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The NBH 10 Challenge - The Hangers Way Marathon - 26 miles (41.8km)

  • May 3, 2014 · 6:45 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

The NBH 10 Challenge

"10 Marathons in 10 Months, in 10 Hours"

Marathon No. 4 - Saturday 3rd May 2014


The Hangers Way (Extended) Marathon

(A walk steeped in history)

26 miles miles (41.8km)

Steeped in history, this marathon walk across the lush Hampshire countryside is a series of steep-sided wooded hills, known as “The Hangers”. The Hangers are probably the richest woodlands on English chalk. Here the chalk that covers the central and northern parts of Hampshire abruptly ends in a scarp slope giving way to farmland.

This steep and undulating route always has a surprise around the corner, whether it is the fantastic colours of the woodland, the sudden appearance of a stunning view framed by the trees, or catching sight of a passing fox or grazing roe deer. It is sheltered from wind and rain in the winter, and cool and shady in the summer. Sheep idle away their time in the sloping meadows, and most villages come complete with mellow pubs and ancient churches.

- The Way is divided into eight sections:

East Worldham:

We will follow the boundary of Monk Wood, where it is possible to see ancient earthworks and continue along farm tracks until you reach East Worldham. Here you can see a 15th century effigy of the wife of poet Geoffrey Chaucer.


The route passes through the famous village of Selborne, once home to Gilbert White, the 18th century naturalist and author of “The Natural History of Selborne”. The Way descends downhill with stunning views ahead. The distinctive conically shaped hill to the south is St John’s Hill, partially capped with woodland. It is thought this hill was an Iron Age settlement site and is also where King John had a hunting lodge. Passing Binswood, the route starts climbing and you enter your first Hanger, Wick Hill.

We continue through deciduous woodland before descending to join Oakhanger stream, which snuggles under the shelter of the impressive Selborne Hanger. This length of the stream is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a monk.

Noar Hill:

We will pass The Oates Museum, devoted to the remarkable Oates family, and in particular, Frank Oates (a Victorian explorer) and Captain Lawrence Oates who accompanied Scott to the South Pole. As we continue on out of the village and past Galley Hill, once the site for the local gallows. The path climbs gently up High Common Nature Reserve and round to Noar Hill Hanger before dropping steeply down through the woodland to the tiny parish of Empshott.


Here is where there are the remains of a Bronze Age burial mound. In 1774 a dramatic event occurred here which Gilbert White described as, a large part of "the great woody hanger at Hawkley was torn from its place and fell down, leaving a high freestone cliff naked and bare, and resembling the steep cliff of a chalk pit".

As we leave Hawkley we cross a stream to reach the medieval hamlet of Oakshott, and continue along the Way and climb the steepest ascent of the whole path, from Oakshott up to the Shoulder of Mutton Hill. In a clearing on the hill is The Poet’s Stone, dedicated to the memory of local poet Edward Thomaswho was killed at the Battle of Arras in 1917.


We continue walking along to Ashford Hill, down into Lutcombe Bottom and along a boggy valley to arrive in Steep. The scenery is such that this area is known as ‘Little Switzerland’.

Passing through the churchyard of All Saints Church, some tombs of Jane Austen’s family can be found.

Walking out of Steep the route passes the grounds of Bedales, famous both nationally and internationally as an innovatory public school.


We continue through the streets and houses called “Little Spain”, before heading across the fields and along hidden shallow valleys to the village of Buriton, with views of the Radio Beacon on the top of Butser Hill, and the imposing scarp slope of the South Downs.


The village is best described as having a ‘picture postcard” view. In the graveyard of St Mary’s Church is the unmarked grave of the eminent 17th century botanist, John Goodyer. His reputation was so great that during the Civil War a royalist general ordered his men "... on all occasions to defend and protect John Goodyer, his house, servants, family, goods, chattels and estates of all sorts from all damages, disturbances and oppressions whatever".

Queen Elizabeth Country Park:

We continue through to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This is the largest of Hampshire’s parks, and sits at the foot of the dramatic Butser Hill.

The extension (6.6miles) - Butser Hill to Petersfield.

Butser Hill is the highest point of the chalky South Downs, and we will start our long gradual climb from the south side, which will eventually lead us to the radio beacon and the top of Butser Hill. As we ascend the dramatic view of the north face can be seen, which is our final and most challenging hill climb before finishing in Petersfield.

Level: Intermediate - (8/10)

Pace: Moderate to Fast (2.5mph)

Length: 26 miles (41.8km)

Duration: 10hrs plus lunch/snack stops

Start: Alton Station

End: Petersfield Station


Walks & Mileage Chart:
The purpose of the Walk & Mileage chart is for you to keep track of your walks and distances covered. Your total distance covered will enter you into an exclusive Club 100, Club 300 and Club 500.
This is exclusive to NBH and offers a great prize for each Club.

Food: Pack lunch

Meeting Time: 6.30am.

Train departs from London Waterloo at 06.53 and arrives at Alton Station 08.10am. Returning to London Waterloo at 20.27.

Meet: Opposite platform 16 and the Red Information kiosk - in front of the main ticket office.

Cost: £27.00 based on 4 adults sharing, on a "First Come First Share" basis. (Train to Alton, Return train from Petersfieldl, NBH costs and organiser's fee). 

Individual train tickets are charged at full price, plus £8.50 (NBH cost and organisers fee). 


NOTE: Please remember to change your RSVP if you are no longer able to make the event. No shows are recorded and may affect your RSVP status for future events. After three “no shows” you may be moved to the waiting list for events that are full.

Things to bring:
Pack Lunch and energy Snacks
Walking shoes / Boots
Compeed blister plasters
Spare boot laces
Waterproof clothing (Jacket and trousers)
Suitable clothing for walking (no jeans)
Warm tops (layers)
Money (cash for lunch and drinks)
Camera (optional)


2014 Marathon Walks:

February – Seven Sisters

March – North Downs Way

April – Lewes

May – Hangers Way (Extended)

June – South Downs Way

July – Brighton

August – The Chilterns

September – To be decided

October – To be decided

November – To be decided

NOTE: The above monthly marathon walks are subject to change due to weather conditions, transport, etc…

NBH: Fun & Friendly London based International Hiking and
Outdoor Adventure Activities.


NBH-Natural Born Hikers operate within:
The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

For more information:

Look at the following site for the simplified explanation


IMPORTANT NOTE: NBH-Natural Born Hikers consider safety to be our number one priority and while we never take unnecessary risks, we do recognise that any outdoor activity involves a danger of personal injury or death. Remember that you should be aware of and accept these risks as you are responsible for your own safety and you should not undertake anything beyond your abilities. It is also your responsibility to be correctly equipped for the weather and activity you have chosen to participate in.

NBH-Natural Born Hikers recommend that everyone participating in outdoor activities obtain appropriate insurance. The BMC offer excellent policies for all outdoor enthusiasts at very competitive rates:

Join or login to comment.

  • caroline h.

    Thanks MIchael, for a wonderful day and ensuring the sun stayed out all the time. Please let us all know how long the full walk was in the end - i.e. all of you who went up Butser Hill. It really was a nice day.

    May 5, 2014

  • JonSea

    One of my favourite walks so far - the weather was only bested by the people we were walking with. Blue skies with all day sun, challenging walk and beautiful scenery. :)

    May 4, 2014


    Special thanks to Caroline for a delicious delicious ginger bread cake and to Michael for an icecream as well !!! They made our challenge much easier !!

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • Nathan

    One of the most stunning walks I've done and with a great group of people. Already looking forward to the next Marathon.

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • Mobbie N.

    Great walk - my first 26 miler! Looking fwd to seeing the photos and joining more walks. Thanks Michael for organising and keeping all our spirits up!

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • Zhi

    Thanks, everyone, especially Michael, a great thank to him who helped and encouraged me -- drag me 'flying' over rapeseed fields etc:-) ) carry me on his back! Stunning scenery, nice and friendly company, have great fun! Unforgettable experience... I definitely look forward to coming next time with my friends. By the way, Michael, I didn't dream anything last night, slept like a pig:-)

    2 · May 4, 2014

  • Ivan

    Thanks, everyone, for a great hike. Beautiful scenery, wonderful company, and loads of laughs. I definitely look forward to the next one that I can attend.

    2 · May 4, 2014

  • Alaur R.

    Well done Michael, has a most wonderful day out and a great bunch of people.

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • Tantali

    Excellent extended hike across stunning scenery. The ice cream wasn't bad either ;)

    1 · May 4, 2014


    It was a big challenge on a sunny day with nice and friendly people !! Well done everyone !!

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • Shiva

    Another amazing walk with stunning scenes and lovely generous ice cream treat at the end. Everyone should do this walk at least once!

    1 · May 3, 2014

  • SB

    Hi Michael - message me your address to return the socks! Thank you for a lovely day

    1 · May 3, 2014

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