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South Downs Way 2 : Petersfield to West Meon Walk

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

Length

16.8 miles ( 27.1 km) with 1600 ft (500 meters) of ascent

  • Option A, at the start, catch a bus to the Queen Elizabeth County Park (on the SDW) saves 4 miles
  • Option B, finish in East Meon (regular bus)
  • Option C, carry on further, and finish in Exton, saves 2.5 miles (rare bus)
Maps OS Explorer OL33 (was 133) (Haslemere), OL32 (was 132) (Winchester), OL8 (was 120) (Chichester) and OL3 (was 119) (Portsmouth)
Toughness 6 / 10
Features

This walk follows the Hangers Way south to Buriton, where it joins the South Downs Way from Queen Elizabeth County Park, over Buster Hill, the highest point in the South Downs National Park. It heads west, past Tegdown Hill, Hyden Hill, Salt Hill, and Old Winchester Hill to Exton. Here you switch to the Meon Valley (disused railway) Trail to West Meon to catch a bus back to Petersfield

The walk is rather long, so there are 2 options to shorten it

  • A) Catch a bus to Queen Elizabeth Park (on the A3), and start the walk from there, and finish in West Meon. A great walk, but 2 bus journeys is a drag. This saves the 4 mile walk from Petersfield south to the South Downs ridge, leaving the best bits - the SDW and the Meon Valley Trail. The #37 bus (hourly, takes 10 mins, Mon-Sat only) leaves from Petersfield Square (5 mins from the station) for the Queen Elizabeth County Park (just off the A3). The problem is being hit for 2 bus fares, 1 at the start, and 1 at the end (2 different bus companies - day pass tickets are not valid on both)
  • B) Finish in East Meon (save bus service as West Meon). But you miss Old Winchester Hill.
  • C) Catch a rare bus to Exton, and walk in reverse back to Petersfield
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. Take the bus to West Meon in the morning, and you can spend the evening in Winchester/Petersfield without having to worry about the last bus.

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.

In summer 2016, there was a summer-only weekend-only 'South Downs Rambler' bus that followed the entire SDW route (i.e. Winchester, Cheesefoot Head, (Hinton), (West Meon), Exton, Old Winchester Hill, (East Meon), Petersfield) with 3 buses a day in each direction. This would be ideal, but as on Jan'17 its former website has gone.

There are also rare (1 on Friday morning only) buses from Exton itself.

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

Tea

While waiting for the bus

  • In East Meon : Ye Olde George Inn (posher), or the Izaak Walton (cheaper)
  • In West Meon : The Thomas Lord, restaurant pub with beer garden. Restaurant priced food.
  • In Exton : The Shoe Inn, on the SDW, not far from the A32 "2 buses, twice a week" bus stop. Excellent. Pretty beer garden by the river. The Bucks Head 1km south in Meonstoke is good too.
  • In Hinton Ampner : The Hinton Arms

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 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
Feedback

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Tags

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: GU32 3EE | Directions

Finish: West Meon, Hampshire | [Directions]

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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

Mar-16

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