“Literary connections, outstanding views and historic churches. This Hampshire hike packs a lot in.”
As you approach Petersfield, you should be able to catch a glimpse of where you will be heading – uphill! There are a couple of good climbs on this hike, but the rewards make it well worth the effort. Spend a moment in Steep Church, notice its Norman door which has been remarkably well preserved. There are many references to Edward Thomas, one of England’s most distinguished poets.
We have put together a winding ascent of the Ashford Hangers that brings you out above the Poet’s Stone and the Shoulder of Mutton. The more direct short cut straight up the hill will definitely get the heart rate going! Either way, there is a bench at the top providing the perfect spot for a hard-earned rest and snack.
The path crosses beautiful Hampshire countryside including a memorable traverse of The Warren, another Hampshire Hanger. You emerge onto the lane into Hawkley, passing the church and its ancient yew trees before arriving at The Hawkley Inn.
After lunch, there is the option of a climb up to Cobbett’s View, an iconic and historic viewpoint. Alternatively, there is a short cut with both routes converging to take in the Harrow Inn, a local pub with a quirky reputation. Cash and cheques only!
Curator: Will Purkhardt
• Admiring the beautiful beech hangers, wild garlic, bluebell woods and ice clear chalk streams
• Following in the footsteps of the famed poet, Edward Thomas and the journalist and politician William Cobbett’s ‘Rural Rides’
• Taking in the culture at the historic churches along the way
• Enjoying both the Hawkley Inn and The Harrow Inn