Winchester to Alresford through the Itchen Valley - Linear

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The River Itchen is a beautiful, classic chalk stream, rising north of Alresford (see 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 as an SSSI in 1997 for its chalk stream habitat and communities of plants, mammals, invertebrates, fish and birds. It is one of the few places in the South of England where otters can be seen.

You swiftly leave the outskirts of Winchester and head out into open countryside. It is not exactly a riverside walk, but you are never far from the trout streams and tributaries that make up the Itchen as you follow St Swithun's Way and the Itchen Way along paths and tracks, through attractive villages and past ancient churches and splendid country houses.

As well as enjoying the scenery, you can visit up to six churches and up to three pubs en route.

At the end of the walk, Alresford (pronounced 'Allsford') is a beautiful Georgian town which for many centuries was a prosperous wool town. Old Alresford is mentioned in the Domesday Book but the colour-washed Georgian houses you see today in the present town of New Alresford rose from the ashes of great fires in the 17th Century.

I quote: 'Alresford is the perfect place for strolling - if you still have the energy! - with specialist shops selling antiques, gifts, food, clothes for all ages, antiquarian books, pictures, china and crafts. With pubs, hotels, restaurants and tea rooms, your every need will be satisfied. And don't forget to visit the Watercress Line steam railway that runs from Alresford to Alton through ten miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside'.

England - South England - Hampshire - River Walk

Features

Birds, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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Accommodation
Distance away
26.7 Miles