South Downs Way: 11. Exton to Winchester

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The South Downs Way (SDW) has been in use for thousands of years. There is nothing “new” in any of the routes posted. However, I hope that by presenting the walks in manageable sections it will encourage a few more people to explore if not all, at least parts of the SDW. The whole of the SDW is approx 106 miles.

There can be few places that are within reach of millions of people where it is possible (excluding a few well used sections) to “get away from it all” so quickly among such beautiful scenery. For much of the path travelling along the top of the Downs there is an amazing feeling of space and of peace. Many sections feel as if they have not changed for hundreds of years. Other than weekends it always surprises me how little used the path is (excluding the Eastbourne section and a few other short sections). There is a huge variety of plant and wildlife.

The SDW is very well maintained and clearly marked throughout. For the most part it is an easy walk although there are a few steep hills to climb & descend!

Where possible I have given details of suggested car parking and public transport. I have also suggested ways of getting back to the beginning of the walk by public transport. Distances given in the directions are approx – rounded to the nearest 50 yds (shorter sections) or ¼ mile (longer sections).

The South Downs Way (SDW) from Eastbourne to Winchester is easily accessible, well maintained, and winds its way through some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern England. This section from the picturesque village of Exton to the old and beautiful city of Winchester is in my view, a little bit of a plod! There are some senic parts but much of the walk is a little boring in my view compared with other parts of the SDW.There is also a reasonable amount of walking along roads. Much of the last part, even with good views in part, as you descend into Winchester is ruined (unless you are deaf!) by the constant roar of traffic from the M3. The reward at the end – Winchester – is well worth a day or two exploring.

This walk was originated by Martin O'Keeffe. Walkingworld is delighted to welcome Keith and Ing-Marie Beldam as the new contributors now taking care of Martin's walks from May 2014. Walkingworld, admin and members, would like to say a huge thank you to Martin for all his excellent contributions over the years.

England - South England - Hampshire - South Downs


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Museum, National Trust, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife

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