Droxford - Meonstoke - Old Winchester Hill - Droxford

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I've walked up to the top of Old Winchester Hill from all directions and this route has to be my favourite. It starts along the beautiful River Meon and then quiet country lanes, tracks and field-paths take you up the hill gradually, with superb views along the way. There is a steeper section just before the summit, but you are swiftly rewarded with fantastic views for miles in all directions and a wealth of chalk downland flowers in the summer months. We like to take a picnic with us to enjoy here and then we take an extra stroll along the perimeter of the Iron Age hill-fort. This was built 1,000 - 2,000 years after the Bronze Age burial mounds! There is so much to see at this Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve. This unimproved chalk downland is home to a number of butterfly species and there is also a diverse bird population, including the green woodpecker commonly seen feeding amongst the many anthills. We were treated to a pair of buzzards soaring in the valley when we were last here.

The return route also has historical interest as it passes by the old Railway Hotel, now housing and then by the old Droxford Station. This was chosen to be the place where a special train, containing the War Cabinet, would stay for a few days in June 1944, whilst final preparations were made for the D-Day invasion in Normandy. See 'Additional Information'.

Then you arrive at a beautiful spot on the River Meon, another excellent picnic spot and a great place for thirsty, muddy dogs to cool off after this walk!

The Droxford Village Hall in the car park at the start of the walk provides tea and cakes on Sundays and Bank Holidays in the summer months.

England - South England - Hampshire - South Downs


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Wildlife, Woodland
6/25/2023 - Jeffrey Smith

Did this walk today (25/6/23) the only problem I had was at point 17. The route was marked by the WW sign on a post by the metal gate but what I presumed to be the field edge now had an electric fence running along it. Then the next field had an electric fence all round it and there was no indication anywhere of there being a path. Despite the fact that my GPS showed me to be on a footpath I decided not to risk electrocution and retraced my steps to the road where I turned right (or left if I had done so from the original approach) and walked up to a crossroads signed Droxford pointing Right. I turned Right and followed the road and eventually came across the path I should have been on and this end of the path was marked and the fence had rubber insulation on it. Otherwise it was a glorious walk. Also most of the stiles (I only encountered one) had been replaced, thankfully for me) with kissing gates. At my age (72) I can manage the walk but stiles are somewhat arduous!

5/31/2021 - Harry Cook

Just to point out the "The Hurdles" is no longer a pub. Like many others it is now housing.

4/19/2018 - Frances Williams

Lovely walk completed mid April 2018. Visited The Hurdles for lunch near the end which was pretty good. The walk is varied and has some beautiful views. Instructions very clear and informative. Thanks!

8/16/2017 - andy hasted

Amazing variety and numbers of wild flowers on the hill. A great walk. `The Hurdles` pub currently closed with a signboard advertising for a new publican. Bakers arms in Droxford is recommended .

1/20/2015 - Jonathan Kershaw

Another excellent walk from Sylvia which I completed with a work colleague on the 17/01/2015. Enjoyed the challenging step climbs up to Old Winchester Hill, but with the wonderful reward of the views from the top. We were blessed with cold but bright weather which meant we could see for miles and miles around. This added with the old disused railway lines, the river Meon and a pint of local ale in the delightful 'The Bakers Arms' pub at the end created a most enjoyable day.

1/10/2008 - Ray Churcher

10/01/08-Ray Churcher-Did this walk today,the 10th,starting from Old Winchester Hill. This a fine easy to follow walk taking in just about everything-downland, riverside etc. A little 'tacky' underfoot in places but not too bad considering the time of year. Thanks for this-Ray Churcher.

11/13/2007 - Ian and Sarah Jane Lloyd

We thoroughly enjoyed this walk last Saturday morning. Sylvia's instructions are, as always, excellent and enhance the whole experience as there's no need to worry about where to go next. We were lucky enough to see the Buzzards that Sylvia mentions and the view from the top of Old Winchester Hill is well worth the effort of the climb to get there.

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