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Walk of the week: Chalton to Idsworth


  • Author: Amble Wobbler
  • Published: 25th July 2019
  • Categories: Blog, Business, Clanfield

Walk of the week: Chalton to Idsworth

Author: Amble Wobbler

Start and finish: St Michael’s Church, Chalton

Distance: 3.5 miles

Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Moderate: hill walking above Chalton; includes narrow country road, no pavement

Take: water, sun protection

 

This is a lovely, varied walk that takes you up to the tumulus at Idsworth Down, descends to the little church in the field at Idsworth, before returning via Chalton Down across fields of wildflowers in bloom.

Start the walk: from St Michael’s churchyard follow the footpath at the back of the church as it rises up to a gate. Through the gate you will find 3 different paths to follow: take the far right track, leading through the crop and gently uphill to a distant gap in a hedgerow. This is a long walk uphill, across large fields, that leads to an ancient tumulus at the top of the hill.

Impressive views: you get splendid views to your left into Sussex; then as you pass the tumulus and carry on ahead you can see the coast and the Isle of Wight. As you begin to descend, look down left to see a tiny building nestled in a field - St Hubert’s Church at Idsworth. St Hubert's

Slow descent: your route crosses a fence into the next field, keeps to the field boundary until, at a path junction, it crosses the field to a lower hedge, where it suddenly drops down towards the railway line. At the foot of the hill you turn left and soon come to an underpass under the London to Portsmouth railway line; whereupon you arrive at the road near to the gate for access to St Hubert’s Church. If you wish to visit this charming Saxon church, cross the causeway to enjoy the wall paintings in the interior.

The walk continues: leaving the church continue along the road for about half a mile, taking care as there is no designated footpath.  At a sharp bend in the road you cross a stile, on your left, into a field. Here you will find the railway line faces you. Don’t worry though, for only about 20 metres to the right, hiding in the undergrowth, is a brick-lined foot tunnel under the railway line. Go through here and continue straight ahead across the field to where the footpath turns sharp right into the scrubby edge of Chalton Down: the path is virtually like a tunnel itself, through thick vegetation until it emerges at a track that kinks around a corner before rising up the Down.

Up to the heights again: a steep walk uphill, but in summer you’ll find it particularly pleasant because it is a riot of wildflowers. The whole of this field, and adjacent slopes is designated Open Access land where you can wander freely (outlined in orange on OS Maps).

At the top of the Down, your path ends at a hedgerow, once upon the other side you continue across a field of corn to find yourself returning to the gate at the back of St Michael’s Church at Chalton.  Don’t forget to visit this lovely medieval church before you return home. St Michael's

 

 



 





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