Hawkley - Steep - Hawkley

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This is my favourite walk from the Hawkley area, starting from a fantastic, independent, rather quirky village pub. It is longer and more strenuous than my usual walks and will probably better suit those of you who are used to walking. It shares some routes which I've used on other walks in the area so you may well recognize some paths if you've been on other walks of mine, but I make no apology for that as this area is so outstandingly beautiful and this combination of footpaths and tracks makes a very different walk for you to enjoy.

It's about four hours' walking altogether along well-defined tracks and footpaths, taking you through some glorious woodland and downland with fantastic views! You will reach The Harrow Inn after 4.2 miles and I can recommend a hearty lunch here! It was named by the Good Pub Guide as the most unspoilt pub of the year in 1996. Nothing has changed since! They boast 'good ales served from the barrel and outstanding home-made food. Large open fire, beamed ceilings. No fruit machine or juke box - just conversation'. It's quite true - if you take a seat in the tiny public bar around one of the two large tables, others will budge up for you and chat away. If there is no room, then sit on a tree-stump stool by the fire. The menu is small, the portions are enormous - just what you will need for this walk! Dogs are very welcome inside but children are not. However, there is a lovely garden and also seating outside at the front of the pub.

Most of the climbing is done on the way out, but there is one very stiff climb, with absolutely stunning views, on the way back. Something to remember when you are looking at those irresistible ales!

My dog, a slim, fit Labrador who cannot jump, managed to get through all of the stiles and gates with ease and really enjoyed himself, especially getting thoroughly muddy and then splashing through the streams, where he had a good wash off!
Please remember that Hawkley and its surrounds can be very muddy during the winter months, so make sure that you wear appropriate footwear.

England - South England - Hampshire - South Downs


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Nature Trail, Pub, River, Wildlife, Woodland
3/20/2018 - Julius Mach

The walk from Steep to Hawkley is the better half of the walk. The terrain is best described as muddy when dry and slippery mudbath when wet. There were no issues with the description and all signposts were in place. A number of the stiles are now gates. The wood at the top of Shoulder of Mutton hill has been much opened out and several viewpoints have had the surrounding growth cut back so that the views are very clear. We were able to start at the Harrow Inn by parking just off the road by the pile of books monument on the Shipwrights Way on the track leading south about 10 metres from point 13 on the walk. There is room for one car there. Still a little early in the year for much in the way of flowers in the hedgerows although the primroses were out.

5/7/2017 - Ellen Pirie

We did this walk today and it was great. No mud - shows what a dry spring we have had! Between point 4 and 5 it's worth looking our for a small track on the left to take a short detour up to the trig point on top of Wheatham Hill - there is a great view - called Cobbett's View. Lots of the stiles - though not all - have now been replaced with gates. The directions are excellent - thanks Sylvia for a really lovely walk.

5/27/2016 - andy hasted

Completed 27/5/16 Great walk with super views. Some strenuous sections especially after the pub stop. Lots of wild flowers in evidence especially on the down. The first section after leaving Hawkley would be very difficult anytime of year unless there has been a spell of dry weather. In the winter it would be near on impossible in some places. Nice food but restricted menu at the pub.

6/22/2015 - Howard Bradley

Completed walk on 21st June. Excellent directions and a very enjoyable walk. Agree with comments on mud. Even after a month of dry weather section from 4 to 5 was muddy and we had to take some diversions through the woods. Also, just for awareness section from 18 to 19 is very steep.

3/6/2013 - Ann Parker

Completed this walk on 2nd March 2013 - it was great. Instructions perfect, mud not bad at all, and I loved the irreverent comments along the way from the author. Will definitely look out for more of their walks.

6/5/2008 - Ray Churcher

Did this walk on the 4th June. Dry days have been pretty rare recently so had to make the most of it. Unfortunately the damage had been done! I would suggest anybody contemplating this walk should leave it till after at least a month of dry weather. Sylvia's warning of mud during the winter months should be extended to include spring and early summer. At least 50% of the route was very muddy and extremely wet. In some places it was so bad that without decent footwear it would have been impassable. This is an excellent, easy to follow walk with a couple of fairly steep climbs and with better conditions would be really enjoyable. The views on the way are brilliant so try and pick a clear day. Many thanks Sylvia.   

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