Backabush would like to invite all our members to join this FREE hike in memory of our good friend and hike leader, Simon Waddington.
Many people in our group had enjoyed Simon's hikes over the past years as he had been a popular hike leader for Backabush since 2015. Sadly Simon passed away earlier this year. He was such a gentle and giving person and we will miss him but on November 25 we wish to celebrate his memory by offering all our members the Winchester Christmas Market hike he liked to lead around this time every year.
Even if you didn't know Simon, please feel welcome to join us. Simon had a sweet tooth and loved cakes so we will be sure to pass some around on top of St Catherine's Hill! :)
This is an approximately 10 mile (16km) circular walk from Winchester.
We will start the walk at Winchester railway station. From there we will join the Clarendon Way around the west side of the town to the village of Shawford. Next we will cross Twyford Down, part of the South Downs to St Catherine’s Hill.
St. Catherine's Hill is a fine example of a Celtic Iron Age hillfort. The rampart and ditch of the fort are still in evidence, and the crown of trees at the top of the hill has a rather mystical feel, perhaps because they grow on the site of a medieval chapel. The Mismaze on the summit of the hill is a complete mystery. Some say it is ancient, perhaps a penance for monks, while other recon is it more modern.
We will finish the walk around 5pm with a visit to the Winchester Christmas Market.
Founded in 2006, the Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe, renowned for its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. The market features wonderful Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods. After a glass of gluehwein and a snack at the market.
NB. The precise route and timings may vary depending on the weather conditions and the speed of the group.
Please bring a waterproof jacket and trousers, and wear suitable footwear, as the paths are likely to be muddy. It is also advisable to bring a torch if you have one in case we get delayed.
Travel by train from London Waterloo (departing 9.27am) to Winchester, arriving at 11.07am. Train return ticket to Winchester with Groupsave or Network Railcard (requires a minimum of 3 people) @ £24.05 per person or full price at £36.40. We will meet at Winchester station at 11.00am and wait for the 09:27am from London to arrive. I will be waiting by the ticket barrier on the south side where the London trains arrive.
For car drivers, there are many car parks in the centre of Winchester. There is also a park and ride near to Junction 9 on the M3. Please be aware that there will be heavy demand for parking in the pre-Christmas period. If you are arriving by car, please allow plenty of time to find a parking place.
Please bring your own packed lunch which we will have on the route at a suitable picnic spot. We will stop for refreshments at the Christmas market at the end of the walk.
There are frequent trains back to London. The precise return time depends on the pace of the group, but is likely to be between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. Please consider yourself committed for the entire day.
Moderate. Since the days in November are quite short, we need to keep a reasonably brisk pace. There is a short steep climb up St Catherine’s Hill, but otherwise the walk is quite flat.