St Peter's Titchfield
St Nicholas' Wickham
St Peters Soberton
St Mary & All Saints' Droxford
St Andrew's Meonstoke
Corhampton Church.htm
St Peter & St Paul's Exton
Church of our Lady Warnford
St John the Evangelist West Meon
All Saints' East Meon
Walkers Guide
Statement of Faith
Related Web Sites

Section 3 - Wickham Church
to Droxford Church


This walk of about 6½ miles (10 km) follows the
disused Meon Valley Railway line for about a third of the
distance (it is flat, gives glimpses of the River Meon, is safe,
and there is no suitable alternative).  This is classified as a
National Cycle Track and it is possible to follow it all the way to
Droxford.  But this walk will make a detour to the west through a
private park and across agricultural fields, giving lovely views of the Meon Valley.  After crossing the river, it reaches Soberton where there is the possibility of both spiritual and "inner" refreshment! We then follow the river up to Droxford. Allow about 3 hours for the actual walk.


As long-term parking in Wickham Square is restricted, the recommended free car-park is beside the old railway station.  If you want to start by visiting Wickham Church, from this car-park, come down to the road and turn left. Go under the old railway bridge, and you will see the Church across the other side of the busy A32.  The Church of St Nicholas is mentioned at the end of
Section 2.

The Walk

From the Church, cross the A32 and climb up the steps on to the old railway embankment; turn right.  A bridge takes you over the River Meon, and you will soon come to the spot where Wickham's old railway station was sited (near where you may have parked).  Hampshire County Council is responsible for the Meon Valley Trail and they have provided a helpful information board.  Cyclists find this to be a good and safe route, which could be followed all the way from Wickham to West Meon.

(The Meon Valley Railway, which was completed in 1903, ran from Alton to Fareham.  Its passenger service ceased in 1955 but the line was used for freight until 1968.  In early June 1944, history was made at Droxford station.  Winston Churchill and the War Cabinet met with General Eisenhower and his staff, plus General de Gaulle, to make the final plans for the invasion of France on D-Day)

The track, which is of course wide enough for people to walk sociably, is enclosed with trees and so there are few views.  Having crossed the river, you will eventually go under two bridges carrying minor roads; a third bridge takes you under the A32.  You are now on the edge of Bere Forest.  The fourth bridge is at the site of the old Mislingford station.

The fifth bridge, constructed with metal girders, is where you will leave this Trail.

Immediately after this bridge, turn left up a bank, way-marked with green arrows, "Soberton & Newtown Millennium Walk".  Turn right on the road passing Soberton Mill Cottage and the impressive Soberton Mill House, which has the old mill building beside the River Meon, which you cross by a footbridge.  Follow the path to the to the A32.  Cross carefully over this main road and enter the estate of Holywell House (there is a Footpath finger).  Walk up the drive, turning right to go round the side of the house, and pass the stables.  Continue on along this other drive, through a wood of oak trees, and so out to a country road (Cotts Lane); turn right for 100 yards and then left at a T junction beside a house called "Dormers".  At the end of this small road, pick up a track which goes across an agricultural field; keep to it as it winds, and turn left at a crossing track.  There are lovely views of the Meon Valley.  Just before a pylon, turn right and follow the path beside the route of the power line down to the A32; cross over.

The path leads to the River Meon which you cross by a footpath; turn left and walk beside the river; go under the old railway bridge and join a country road.  After 70 yards at a Y junction, turn left off it through a kissing gate into a field, and walk across this field towards Soberton Church.  Aim for the far right-hand corner where there is a stile.  (Time taken: about 2 hours). 

(Now you have to make a decision!  To the left is the lovely Church, which is mainly 13th C and is dedicated to St Peter.  It is open during the daytime and has an information board.  To the right is the "White Lion", which is an excellent country inn serving good snacks and more substantial meals - and "real" ales!)

Our route continues across the village green to a minor road; turn left and follow it down a hill (ignoring the "Meon Valley Trail" sign), over a railway bridge, to a bridge over the River Meon.  Immediately before this bridge, turn right over a stile following the "Wayfarers' Walk" (a 70 mile regional route from Emsworth to Inkpen Beacon), through lush water meadows.  Keep to the "W W" route signs.  After about 1000 yards and another stile, turn left over the river; go through a kissing gate into an avenue which takes you up to Droxford Church.

Total for Section 3
: about 3 hours walk of about 6½ miles.

(Since Norman times Droxford, originally called Drokensford, was the centre of the area and until the 1970s of the Droxford Rural District; so it is fitting that the Church of St Mary & All Saints should be such a fine Norman church.  It is open during the daytime and there are information booklets)

On leaving the Church through the churchyard, you enter the little square and pass the village hall to reach the A32.  If you are looking for refreshment, there is a choice:

turn left and cross over to the pavement for the "White Horse" pub, about 300 yards or turn right for about 400 yards to the "Baker's Arms", which also contains the Post Office.

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