"Walking is a man's best medicine." (Hippocrates)
The Wayfarers' Walk starts on top of the North Wessex Downs at Inkpen Beacon. From there it heads eastwards and then southwards to finish on the South Coast at Emsworth about 70 miles later. The path follows some of the tracks that were once used by shepherds driving their sheep to fairs in Farnham and New Alresford.
I first came across this path when I walked on Watership Down. I loved the breezy ridge walk with views across West Berkshire to the north and Hampshire to the south and the thought of one day returning and walking the whole path stayed with me.
Section 1: Inkpen Beacon to Highclere
Section 2: Highclere to Kingsclere
Section 3: Kingsclere to Oakley
Section 4: Oakley to Brown Candover
Section 5: Brown Candover to Cheriton
Section 6: Cheriton to Soberton
Section 7: Soberton to Widley (Cosham)
Section 8: Widley (Cosham) to Emsworth
Verdict on completion: This is a wonderfully varied walk, often in beautiful and unspoilt countryside, but not easy to do in day sections using public transport. Sadly buses in rural Hampshire are few and far between and the middle section between Basingstoke and Cosham tested my resolve and websurfing skills. However, it is possible, and surely so much more satisfying than taking two cars or retracing steps back to where you started. My advice: don't even think of walking a section involving a bus journey on a Sunday and always check bus routes and times beforehand.
Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps
- Newbury and Hungerford (158)
- Basingstoke, Alton and Whitchurch (144)
- Winchester (OL32)
- Meon Valley (OL 3)
- Chichester (OL 8)