Ready to start at QECP – click to enlarge
We traveled in four cars to QECP where passengers disembarked into the cafe while the drivers moved their cars to the end of the day’s walk at Exton. Our non-walking driver and guardian angel Liz returned the drivers to Buriton and we were soon climbing the slightly intimidating grassy slope of Butser Hill.
From the top it is a fairly level three miles to Wetherdown Lodge and the Beech Cafe of the Sustainability Centre where we had an early lunch. From here the SDW plunges down Wetherdown to the Meon Springs trout fishery before climbing back up again to the Old Winchester Hill Nature Reserve where Liz (and tea) awaited us in the car park.
We made our way through the hill fort on Old Winchester Hill and descended to the Meon River, encountering a herd of Herdwick sheep as we did so. They seemed as surprised to see us as we were them.
We were then soon at Exton, the finish of the day’s walk and the cars that would take us to Wetherdown Lodge for the night.
Beech cafe provided us with dinner and the laid-back Lodge made us very welcome.
Walk details: distance 10.5 miles; height climbed 838 feet.