South Downs Way - Day 1 - Winchester to East Meon.
This walk was done well before I ever considered having a walking diary website, so the memories of those five days are limited - as are the photographs available for use. So I'm recording what I have, but it falls short of the records that I would really like to present.
The start of our 2013 long distance walk was greeted with glorious sunshine and a welcome 'surprise' guest to see us off.
This stretch is 17 miles long, although we still managed to push it out to 20.5. After setting off from Winchester and its beautiful cathedral, you pass King Alfreds statue and head down to the River Itchen and soon cross the busy M3 heading out into the countryside along leafy country lanes and tracks through a typically English landscape of fields, hedgerows and woodland. You reach Beacon Hill summit without really realising your climbing - well one of the Beacon Hills that is, there appear to be plenty with the same name (and same purpose going back in time).
Exton is visited along the way along with the Old Winchester Hill (& Fort) just afterwards before reaching East Meon (just 20 mins off the path)
East meon is our first stop over and a good one at that. We enjoyed our stay at Ye Olde George Inn and the breakfast was one of the best I can remember - and I've had plenty !!
3D outline of route