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Walking the Clarendon Way

Part three - Broughton to Oliver's Battery

Distance: 9.5 miles     

Approx time: 3 - 4 hours

While in Broughton, why not try to find the well in the main street that dates from 1921, dug after a prolonged drought, or visit the churchyard where there is an unusual dovecote with 500 nesting boxes. Leave the village behind and follow the Wallop Brook down to the outskirts of Houghton - worth a detour to see the church and to have a snack at The Tally Ho! Inn, then back to the path to cross the River Test, Hampshire's longest and finest chalk stream. The way passes through a breach in the park pale (steep ditches and banks that enclosed John O'Gaunt's deer park) close to Blacklake Farm.

The path crosses The Test Way and then climbs out of the valley to King's Somborne. This village is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and near to the church is the site of John O'Gaunt's palace. There is a friendly pub where you can take a break, and a war memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the famous architect. The Way climbs out of the valley over open farmland, and if you look to the north-east on a clear day, you can see Danebury Iron Age hill fort, 2,500 years old.

Off the path to the north is the hamlet of Ashley, with its attractive cottages; here the Normans built a castle whose bailey earthworks can still be seen.

The route briefly rejoins the Roman road along which there is a marker stone dedicated to four German crew members who died when a Ju-88 aeroplane was shot down after being chased from Manchester by a Spitfire during the Second World War. Climb up to Beacon Hill and on past Farley Mount Monument - the curious pyramid-shaped folly built two centuries ago to commemorate a horse called Chalk Pit, which survived a leap into a 25ft-deep chalk pit with its rider. Enjoy the spectacular views all around from this point. The path continues along the length of Farley Mount Country Park, Crab Wood (a fine example of ancient woodland) and large areas of open country, before following minor lanes and permissive paths to Oliver's Battery overlooking Winchester, once used as a camp by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War.

Bridge over Test at Houghton.jpg


Bridge over Test at Houghton.jpg

River Test

Sheep grazing.jpg


Refreshments:  The Silver Plough, Pitton, Lord Nelson Arms, Middle Winterslow and Tally Ho Inn, Broughton


Accommodation: You can walk on past Houghton and then take a detour down the Test Way and find accommodation in Stockbridge. 

Public Transport: Broughton, Wilts and Dorset bus service.

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