Old Winchester Hill from Exton

A Hampshire walk from Exford in the Meon Valley that includes sections of the South Downs Way and the Monarch's Way. The walk includes a section of the old Watercress Line before climbing to the top of old Winchester Hill for some good views.

Technical sheet
No. 293232
A Exton walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 04/08/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h00[?]
Distance Distance : 5.47mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 535ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 541ft
Highest point Highest point : 614ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 203ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : South Downs
Location Location : Exton
Starting point Starting point : N 50.987161° / W 1.121412°
Download : -


(D/A) The attractive Meon Valley is one of the scenic highlights of this part of Hampshire. The village of Exton lies 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.

After parking, take care and cross over the A32 to follow the South Downs Way towards Old Winchester Hill. The first section of path does not encourage you to step out as after crossing a small footbridge there are some tree roots and other minor obstructions to negotiate. Despite this relatively slow progress you soon reach the old railway. Turn left along the old trackbed. This railway was called the Watercress Line and a section to the north of here is now preserved with steam trains in operation.

(1) You can now step it out! 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. Reaching a deep cutting with a road over bridge (grid ref. SU633228), go under the bridge and take the path that climbs up to the road on your left. Reaching the road turn left over the bridge and walk for about 300 yards. Look out for the Monarch's Way footpath sign on your right.

(2) Turn right onto this track, which leads you towards Peake's Farm. Nearing the farm the footpath is diverted away from the main buildings. Just follow the signed route which lead you back onto a track which ends after passing a small wood (grid ref. SU633212) Continue straight ahead here beginning to climb towards the summit of Old Winchester Hill. Bear left when you join the South Downs Way. The way ahead steepens but quite soon you are on the summit of the hill and able to enjoy wide ranging views of the Meon Valley.

(3) To continue, descend the way you came. However do not retrace your steps towards Peake Farm, instead walking straight ahead to descend to the old railway. Cross the railway and all that remains is the short awkward section of path back to the main road and the start(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 210ft
1 : mi 0.5 - alt. 233ft - Turn left along the old trackbed
2 : mi 1.91 - alt. 381ft - Turn right
3 : mi 3.81 - alt. 614ft - Old Winchester Hill
D/A : mi 5.47 - alt. 210ft

Useful Information

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 : 4.25/5
Walk interest : 4.25/5

on Mon 09 Dec 2019 09:15:28 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 06/12/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

A really enjoyable walk that took us 3 hours at ambling pace. The fantastic panoramic views from Old Winchester Hill are totally worth the final push. Muddy underfoot in places but well signed throughout.

on Mon 07 May 2018 17:01:47 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 04/05/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

a good walk to while away a couple of hours. As other comments it was a bit muddy in places and the climb up Winchester hill steep in places, but the views at the top fantastic.

on Fri 02 Feb 2018 10:14:52 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 02/02/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

A very pleasant walk although extremely muddy in places after all the recent rains. Easy going although the climb to the top of Old Winchester Hill is strenuous but well worth it for the views. Paths range from narrrow water side paths, graded tracks, farm access paved lanes and open fields. Takes about 2.15 plus however long you want to spend view gazing from the hilltop.

on Mon 08 May 2017 13:26:42 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 07/05/17
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

This area is pretty, hilly countryside, so good walking generally. The feature of this walk is the hill which gives great views down to the sea on a clear day.

Other walks in the area

distance 5.92mi Vertical gain +548ft Vertical drop -525ft Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Exton - Hampshire

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.

distance 9.61mi Vertical gain +988ft Vertical drop -991ft Durée 5h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Exton - Hampshire

This Hampshire walk explores the beautiful Meon Valley and two of the highest hills that flank the valley. The route also includes some picturesque villages. There are pubs serving food and refreshments on the walk.

distance 5.68mi Vertical gain +236ft Vertical drop -210ft Durée 2h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Cheriton - Hampshire

A pleasant Hampshire walk that starts from the attractive village of Cheriton to the east of Winchester. The route follows the River Itcehn north through Tichborne Park to Tichborne. Before following the Kings Way south towards Gander Down.

distance 5.73mi Vertical gain +627ft Vertical drop -610ft Durée 3h10 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Elsted and Treyford - West Sussex

A West Sussex walk with a variety of contrasting scenery from woodland to rolling downs with expansive views. The route includes some ascents but these are rewarded by fine views. The walk also provides the opportunity to visit the Shepherd's Church near Didling.

distance 7.44mi Vertical gain +13ft Vertical drop -13ft Durée 3h25 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Southbourne - West Sussex

Starting from Prinsted (just off the A259) this West Sussex walk explores the shoreline of Thorney Island which lies within the boundaries of the Chichester Harbour AONB. The route follows the Sussex Border Path for most of the way.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.