Beacon Hill and Warnford from Exton

This Hampshire walk includes two villages, both with a pub, some fine scenery and a visit to an excellent viewpoint. Sections of the walk follow the South Downs Way and the Monarch's Way.

Technical sheet
No. 293218
A Exton (Hampshire) walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 05/08/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h10[?]
Distance Distance : 5.92mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 548ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 525ft
Highest point Highest point : 656ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 200ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : South Downs
Location Location : Exton (Hampshire)
Starting point Starting point : N 50.987248° / W 1.120983°
Arrival Arrival : N 50.987506° / W 1.119411°
Download : -


(D/A) After parking, walk into the village with the River Meon on your left. The lane bears sharp right. If you want to have some food or refreshments there is a pub down the lane to your left, but for the walk you need to continue along the lane passing the parish church which will be on your right. The road gradually bends left. After approximately 200 metres look out for a South Downs Way sign on the right (grid ref. SU611210). Follow this sign and enter open farmland. Ahead lies the first objective, namely Beacon Hill.

(1) The onward route is clear. You cross an access track and begin to climb more steeply with an improving view behind you. Reaching a lane, turn right. It is worth looking left as you have an excellent panorama that includes the Solent and the Isle of Wight beyond. After a short way along the lane a signed path on the right (grid ref. SU601223) should be followed to the trig point on Beacon Hill. The view is particularly fine over the Meon Valley.

(2) From the trig point take the clear track that heads north-west to a car park and road junction (gird ref. SU598227). Turn right here and walk through pleasant woodland. You are now on the Monarch's Way. Follow the well signed path as you descend gradually towards Warnford. In places the landowner has perhaps provided rather too much signage but this is better than none! Reaching a road, turn right into Warnford. As you reach the main road note the watercress ponds on your left.

(3) At the A32 turn left, walk past the pub to reach a road junction (grid ref. SU624231). Turn right up this lane climbing a little in the process. After just over half a mile you reach a bridge over the old railway (grid ref. SU633228). Take the path on the left hand side of the road and descend to the old trackbed. Turn back on yourself and walk under the road. You now have a straightforward walk on a well graded path. This railway was called the Watercress Line and a section to the north of here is now preserved with steam trains in operation.

(4) Crossing the lane to Peake farm (grid ref. SU628218) is about the half way point to where we will leave the old railway. This is good walking and you can keep a good pace along this section. At grid ref. SU624211 you leave the old railway and follow the signed South Downs Way back to the start. This last section does not encourage you to step out as there are some tree roots and other minor obstructions to negotiate. Reaching the main road, take care and cross to the parking area opposite(D/A).

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 210ft
1 : mi 0.59 - alt. 246ft - Go ahead
2 : mi 1.63 - alt. 656ft - Beacon Hill
3 : mi 3.54 - alt. 249ft - Turn left
4 : mi 4.98 - alt. 259ft - Cross the lane
A : mi 5.92 - alt. 207ft

Useful Information

The village of Exton lies in the attractive Meon Valley just off the A32 main road. The start is a small parking area (grid ref. SU617212) which is reached by turning off the A32 and taking the northernmost of the two lanes off the main road into the village. Immediately after turning off the A32 the small parking area is evident on your left. Note that in fine weather and busy periods that this may get full quite quickly.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.25/5
Number of opinions : 4
Description quality : 4.25/5
Routemap quality : 4/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5

on Mon 23 Nov 2020 13:39:29 CET

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 23/11/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Nice varied walk with views.

on Thu 12 Nov 2020 20:15:10 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 06/11/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

A nice walk on a clear day. With the climb at the beginning it gets the hard work over early on. It is a steep climb up Beacon Hill but well worth it for some great views around the Meon Valley. The route is clear and easy to follow especially as you are using 3 different trails, South Downs Way, Monarch Way & Meon Valley Trail. The paths were good, especially coming back along the old railway track. Beware the final leg where you leave the railway track back to the start is very narrow and has a tributary of the River Meon running alongside so you have to clamber between trees and a fence and pray there is nobody else coming the opposite way, ( doing an Exton to Old Winchester Hill walk). Will definitely do it again possibly in reverse next time.

on Mon 10 Dec 2018 09:06:41 CET

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 10/12/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Enjoyable walk. Short sections on road but great views

on Wed 19 Sep 2018 20:54:49 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 23/08/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Lovely walk, starting and ending In the lovely village of Exton. Well signposted and easy to navigate. Lovely views over the Hampshire countryside. Highly recommended.

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