The Itchen Valley - Circular

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The River Itchen is a beautiful and classic chalk stream, rising north of Alresford in Hampshire (see the notes for Walk 4903) and flowing through water meadows to Winchester before discharging into Southampton Water. Parts of the Itchen Valley were designated as SSSIs many years ago and the whole river was confirmed SSSI in 1997 for its chalk stream habitat and communities of plants, invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals. It is one of the few places in the South of England where otters can be seen.

The walk features five rural churches - with a sixth one 100 yards off the route - of which one, St Mary's at Avington, is an unspoilt Georgian gem. The walk also offers a warm welcome at four rural pubs.

As well as the scenery in the valley and around it, there is some interesting and attractive architecture. See Additional Information for more on this.

The walk is also characterised by including parts of four long-distance walks: St Swithuns Way, the Itchen Way, the Three Castles Path and the Wayfarer's Walk.

England - South England - Hampshire - River Walk

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, River
11/04/2015 - Anne England

Today was a gorgeous bright spring day, perfect for this walk and virtually dry all the way after a week with almost no rain. Please note that, at WP14 you no longer walk through a field but on a path outside the field's right-hand fence. A couple of the kissing gates in this area are locked, but the gates alongside have latches so very easy to get through instead. I would also echo other comments about unnecessary amounts of road walking (albeit on quiet roads) and would recommend going off-road at WP33 at the Itchen Way sign: much nicer!

27/06/2013 - Carole Appleyard

Eight of us walked this route in May, we visited all of the churches and two of the pubs. The churches were a highlight of this pretty route, all of them were open and we were surprised by the variety of their layout and design. The other highlight was the bluebell wood we found ourselves in having gone wrong at point 32. Having passed the stand of trees when we reached the hedge we took the path into the wood instead of turning left and following the hedge. It was an excellent error, easily rectified after lots of photos! There were only two other places we were unsure of the route, #6 were we debated which was left..into the field or down the path (path) and #21 where my compass read North/South so a bit of scouting was needed to find East, we will brush up on our map reading!

01/09/2012 - Kevin and Mary Wood

Query: Distance states 8.7 miles, but last comment in waypoints (37) says "after this good ten-miler). Walked last Sunday with no deviations (not even to recommended churches) and recorded walk at 10.25 miles. No problem to us, but might be to some?

13/08/2011 - Lyn Lovell

Lovely walk which was easy to follow. Very dog friendly. Stopped in Easton at the PH for a drink. Lots of places to stop and have a picnic with the children.

05/08/2011 - Pete Steele

This was a stunningly beautiful walk. A suggestion to lose the last 3 mile of road is at point 33 just after the farmhouses and you start to go up hill. On the left is an official Itchen way diversion! This official diversion takes you across fields and through a copse. It covers two more river bridges and comes out close to the start where you once again walk back along one of the most stunning river banks in Hampshire coming out at the 'Bush' public house at point one. Well worth the diversion but you do miss the old phone box!! Superb walk and my two dogs loved every step and paddle.

02/05/2011 - Paula Sullivan

Completed this walk today with my husband and our dog. Wonderful walk, thoroughly enjoyed it - the views are spectacular and we particularly enjoyed the riverside start. We stopped off at the Trout Pub for lunch and were made very welcome, incl. the dog.

16/09/2009 - Ray Churcher

16/09/09-Ray Churcher: Completed this walk on the 16th. A nice walk with easy to follow well trodden paths and pleasant scenery.The directions are,in the main, very good and the pictures are a helpful back-up in some spots.One observation I have to make and I stress this is a personal opinion. Why so much roadwork? Far,far too much-over 3miles(35% of the walk).Anyway I enjoyed it-thanks Richard.

25/07/2009 - NILESH DESHPANDE

Did this walk on 25/07/2009, very nice and beautiful. Directions are spot on.

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