Farm House in Rape Oilseed Field, from Locksash Lane

Farm House in Rape Oilseed Field, from Locksash Lane

SWC Walk Rowlands Castle Circular

14-May-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk68 banner walkicon

St. Peter's, East Marden

St. Peter's, East Marden

SWC Walk Rowlands Castle Circular

14-May-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk68

Easterly Views from Pen Hill

Easterly Views from Pen Hill

SWC Walk Rowlands Castle Circular - Extension

14-May-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk68

Steep Descent from Beacon Hill

Steep Descent from Beacon Hill

SWC Walk Rowlands Castle Circular - Extension

14-May-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk68

Bramshott Bottom

Bramshott Bottom

SWC Walk Rowlands Castle Circular - Extension

14-May-16 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk68

Horse in buttercups

Horse in buttercups

Rowlands Castle Circular

07-Jun-09 • moontiger on Flickr

newwalk swcwalks rowlandscastlecircular

view

view

Rowlands Castle Circular

07-Jun-09 • moontiger on Flickr

newwalk swcwalks rowlandscastlecircular

Rowlands Castle Circular walk

A demanding walk, first through park- and woodland, then through the remote westerly valleys of the South Downs

History

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.

Date # Post
Sat, 13-May-17 14

Saturday Walk – Glencoe Warm-up -- the High Peaks of the South Downs

SWC Walk 68: Rowlands Castle Circular T=SWC.68

Distance: 15.9 miles or 25.5 km for those more metrically minded (longer (18 miles/29km) and shorter (10 miles/16 km) options are available)

Difficulty: 9 out of 10 for the main walk (4 out of 10 for the shorter walk and 10 out of 10 for the extended walk)
Train: Take the 9:00 AM Portsmouth Harbor train from London Waterloo, changing at Haslemere (arriving 9:48 and departing 9:55) to arrive at Rowlands Castle at 10:21. Return trains from Rowlands Castle are hourly at 46 past the hour until 22:46. Buy a day return to Rowlands Castle.

I recall that this made a good warm-up exercise for the Scottish trip last year and seeing as the Scottish trip is just around the corner again – thought it would be a good warm-up for those heading off to Glencoe, as well as, a good energetic walk for everyone else… It is a demanding walk in the western part of the South Downs along an undulating route with great views far and wide, after a gentle start along a beech tree avenue towards Stansted House and with lunch in a very remote and isolated valley. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the Royal Oak (01243 535 257) in Hooksway (8 miles/13 km into the walk) which serves food until 2:00pm – so do keep an eye on the time. Tea and other post walk refreshments can be had at the Castle Inn -- a stone’s throw from the train station.

Enjoy the walk!
Essential training for mountain men and women:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/07/ice baths and snow meditation can cold therapy make you stronger what doesnt kill us scott carney
14 on this walk, including one late starter that caught us at lunch. The weather was cloudy clearing to sun and cloud later. There were the remains of some good bluebell woods at the start and throughout we kept coming on good patches of wild garlic more or less still in flower. Early on we had our Senderismo en Londres friends (a Spanish walking group) on our tails but we lost them after a bit and never saw them again, even though they said they were doing the same walk.

I had never done this new longer version of the walk, which was very pleasant up hill and down dale, plenty of variety of scenery. The wonderfully remote lunch pub had a lovely sunny garden. All but one then did the extension up onto the South Downs, and some even did the extension to the extension 19 miles in all? Feeble old me stuck to the main walk and so did "just" 16 miles.

My reward was to get to the Compton village shop in time to get tea in pots: the rest arrived just as they were packing up and had to make do with takeaways (which nevertheless they were allowed to consume at the outside tables). We were then all together (ish) for the last 4.6 miles into town, where most of us caught the 6.46 train but some stayed for dinner.
Sat, 14-May-16 29

Saturday Third Walk [Revised Walk] - A demanding trek through remote valleys in the South Downs

I am posting this in Sean's slot, swapped against mine on 21 May

SWC Walk 68 (Fully Revised) – Rowlands Castle Circular (the old route is now the short walk)
Length: 25.5 km (15.9 mi), Ascent/Descent: 678 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 6 ¼ hours, Toughness: 9 out of 10
or
Length: 16.2 km (10.0 mi), Ascent/Descent: 371 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 hours, Toughness: 4 out of 10
or
Length: 29.0 km (18.0 mi), Ascent/Descent: 840 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 7 ¼ hours, Toughness: 10 out of 10
Take the 09.00 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo, arriving Rowlands Castle at 10.21, change onto the 08.45 stopping service (08.52 Clapham Junction): either at Haslemere (different platform) or Petersfield (same platform)
Return trains: xx.46 (87 mins) plus 17.32 (79 mins, not stopping CJ)
This demanding West Sussex walk in the undulating western part of the South Downs is characterised initially by a mixture of park- and woodland, then steep lonely valleys and some far views to the main South Downs Ridge.
It starts off towards Stansted House along a 1-mile-long beech avenue – one of the best in England according to Pevsner, and then heads north along the easterly edge of Stansted Forest and across fields via the hamlets of West, Up and East Marden to a very remote pub in Hooksway, with particularly nice views on the route between the hamlets, including up to the northern escarpment of the South Downs. From lunch you climb back out of the secluded valley on a westerly route to Compton, from where another couple of hills need to be crossed to finish along the westerly edge of Stansted Forest back into Rowlands Castle.
A shorter route around lunch cuts out more than half the effort.
An extension after lunch follows a lonely, narrow, wood-fringed valley to the main northerly escarpment of the South Downs and then follows one of the most undulating sections of the South Downs Way with unrivalled far views from Pen Hill and Beacon Hill, making this a real challenge.
All three routes share the start, up to West Marden, and the end, from Compton.
Full walk and extended walk (especially) feature several sustained, steep climbs and descents. Walking poles may not be a bad idea.
For the walk directions click here. For map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here.
The scheduled lunch stop on the full and the extended walk is The Royal Oak in Hooksway (12.6 km/7.9 mi, a table has been booked), on the short walk it’s either The Victoria Inn in West Marden (6.3 km/3.9 mi, take the train an hour later), or The Coach and Horses in Compton, or The Village Shop and Tea Room opposite (8.7 km/5.4 mi).
For details of the tea room and the three pubs in Rowlands Castle check page 2 of the walk directions pdf.
T=swc.68


If anyone would like to brush up on their map reading, compass and grid reference skills for Scotland you may wish to join me on the short version of the Rowlands Castle walk on Saturday. We will do a bit of map and compass work at the start of the walk on the open ground before Stanstead House. If you have the OS map and a compass bring them or print of the OS map in colour from the screen on the web site. If you have GPS or suitable phone download the GPX or KML as well.
Thomas, help please! Where do I download directions I'm not a switched on IT person. Thank you. Barbara
Hi Barbara, in above posting, click on 'here' in the sentence 'For walk directions click here.' and Bob's your uncle...
Hi Thomas.
I'm planning to join you tomorrow it looks like my best option is to join the train at Woking. Look out for me!

13 degrees it said it would be, and it might have been, somewhere in some dark corner of some deep valley. It felt like much more everywhere else all day, with a mitigating light breeze on the tops, but certainly felt very warm in the valleys, as the weather was sunny all day. Partly owing to the offer of a free map and compass refresher course by John L., we had 29 walkers, of which 20 walked the 29 km, 10/10 extended version of the walk (plenty of those probably hadn't originally planned to do that, but got sucked in by weather, scenery and company), and only 2 (as far as could be ascertained) walked the 16 km, 4/10 'short' version.
Lucnh for the main walk and extended walk walkers was at The Royal Oak in Hooksway, all of us sitting in the garden, soaking in the sun.
From there onwards up onto and along the South Downs ridge, interrupted by a suntanning break on top of Beacon Hill. Far, far views from there.
Another chocolate and ice cream break in Compton at the Village Shop. Drinks at the Castle Inn in Rowlands Castle. Dinner there for 10 of us, 20.46 train for those.
2 walkers had made good use of the long pre notice period of this walk, by booking themselves into The Robin Hood Inn for the night, so they can go for another walk and sightsee in the area tomorrow (to Uppark House).

This walk was full of beautful secluded valleys, and early on in the walk arund Dolly's Hanger and Grevitts Copse we were treated to the call of the cuckoo, a most welcome and not often heard sound nowadays.
Sat, 13-Feb-16 16

Saturday first walk - Hampshire Downs

SWC Walk 68 - Rowlands Castle Circular
9.6 miles/15.5 km, 3 out of 10

This Hampshire walk in the western part of the South Downs starts off towards Stansted House along a 1-mile-long beech avenue, before heading north along the edge of Stansted Forest and across fields to the villages of West Marden and Compton, with particularly nice views from the downs on the short section between them. You can choose between the Victoria Inn in the first village and the Coach and Horses in the second for lunch. You return through more fields and woods, with a choice of pubs in Rowlands Castle for tea.

(You can shorten the walk by 1.5 miles by following the main walk directions until [4], then follow the Short Cut directions to pick up the main walk directions at [*] just after [7] in the main text.)

Trains: 9:45 Portsmouth & Southsea train from London Waterloo, arriving at Rowlands Castle at 11:21, or 10:00 Portsmouth Harbour train from London Waterloo, changing at Haslemere (arr 10:48, dep 10:55) to arrive at same time.

Return trains at xx46 (and extra service at 17:32)

South West Trains currently have a £15 return ticket offer, but you must buy this by midnight the day before. Details here.


Lunch Victoria Inn, West Marden, food served 12:00-2:30, tel 02392 631330. The Coach and Horses, Compton, food served 12:00-2:00, tel 02392 631228. The Village Shop and Tea Room, Compton, tel 02392 631144.

Tea A few pub options at Rowlands Castle: Castle Inn, Finchdean Road; Fountain, The Green; Robin Hood, The Green

Links full walk details walk instructions

T=swc.68
Lovely walk but muddddddd yewk
16 on this walk weather overcast but little rain. Plenty of mud underfoot, but some firm stretches. The Victoria Inn made us all feel welcome and although a little overwhelmed with food orders, most agreed food was good. Mr. Tiger arrived somewhat late having run into navigational difficulties with possible ambiguity in the instructions.
After lunch the group split in two with Lane MudWalker guided by GP3PO leading team A on a slightly shorter afternoon route. Team B lead by Ms. Rug headed off to Compton to check out the hostelries there. All in all a great day out but not a walk for those shy of mud!
In defence of this walk we did it last March and the wasn't any MUD. 2016 is clearly going to be a vintage year for the stuff. Get it while you can, summer is on the way.
Mud usually starts to dry in March, due to an increase in evaporation as the sun gets stronger.
Sat, 07-Mar-15 17 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sat, 09-Feb-13 5 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sat, 03-Sep-11 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sun, 08-May-11 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sat, 29-Jan-11 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sat, 14-Aug-10 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sat, 06-Mar-10 Rowlands Castle Circular
Sun, 07-Jun-09 Rowlands Castle Circular, with short cut (original route)
Wed, 06-May-09 Rowlands Castle Circular, with short cut (original route)