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Local walk around Clanfield Observatory and vineyards


  • Author: Editor
  • Published: 30th August 2022
  • Categories: Blog, Business, Clanfield

Local walk around Clanfield Observatory and vineyards

Clanfield Online’s series of local walks have remained a popular topic on this website. The walks became a ‘lockdown lifeline’ in 2020 offering villagers the opportunity to get out of the house, stay fit and enjoy the beautiful countryside in this area.

Recently, I met some fairly new local residents who had no idea there was a good walk around the Clanfield Observatory, so I promised that we would republish this much loved route. The added benefit of this walk is a stroll through the vineyard at the top of the hill - perhaps one day we could be drinking Clanfield wine? Stick to the paths and enjoy your walk!

Clanfield Walks 1: Observatory walk

All the countryside around us forms part of the South Downs National Park. There are fabulous views and interesting stopping places right on our doorstep. Key to map: Red dotted lines indicate public rights of way - please keep to the paths.

Map 1 Around the Observatory: 3 miles or 1.5 miles, using a short cut

Start this walk by walking up Hinton Manor Lane towards Clanfield Observatory. It’s a stiff climb but continue uphill, for as you near the Observatory you will obtain splendid views to your left. This is of Clanfield sitting amongst the downland hills – literally, one of the high points of this walk.

Further along the lane, beyond a house, a fingerpost on your right indicates the footpath to follow. Head across a field of vines where, after passing a huge oak, turn into a copse and follow the path as it drops down into a field where more views open out on your left. Keep ahead downhill and enjoy the fine scenery all the way down to a crossing of paths. Here, your path continues over a stile and heads along the footpath. (BUT if you want the short-cut, you can turn right here and follow the narrow bridleway back to Hinton Manor Lane near where you started.)

Meanwhile, back on the main walk, climb over your stile and continue ahead on the footpath until you reach Hambledon Road. Here, cross the road and continue up the farm lane opposite, signed Lime Kiln Cottage. But don’t go to the cottage; where this access lane turns sharp left, you must carry on ahead, through the metal gate and towards some farm barns. There, proceed through the barns and follow the farm track across the fields towards farm cottages to another path junction. At this point you turn right onto a green lane, where you head south along a pleasant, wooded byway all the way back to the start.

Variation: Catherington Down

An alternative destination is shown on the Map. You can walk up to Catherington Down to roam around the downland there and enjoy the fine views to the south-west. This is a local nature reserve that is full of chalk grassland wildflowers and well worth a visit. To reach there, either walk up White Dirt Lane or use Old Lane footpath from the Southdown Road to reach Catherington Church. Access to Catherington Down lies just across the road.

For more information about walking in Hampshire please visit: https://www.hants.gov.uk/landplanningandenvironment/rightsofway


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