The Three Castles Path
This is a long-distance path of 60 miles, which we are doing in five hikes from November to March. The total distance in the joined up hiking version is 73 miles.
Section 5 – 16 miles
The end time given for this event is the approximate time of arrival at the railway station in Winchester if you do not stop for a drink at the end of the hike.
Please read the Three Golden Rules of Joined Up Hiking.
Are you OK with those? All right, then you may continue...
This final section of the Three Castles Path is a long full day's hike at a steady medium fast pace, and there may be lots of mud. As always it is for energetic people only.
You must bring a packed lunch.
We end up in the historic centre of Winchester at the Great Hall, which is re-classified as a castle by the inventors of this long-distance route.
We will pile into a minibus at Basingstoke station to take us into the deepest Hampshire countryside where we finished at the end of section 4. We strike out into the fields and woods, keeping to the high ground in the first half of the walk and stopping at a picnic spot for our lunch. Then we descend into the Itchen Valley, where we hope the flood waters have receded during the previous month, cross under the M3 and march victoriously into Winchester to storm the third castle and celebrate completion of the route.
There is a £6 charge payable in advance when you RSVP. This consists of a £2 organizer fee, plus a £4 share of the minibus fare to take us from Basingstoke station to the start of the hike.
Some general recommendations and tips.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 8:55 and 9:20 am at Waterloo Station, by the railway ticket office. I will be wearing a dark green floppy hat and the usual moustache for recognition.
Buy Ticket: Return to Winchester. Price £10.00 return. This is the special Winter Smiles offer with South West Trains extended until 16th March. You can buy your own individual ticket at the station as you don't need to be in a group of 4.
The total travel cost also includes a £4 share of the minibus fare from Basingstoke to the start of the hike. You pay this in advance along with the £2 organizer fee when you RSVP. This advance payment is to ensure that I get the right number of people for the minibus.
Outward Travel: 9:35 a.m. train from Waterloo Station to Basingstoke, arriving at 10:26.
If it is more convenient join the train at Clapham Junction. It is the 9:43 to Southampton Central. I will provide my phone number nearer the time so that you can find us on the train.
Minibus Pick-up: 10:40 a.m. at Basingstoke Station to take us to the starting point of the walk. About 25 minutes journey time.
Full Day's Hike: 16 miles. 6 hours 30 minutes including a stop for a picnic lunch.
Lunch Stop: Bring a packed lunch. We will stop at a picnic spot out on the path.
End of Hike: We finish at the Great Hall in the centre of Winchester at about 17:40.
Post-Hike Refreshment: There is time for a quick drink in the pub before getting the first train back, or a more extended period of refreshment before getting a later train.
Return Travel: The train to Waterloo is at 18:21 and at hourly intervals thereafter. Journey time 1 hour 23 minutes.
The Three Castles Path
The complete Joined Up Hiking schedule