Totford, in the Candover Valley

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A short, mainly flat and peaceful walk in the unspoilt and little-known area known as the Candovers in Hampshire - with no stiles or gates at all! The route takes in parts of the Wayfarer's Walk and the Oxdrove Way, starting and finishing at an excellent country pub. This walk and Walk 4904 have been written to introduce you to the quiet and attractive countryside of the Candover Valley.

Totford and Brown Candover lie within the rural chalklands of central Hampshire. This tranquil area is in the triangle between Winchester, Alton and Basingstoke. However, until the early 20th Century the villages were astride what was the main road from Basingstoke to Winchester.

The Candover is one of three spring-fed tributaries of the River Itchen, regarded as one of the finest chalk streams in the world. On a practical level, the prolific chalk streams such as the Itchen and Test provide much of the water used in Hampshire. The groundwater quality is extremely high and little treatment is required.

Your route takes you near to the borehole and pumping station at Totford which is used for extraction (Waymark 1) and past the source of the Candover Brook (Waymark 4).

The manor of Brown Candover belonged to the Crown until the 10th Century, when it was granted to Hyde Abbey. It remained in the hands of the abbey until the Dissolution in the 1530s. By the early 19th Century it had been sold to the Baring family, who owned much land in the neighbourhood and whose family seat was the Grange in Northington.

An old droving route, called the Oxdrove or the Lunway, runs west to east through Totford. It used to be a main thoroughfare for herds of cattle and flocks of sheep being driven from the West Country to London and the South-East.

Parts of your route take in this old road as well as the Wayfarer's Walk which runs from Emsworth north-west through Hampshire to Inkpen Beacon, west of Newbury – or between coastal mudflats and the highest downland in southern England, as it has been described. Also nearby at this point is the Three Castles Path (Winchester, Odiham and Windsor). The idea for this latter route was inspired by the well-documented 13th Century journeys of King John.

England - South England - Hampshire - Countryside

Features

Birds, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife
01/01/2016 - Ian Wells

New Years walk today, shame it was raining a bit but the walk and route were fine. Thank you for laying the route. Ian

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Accommodation
Distance away
24.3 Miles