector. Weather w= hazy sunshine with a cool breeze and the going good. Perfect day for this attractive Hampshire walk through Jane Austen country which is now fully rehabilitated after its revamp but with perhaps a bit too much tarmac. On a warm summers day the lanes would be pretty busy.

A small group opted for the short circular walk but after meeting the walks inspector ended up doing a circuit of paths around the town and completing a distance similar to the longer walk. The rest of us ambled on to the Fox in North Waltham which served large portions promptly. I had a sandwich in the grounds of the nearby beautiful church of St Michael. (I'll post a photo on the walks page.)

After lunch we spotted the water buffalo in their winter quarters another group saw a few in the fields. (Incidentally my OS map identifies this as Berrydown Farm not Laverstoke.)

We arrived back in Overton well in time for a leisurely drink before meeting the "circular" walkers and catching the packed 16.58pm train back to London.
Sun, 18-Mar-12 Overton Circular
Sun, 04-Sep-11 Overton Circular
Sat, 30-Apr-11 Overton Circular
Sat, 19-Feb-11 Overton Circular (short walk, omitting North Waltham)
Sat, 22-May-10 Overton Circular