Saturday, January 11, 2014

A walk around the transport links of Whitchurch

Distance: 3.5 miles
Start & Finish: Either Bell St car park or Whitchurch Silk Mill.  Whitchurch station a possible option.
Conditions: no steep gradients, surface mud underfoot.
Refreshments: (all in Whitchurch town) H's Coffee Shop, The Bell Inn, The Red House, The White Hart, The Kings Arms
Parking: Bell St Car park or the Silk Mill
Whitchurch web walk number 2.
Runkeeper Route:  Runkeeper

As it was warm outside we decided to go for a short walk.  We have a loop around the town that we do regularly but decided to try something different today.

We decided to choose the walk 2 from the Whitchurchweb website.

We started the walk from the Silk Mill and joined the route at the top of Fairclose as it heads up the path.

The directions have changed at the top of the cemetery due to a recent housing development.

After passing the cemetery enter the housing development and follow the footpath sign between two houses, continue following the path as it parallels the disused railway line and past the old railway station and underpass, continue straight until you come to an open field, cross diagonally across the field and rejoin the route as you arrive at Bloswood Ln.

The rest of the route is as described on the website.

Whitchurch from the Northwest.

This walk has a good view of Whitchurch from the north, but suffers in its adjacency from the A34 and the subsequent road noise is present throughout reducing only within the town itself.

Disused Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway.
In places the route is along the disused Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway (DN&SR) which ran from 1882 until its closure in 1964.  The old railway station can be seen early on, although this is now a private dwelling.

West of England Main Line looking East towards Whitchurch Station. 

Also the route passes over and under the West of England mainline and is fairly close the the station.

DNS&R railway tunnel under the West of England Main Line

As an alternative the route could be started from Whitchurch Railway station by exiting the station and heading straight ahead until you meet Evingar Rd, turn right and follow the road downhill, the trail comes up and joins from 'Pesthouse Ln' on the right just before Ardglen Road.  To return to the station, follow the route coming out of the tunnel under the rail line and turn left as it meets Evingar Ln.

We had an enjoyable short walk and will look to do some more in the near future.