A beautiful stroll through Winchester and the countryside beyond.
This is a short but pretty walk, buggy- and dog-friendly, which starts from the lower end of the High Street, just
past the Broadway. If you want, it can be broken up with a play in the Abbey
Gardens park or a pub lunch at the Bishop on the Bridge.
The Itchen Way river path starts at the corner of the Bishop pub, with water rushing past at a surprising rate, gushing forth from the City Mill on the other side of the road. There's a Venetian feel to this stretch, with the water lapping at the walled back gardens of the local residents. It’s home to a pair of swans and their two signets, well-fed ducks, and, when the season allows, hopeful fly fishermen braving the fast-flowing currents. At the end of the walkway, turn left onto Wharf Hill and follow the hill down until you see a signposted footpath ahead on the left next to the Old Dairy house. Down this path is another small signpost, slightly hidden amongst the hedgerows, for the Itchen Navigation way. Take the narrow track down to the river, a set of neat new builds with matching garden sheds sit on your right and cross over the tiny bridge just ahead, where otters and kingfishers have been sighted. This side of the water can be muddy and a bit bumpy but it's do-able with a sturdy buggy. A sign for the nature reserve pops up on your left, which you can either follow or for a shorter ramble just keep going round the river. The path running towards the nature reserve was until recently gorgeously dark and verdant, with a canopy of wingnuts sheltering walkers from the elements, but the trees aren’t native and there is a long term project to replant British species. However, it’s still a treat and once the tree felling has finished, visitors can make their way into the nature reserve on the left and follow the path round and back out again. If you are walking early and quietly, you might spot a muntjac deer and you’ll be sure to see a few herons and maybe a great white egret. Not bad start, considering you're five minutes from the madding crowd of Winchester!
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- Dogs Welcome
Start at the beginning of The Itchen Way, next Bishop on the Bridge pub, 2 mins from The Broaway.
Open all year.