Have you, like us, over-indulged over the Christmas period? We’re very lucky here at Wallops Wood Cottages to have plenty of wonderful countryside walks nearby to help us walk off the calories, including some wonderful walks with dog-friendly pubs en route!
Wallops Wood Cottages are located within the South Downs National Park, rich in landscape, culture and wildlife. It has 3,300km of rights of way and lots of open access areas. The South Downs Way is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales. It is 100 miles long, running from the historic city of Winchester to the sunny coastal town of Eastbourne.
Many walks in the area include parts of the South Downs Way and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has printed some Walk & Ride series leaflets to encourage you to leave your car at home and take the bus.
The SDNPA has many of their guides free to download from the ViewRanger app, including an 8 mile circular route around East Meon, a 10 mile circular route around Cheriton and a shorter 3 mile circular route around Buriton. You can find lots of routes uploaded by fellow walkers on this app, including some close to Wallops Wood Cottages – a 7 mile circular route, taking in Old Winchester Hill and Meonstoke and a shorter Soberton and Droxford 3 mile route. Most routes take in a pub or two for refreshment on the way!
The Meon Valley Trail was once part of the Fareham to Alton railway line. It is now an 11 mile trail through picturesque countryside from West Meon to Wickham. It is a flat, wide path, suitable for mobility scooters and pushchairs.
The Hockley Viaductwas part of the Didcot to Southampton railway. Closed in the 1960s, it has now been repaired for walkers and cyclists to enjoy as the Viaduct Way. The 2.6 mile route begins at the Guildhall in Winchester and ends at the South Winchester Park & Ride, taking in sights such as the Bishop’s Palace, Cathedral and St Catherine’s lock and mill on the way. As with the Meon Valley Trail, it is wheelchair and pushchair-friendly.
Keats Walk is a shorter stroll, following the poet’s footsteps from the city of Winchester to St Cross, passing through the landscape which inspired the ode To Autumn. You will also pass 8 College Street, where Jane Austen wrote Persuasion and where she died 200 years’ ago on 18th July 1817.
There are more than 150 scenic walks on the Hampshire County Council website, including part of the Wayfarers Walk. The Wayfarers Walk is a 70-mile, long-distance walking route that will take you from its dramatic start, high on the chalk downs at Inkpen – over some of the finest chalk turf in Hampshire down to the mud flats and salt marshes along the coast to finish at Emsworth Harbour. This 5.5 mile section runs from Droxford, past the ‘Cradle of Cricket’ at Hambledon to Denmead.
The South Downs National Park has produced a leaflet for dog walkers – ‘Take the Lead in the South Downs’ – giving tips to help owners and their dogs to enjoy a fun and safe visit. Have a look at their website for more information and watch the video. Please follow the Dog Walking Code.
We have also produced some great dog walks direct from the cottage doors here at Wallops Wood Cottages. So why not stay here and take advantage of the many other attractions the local area has to offer too? Enjoy cycling, relaxing, exploring or a delicious meal at one of the many award-winning local pubs and restaurants.