Stage 1: Inkpen Beacon to Kingsclere — Wayfarer's Walk
Dan Hobson planned a hike.
May 21, 2020
Stage 1 climbs the highest chalk hill in England, visits several Iron Age hill forts and explores the setting for a famous novel about talking rabbits.
With 14.7 miles (23.7 km) of distance, 775 feet (236 m) of uphill and 1,350 feet (411 m) of downhill, the first stage is fairly challenging and sets the tempo for the rest of the trail.
You start on Inkpen Beacon, where glorious views await, and hike past the ghostly Combe Gibbet, which was erected in the 17th century to hang two adulterous murderers.
The trail then heads over Walbury Hill, the highest natural point in South East England, and continues through a landscape of farmland and small woodlands.
After crossing the A343, you skirt around the extensive parkland of Highclere Castle, which was designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century, and descend steadily to the A34. You then rise over Great Lichfield Down to Ladle Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Scheduled Monument with breathtaking views.
A short step later, you hike over Watership Down, which is best known as the setting for the 1972 novel of the same name’. The hill, which has a partially-completed Iron Age hill fort on its summit, affords far-reaching views.
You then depart from the official route briefly to avoid a long stint on the road and descend through fields to finish in Kingsclere. Within the village, you find accommodation and places for food and drink.
August 20, 2020
Hiking Collection by Kit P
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Hiking Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by Ben Wormald
Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore
Bike Touring Collection by Laura Kennington