Stage 5: Soberton to Emsworth — Wayfarer's Walk
Dan Hobson planned a hike.
May 21, 2020
The final stage takes you from the South Downs to the Hampshire coastline, where wildlife, history and beauty blissfully collide.
The hardest hike in the Collection, Stage 5 is a challenging 19.7 miles (31.7 km) long. However, with 675 feet (206 m) of uphill and 875 feet (267 m) there is not too much climbing to contend with. (For a suggestion on how to split the stage, read on).
Before you leave Soberton, it is worth paying a visit to the Grade I-listed Church of Saint Peter, which has Norman origins but mainly dates to the 13th century. You then head south along the road, rise onto Soberton Down and continue to Hambledon, the village where English cricket was invented.
The scenery changes from chalk to clay as you hike to Denmead village and continue south to the outskirts of Portsmouth. As you join Portsdown Hill Road, you find the George Inn, a good place to stop for lunch. If you would like to split the stage, there is accommodation in this area, too.
You head east along the road for a fair while, with the exception of a loop around Fort Purbrook, and then wind through Brockhampton to join the coastline. At this point, the trail merges with the Solent Way long-distance path as it heads east along the Hampshire coastline.
If you have the legs, it is well worth making a detour from Langstone to Hayling island, which affords wonderful birdlife displays at all times of year. The detour shown here adds 1.8 miles (2.9 km).
The trail then heads through fields to Saint Thomas a Becket Church, a striking 12th-century place of worship, and continues along the shoreline to Emsworth, where your journey finishes. There are places to stay, eat and drink in the town, and there is also a train station.
August 20, 2020
Hiking Collection by Kit P
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Hiking Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by Halfords UK
Mountain Biking Collection by Barney