Clarendon Way signpost

The Clarendon Way actually rises in Wiltshire so not wholly a Hampshire walk.

The route begins (or ends) at Salisbury Cathedral and finishes (or starts) at Winchester Cathedral. It passes through Clarendon Palace, hence the name.

Being an overweight lumox, I divided the route in 4 sections to get me (and the girls) gradually back into longer walks.

The sections that I chose to break the walk into are as follows:

The official Hampshire Council website gives the distance as 24 miles, my GPS measured it at 27.5 miles. Who do you believe?

Link here is the official council pdf of the route.

 

This the first section when going from Salisbury to Winchester and is a gentle 5.2 miles in length. As I mentioned on my main Clarendon Way Page, I wanted to gradually get back into distance walking, and Pitton has a good pub! So perfect place to end the first walk.

Most of this section is uphill with a total of 463 ft of climbing from the Cathedral to the woods above Pitton. Thankfully, it's all downhill into the pub.

I started on a Saturday which is a market day in Salisbury. It was packed. Girls not too happy about the crowds, but you're soon out of the centre and walking through the suburbs.

Once out of the city the route gently rises to Clarendon Palace at about 3 miles in. Do make sure you turn an look back down the path as there are some great views back to Winchester Cathedral with the spire looking magnificent. Just before the Palace there is a little climb off to the left of the path to a bench with great views back into the city.

I was walking with the fiends. There are livestock munching in the grounds of the Palace so take care. The black fiend went into serious work mode as soon as she saw the Llamas.d Luckily, that means she's silent.

From the Palace the walk takes you through woodland and down into Pitton. Not really that much to say about it. Did see some deer. Generally see deer when I walk in Hampshire.

The Silver Plough has recently (as of July 2011) been taken over and we were very impressed with the ostler and staff. The Tanglefoot was perfect as was the meal. Can heartily recommend it. Perfect end to getting me back to walking.


 

 

 

The section from Broughton to Farley mount is 7.8 miles. There is no pub at the end, but there is a good pub in Kings Somborne at about halfway.

Between Broughton and Houghton it's a gently undulating walk, views are not as impressive as the other side of the valley.

From Houghton you cross the the Test Valley. Typical Hampshire water-meadows and, allegedly, the finest trout stream in England. You also cross over the Test Way as you start to rise up over the steep hill to Kings Somborne.

The Crown in Kings Somborne is worthy of a stop. There's also an old fashioned village shop which has a picnic table outside. Support local businesses.

There's a sharp rise out of Kings Sombourne, but once you pass the stud farm at Hoplands it becomes a gentler rise up to Farley Mount. Walking up to the Mount there are majestic views to the North. You can see from Watership Down (yes, of the bunnies fame - we'll revist on the Wayfarers Walk) across to the hill above Pitton.

Farley Mount is a memorial to a horse that went down a chalk pit with it's rider and then won some races. Odd looking memorial. I finished in the car park just below the monument.


 

 

 

 

The second section is from Pitton to Broughton. It's 7.2 miles and climbs a total of 666 ft.

Section starts with a steep ascent out of Pitton up onto the downs with views north over Porton and Boscombe Downs.

Coming round the corner at Winterslow you enter a long section along a Roman road that, going the other way, takes you to Old Sarum. The part through Middle Winterslow and The Common is through narrow lanes with, considering how narrow the streets, appears to be quite heavy, so take care.

Along the Roman road there are lovely view across typical rolling Hampshire downland. Wish I could bottle it. Would make a mint.

At Buckholt there is a detour off the Roman road and the final leg of the section takes you down a steep hill into Broughton.

There used to be two pubs in Broughton. One is now closed and the other a ghastly gastro pub that doesn't open on Mondays. Guess which day we walked it. There's a handy little village shop just past the church. The church has a large dovecote in the graveyard worth a visit.


 

 

 

 

Final section, 7.35 miles, mostly downhill thankfully, but some long stretches of pavement.

From the car park below the monument you head through Farley Mount Country Park rejoining the Roman road we left on section 2.

We then hit the pavement and make a huge detour to the south end of Winchester down the side of Royal Winchester Golf Club, through Stanmore and Oliver's Battery. Not all have pedestrian pavements so be careful. Have to admit I did not enjoy this bit. Very hard on the feet and through suburbs. There is a coffee shop in Oliver's Battery though.

Getting to the very southerly point we start to turn north and back on to footpaths. You can then see one reason for the detour south - views of Winchester Cathedral. St Faiths is another. An old almshouse that is still in operation. And the last is Winchester College. Very impressive views across the playing fields.

We then quickly end up in front of the Cathedral and the walk is finished.