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In March 2009, the route of the SDW across the Meon Valley changed. This adds 2.2 miles to distance (old route Beacon Hill to Old Winch Hill 3.5, new 5.7)

At Beacon Hill, instead of left and down via Warnford, and up tarmac lane, now it is via Exton.

See video on Video page from top of Beacon Hill through Exton to old railway line.

Link for map.


I have not done a separate page for eastwards, so views alternate west or east, though generally order is going east.

View from Beacon Hill looking east across to Old Winchester Hill;

also Annotated Panorama (unannotated in Panorama page) [both quite large files]

1 is looking from east (Old Winchester Hill) round to south

2 is from south (Isle of Wight) round to west

Descend from beacon Hill, along lanes though Exton (pub The Shoe).

Crossing A32 at Exton

Lane crosses route of old railway line, SDW sharp left after bridge abutment, up steepish side of embankment.

general view from railway embankment towards Old Winchester Hill; SDW skirts around base then goes up it.

After approx 1 mile along railway (can be muddy in parts after rain), cross the bridge (which is the first one you will have come to), turn sharp right, down onto track which passes underneath. See next few photos.

View from gate just after above photos; SDW goes right then around edge of field, on muddy, chalky grass, single track, up to trees in middle of photo


View eastwards; gate in above photos is where blue line does sharp bend.

Look west towards Exton; SDW is beside hedge.

Going east; although fingerpost, could miss left turn.

Looking west, steep climb to right to go east. See photo below. BEWARE STEPS if coming down (going west to Winchester)

View down (going west to Winchester); climb if going east to Eastbourne.

Eastern side of Old Winchester Hill near road.

(I think that the loop to the left [Whitwood farm, Coombe Cross, Salt Hill] is hardly worth doing as not great cycling, not much merit to it, and really just some joined up tracks, so you an go through gate, turn right, follow road [some good views] then after about 1 1/2 mile rejoin SDW at the old HMS Mercury. I'll leave up to your conscience!)

Along side of road before rejoining old route and down to Whitwood Farm. Where blue line goes right is gate at start of my next section (with rainbow!)

Next page: Section 2 Warnford A32 to QEP