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Home | Forts,Castles and Creeks. 9 miles | Water Meadows of Winchester 6 Miles | Location Location Location ! 6 miles. | Bartley Water Wander 2 Miles | Fair Oak Village Fields and Woods 4.5 miles | Island Shores 16 miles | Rockford Ramblings 5 miles | Solent Views and a Piggery 3.5 miles | Marwell Meander 3 miles | Scenic Southwick 5.5 miles | Upham Pub Walk 3 miles | Watery Wood 2 Miles | Hayling Round The Island Tour 11 Miles | Wickham Wanderers 6 Miles | Stoke Park Woods & Farm 3.5 miles | Beacon Hill & Meonstoke 8.5 Miles
Walks Around Hampshire

Water Meadows of Winchester 6 Miles

Take a quiet waterside walk into  historic bustling Winchester.

This is a great walk for combining scenic riverside walking with all the history the ancient capital of Wessex has to offer.
           Getting to the start of this walk by car is easy, exit the M3 at junction 11 and you'll find parking in one of two large laybys next to the old railway viaduct off the hockley link road to the west of the motorway. The 69 bus will also get you there. This is where our walk starts.
           Walk towards the traffic lights following the pavement as it veers into the bushes, at the junction with the old St Cross road turn left to pass between the piers of the demolished railway bridge and through the gate. Heading in the direction of St Cross you'll pass over several river bridges with their white railings. After a quarter of a mile or so take the track on your right towards St Cross Farm, then cross the two stiles immediately ahead of you.

Old St  Cross Road

Follow the well defined path as you skirt the cricket pitch and St Cross hospital to your left and the grazing land and river to your right, eventually bringing you out onto Garnier Road you must cross the bridge to continue on the path alongside the river, which is now on your left. Also on your left you are able to admire the pristine playing fields and wonderful old buildings of Winchester college.
         The footpath brings you out onto a road which services the back entrance to the college, follow this right handed and shortly at it's junction with College Walk turn left keeping the college wall to your left as you bend to the left in front of Wolvesley Castle into College Street. Where the road bends left ninety degrees to become Kingsgate street you must instead turn right beneath the ancient arch with it's little book shop, then turn right again to pass through the arched wooden gates into the beautiful Cathedral Close.

cathedral close

Take plenty of time to look around here, there are few more beautiful man made environments than this in the whole world, you can taste the past with every breath you take and everything is still very traditionally English here. Follow the road left handed around the close towards the Southern elevation of the handsomely squat cathedral, keeping left handed you arrive at the main entrance to the cathedral where in the summer people flock to picnic on it's greens, indeed we were here on the first weekend in July, when every year Winchester has it's hat fair, a very popular event when the city streets are full of visitors, market stalls and fabulously diverse entertainments you can watch for the cost of a few coins thrown into the performers hat. It's like a giant mega busk with jugglers, musicians, acrobats and pretty much any other type of street entertainment you can think of, well worth a visit.
     Head along the front of the cathedral passing through the square with the pub The William Walker to your left and entering Winchester's High St through the narrow little shop lined cutway . It's well worth turning left here to walk up the pedestrianised High Street, passing the Butter Cross on your way and even perhaps continuing through the traffic lights to the Great Hall, opposite the council offices, which houses King Arthur's round table "alledgedly" . You may then return along the same route passing the shop lined cutway on your right to continue onto The Broadway with the guildhall on your right and King Alfred's statue dead ahead.

Statue of King Alfred

Passing the roundabout the city mill spans the river Itchen but you must take the riverside path on the other side of the road alongside the pub The Bishop on the Bridge. Walk through the splendid park keeping the river to your left until you reach the residential road where a mill once stood (Granville Place) then keep right onto Wharf Hill and then left onto Domum Road. Continue along the road and on your right you will see some gravel steps descend between the houses, descend these and you arrive on the towpath for the glorious Itchen Navigation which you must follow.

Itchen Navigation Winchester

Follow the towpath as it bends with the river passing lovely riverside houses before winding through playing fields and emerging beside a bridge on Garnier Road. Cross over keeping the river to your right and small gravel car park to your left to continue along the riverside tow path. The narrow little path rises to join a substantial rural cycleway which skirts St Catherines Hill and the now invisible old railway and dual carriageway which used to run through here. Again if you have the energy you're able to divert from the walk here to climb the steep hill at the top of which you will find a mizmaze (turf maze) and superb views over the city. Alternately you could admire the scenery at the bottom of the hill by exploring Winchester's Plague Pits where the cities dead were buried during the plague. Or if that doesn't tempt you you can always continue the walk in a southerly direction along the cycleway.

St Catherine's Hill

Soon the cycleway passes under a well preserved brick railway arch which used to carry the old Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway which closed along with many others under Dr Beechings axe in the 1960's. Finally you reach the junction with the old St Cross road once again, from which you will remember it's only a short walk back to your car or bus. This walk terminates here.