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Old Winchester Hill (Ditch, Bank and Barrows) from across the coombe

Old Winchester Hill (Ditch, Bank and Barrows) from across the coombe

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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View along Whitewool Hanger towards West Meon

View along Whitewool Hanger towards West Meon

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Whitewool Pond Fly Fishing (meonsprings.com)

Whitewool Pond Fly Fishing (meonsprings.com)

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Pub Sign, Ye Olde George Inn, East Meon

Pub Sign, Ye Olde George Inn, East Meon

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield (East Meon Lunch Pubs Diversion)

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Harting Downs and Black Down, from Small Down

Harting Downs and Black Down, from Small Down

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield (East Meon Lunch Pubs Diversion)

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Meon Valley Trail (Dismantled Railway Line)

Meon Valley Trail (Dismantled Railway Line)

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Roadbridge over Meon Valley Trail

Roadbridge over Meon Valley Trail

SWC Walk 183 - South Downs Way Section 2: West Meon to Petersfield

07-Oct-17 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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South Downs Way 2 : West Meon to Petersfield Walk

A railway path, The South Downs Way, Old Winchester Hill, Butser Hill, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Buriton and The Hangers Way.

Length

17.1 miles (27.5 km) with 1720 ft (525 metres) of ascent

  • Option A, start in Exton, saves 2.5 miles (rare bus)
  • Option B, finish after lunch in East Meon (regular bus)
  • Option C, at the end, catch a bus from the Queen Elizabeth County Park (on the SDW) to Petersfield, saves 4 miles
Maps OS Explorer OL33 (was 133) (Haslemere), OL32 (was 132) (Winchester), OL8 (was 120) (Chichester) and OL3 (was 119) (Portsmouth)
Toughness 9/10
Features

This walk follows the Meon Valley (disused railway) Trail from West Meon (reached by bus from Petersfield) to near Exton where it joins the South Downs Way. It heads east, over Old Winchester Hill, Salt Hill, Hyden Hill, Tegdown Hill and Butser Hill, the highest point in the South Downs National Park. After a long descent to cross the A3, it rises through the woods of Queen Elizabeth Country Park and then follows the Hangers Way north to Buriton, and on to Petersfield.

The walk is rather long, so there are 3 options to shorten it

  • A) Catch a rare bus to Exton, and start the walk from there.
  • B) Finish after lunch (a little off route) in East Meon (same bus line as West Meon). But you miss Butser Hill and QE Country Park.
  • C) Catch a bus to Petersfield from the Queen Elizabeth Country Park (the stop is on the A3). This saves the 4 mile walk from the QE Country Park to Petersfield, leaving you the best bits - the SDW and the Meon Valley Trail: Bus #37 (hourly, takes 10 mins, Mon-Sat only).
South Downs Way

This walk is one of 9 stages of the South Downs Way - a 109 mile national long distance path - that traverses the South Downs National Park in South East England.

Walk Options

For all walks, doing it in reverse is a good option:
On the Winchester - West Meon walk, taking the bus to West Meon in the morning means you can spend the evening in Winchester without having to worry about the last bus.
On the West Meon - Petersfield walk, if the bus times in the morning don't fit with your train's arrival times, walk the walk in reverse and take the bus back from Exton or West Meon (but check the bus times beforehand!).

Transport

Winchester and Petersfield are both main stations, about an hour from Waterloo, with 2 trains an hour. However, they are 25 miles - 2 days walking - apart, with very little in the way of public transport in between.

In addition, these 2 stations are on different rail lines, which only meet up in Fareham (near Southampton), which makes for a more expensive ticket (2017: London-Fareham: £24.40 vs London-Petersfield: £18.20 - both Network Railcard prices), i.e. a ticket to Fareham is valid for both stations if you need to start your journey in one, and finish it in the other

Local Bus services [Jan 2017]

Stagecoach #67 (Mon-Sat only, every 3 hours) runs between the 2 train stations, but to the north of the SDW. Do check the times of the last bus. From West Meon they are about 18:45 (to Petersfield) or 16:50 (to Winchester).

Winchester (station) - Hinton Ampner (£4.50) - West Meon (£5.30 to Winchester, £3.50 to Petersfield) - East Meon - Petersfield Station.

There are rare #X17 (2 on Wednesday only) buses from Exton itself to Petersfield. You could use it to catch a bus to Exton, and then walk back.

These seems to change very frequently. Check! Traveline Southeast.

Lunch and Tea

En route Winchester - West Meon

  • In Beauworth: The Milbury's (14.8 km/9.2 mi)
  • In Exton: The Shoe Inn (21.1 km/13.1 mi),on the SDW, not far from the A 32 "2 buses, twice a week" bus stop. Excellent. Pretty beer garden by the river. The Bucks Head 1 km south in Meonstoke is good too.

En route West Meon - Petersfield

While waiting for the bus

  • In Hinton Ampner: The Hinton Arms
  • In Exton: The Shoe Inn, on the SDW, not far from the A 32 "2 buses, twice a week" bus stop. Excellent. Pretty beer garden by the river. The Bucks Head 1 km south in Meonstoke is good too.
  • In West Meon: The Thomas Lord, restaurant pub with beer garden. Restaurant priced food.
  • In East Meon: Ye Olde George Inn (posher), or the Izaak Walton (cheaper)

While waiting for the train

  • In Winchester: many pubs, and a cathedral - you will not have a problem passing the time waiting for your train
  • In Petersfield: The Old Drum (walk east on station road, right on Chapel Street) is a restaurant pub. Continue and turn left to the town square for many more options
Links
  • Meon Valley Railway Line : Almost a folly, even when it was built, was constructed to main line standards, with gentle curves and ascents (i.e. many earthworks and long platforms, much of which still exist today), but little traffic
  • "Meon Valley Trail" - the disused line is now an unpublicised walk/cycle trail. See photos
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

Photos

Upload your photos to the SWC Group on Flickr, and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

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Trains

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: West Meon, Hampshire Directions

Finish: GU32 3EE Directions

Amazon
Help

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Oct-17

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