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.
17.1 miles (27.5 km) with 1720 ft (525 metres) of ascent
|Maps||OS Explorer OL33 (was 133) (Haslemere), OL32 (was 132) (Winchester), OL8 (was 120) (Chichester) and OL3 (was 119) (Portsmouth)|
This walk follows a stage of the South Downs Way (SDW). From West Meon (reached by bus from Petersfield station), it follows the Meon Valley (disused railway) Trail to Exton where it joins the SDW. It heads east, over Old Winchester Hill (an ancient hill fort), Salt Hill, Hyden Hill, Tegdown Hill and Butser Hill (270m), 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 (QECP). Here it leaves the SDW to follow the Hangers Way north to Buriton, and back to Petersfield. station
The walk is rather long as the stations are badly placed for the route of the SDW, so there are 4 options to shorten it
Exton, on the SDW, has rare buses (1 or 2 a week) but they change annually. The East/West Meon (north of the SDW) bus service is more reliable.
The walk is too long, hence the shorter options. The best shorter option is the QECP bus stop, but that means buses at both ends. The problem with option C is the A3 dual carriageway. There are 3 footpaths that cross it, but all use the median, not a tunnel or footbridge. A route further south via "Petersfield South" junction would mean too much road walking.
|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.
For both walks, doing it in reverse is also an option:
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 
Stagecoach #67 : Runs between the 2 train stations, but to the north of the SDW.
Stagecoach #37 : QECP Country park to Petersfield
# X17 : Exton (on the SDW) to Petersfield. Very rare, 1 on Wednesday only! Use it to catch a bus to Exton, and then walk back.
These seems to change very frequently. Check! Traveline.
|Lunch and Tea||
En route Winchester - West Meon
En route West Meon - Petersfield
While waiting for the bus
While waiting for the train
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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