Long Walks from Winchester

January is traditionally a time for people to think more about their fitness and physical activity. 

But being active doesn't always mean going to the gym or running 3 times a week, upping our physical activity could just be walking more.

Walking is easy and accessible for most people and can have an amazing impact on our bodies.
Walking can help us to maintain a healthy body weight as well as lower our bloody pressure and improve our overall cardiovascular fitness. It also strengthens our bones, improves our muscle endurance, increases our energy levels and strengthens our immune system. Walking is also known to been a mood enhancers and help us with memory and sleep as well as reducing stress and tension. So with all this in mind, what's stopping you getting your walking boots on and getting out for a walk?

When you're staying in Winchester you have some amazing walks on your doorstep.

Here are two long distance walks you could undertake...don't worry though you don't have to do the whole thing if that's not for you, there are easier, shorter parts of these walks recommended too.

Clarendon Way

The Clarendon Way is from Salisbury in the west to Winchester. The route is way marked with a green logo and you can do the route from either direction. It can be walked in sections or in one go and can be undertaken in either direction.

The Clarendon Way is a 24-mile, long-distance walking route that links two of the most beautiful cathedral cities in England. It stretches from Wiltshire in the west to Hampshire in the east. The way is named after Clarendon Park, once the site of Clarendon Palace, a royal hunting lodge for Norman kings. All that remains of this great country house today is a single flint wall. 

The section from Winchester to Oliver's Battery is 3.5 miles long.

Starting from Jane Austen’s burial place, Winchester Cathedral, and heading east you will pass the Guildhall, The almshouses of St. John’s Hospital, the King Alfred Statue, Winchester’s only surviving mill, City Mill, and the ruins of Wolvesey Palace.

You also pass by the Iron Age hill fort on St Catherine’s Hill. You can either come back the same way for a longer walk, or return to Winchester by bus.

The walk is a truly spectacular and well worth giving a go.

The full 24 mile route, along with the shorter sections, can be found here visit-hampshire.co.uk/the-clarendon-way 

SOuth Downs Way

The South Downs way is situated in Hampshire’s second National Park - the South Downs.
The route begins in Winchester and stretches 100 miles east to Eastbourne.
Along the route are unspoilt views of countryside, small hamlet villages and the English channel.

The South Downs Way is a hilly but rewarding route for walkers and mountain bikers.
Lonely Planet has even included the South Downs Way in its 1000 Ultimate Adventures book.

You can undertake the whole 100 miles, camping along the way or you could try part of the route. 

The section from Winchester to Itchen Abbas loop is 10 miles long

Starting from Winchester City Mill, this section heads out to Itchen Abbas and then loops back to again. You could make the walk easier by shortening it and returning to Winchester by bus from Itchen Abbas Village Hall.

Full South Downs Route www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/the-south-downs-way

Winchester to Itchen Abbas Loop Short route www.alltrails.com/winchester-and-itchen-abbas-circular