Hockley Viaduct – Winchester Cathedral – Hockley Viaduct

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Hockley Viaduct – St Catherine's Hill – Winchester Cathedral – St Cross – Hockley Viaduct

A delightful circular and varied walk, for the most part following the Itchen Way from the Hockley Viaduct (see Additional Info'). There are several opportunities to detour and explore historic Winchester and so the walk could take you several hours.

A steep climb up wooden steps to the top of St Catherine's Hill is rewarded with spectacular views of the city of Winchester to the north, St Cross to the west and Twyford Down to the south. A short detour to the hilltop will lead you to foundations of an ancient maze. After descending back to the river, the remainder of the walk is almost completely flat.

Following the Itchen again, the walk continues into the beautiful city of Winchester and passes several points of interest, including the City Mill (National Trust), guildhall and impressive medieval cathedral - well worth a visit inside to the tower if you have time. The Cathedral Cafe provides refreshments, toilets and a giftshop.

Just past the Cathedral Close is the Wykeham Arms, a charming 18th Century coaching inn, full of character and nostalgia (a note on the front door instructs you to turn off your mobile phone!) Award-winning food is served at lunch and dinner. Dogs are welcome in the bar area, where you can also eat (except Sunday lunchtimes where food is only served in the restaurant). Children under 14 are not permitted.

The walk continues past Wolvesey Castle, the medieval bishop's palace, Winchester College and St Cross Hospital and Almshouses, which date back to 1132 AD. There are more opportunities for detours. After crossing St Cross Bridge you arrive back at the Hockley Viaduct.

As the majority of the walk follows the river, good footwear (walking-boots) is recommended, as the ground can be soft and muddy in parts, especially after wet weather. Although St Catherine's Hill is a climb, the steps are well-built and a few stops to look back and admire the stunning views will make it more worthwhile (and slightly less arduous!) The less energetic or able can avoid this part of the walk.

Dogs will love this walk and our three-year-old beagle managed all the stiles without any problems.

Winchester itself is a busy city attracting tourists all year round. If you do not want to venture into the city you can avoid this section of the walk and leave the route at Waymark 10 to meet Waymark 16 by Wolvesey Castle.

England - South England - Hampshire - River Walk

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, National Trust, Pub, River, Toilets, Wildlife
25/06/2013 - Carole Appleyard

A lovely walk for a Sunday morning, the stiles are now kissing gates. After completing the walk we explored the Cathedral and Great Hall, a really good day's visit to Winchester.

23/10/2012 - Jill Larby

14/10/12 Thank you Matthew for this lovely walk, we spent a very pleasant Sunday morning taking in the sights in & around Winchester. There are some fine photograph opportunities both in the town & on the high ground approaching the city. We were lucky enough to arrive at the Cathedral just as the dignitaries were parading in their full robes, another good picture opportunity. There are 2 small diversions at waymarks 6 and 10, where repairs are underway, easily negotiated.

26/11/2010 - Mik Crouch

This is a great walk which combines rural and urban areas, the views of Winchester from the top of St Catherine's Hill is well worth the climb up there. I highly recommend this walk. If you like real ale I also recommend two pubs that you almost pass which are The Wykeham Arms and The Black Boys both close to the cathedral area...Thank you for giving me a great morning's walk.

29/11/2009 - Adrian Perkins

Thank you for the great comment. I'm afraid your identity has not come through to us. Please get in touch so we can thank you personally. Adrian (Admin)

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