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 5 - Exton Church to
West Meon Church


Warnford Church is set in Warnford Park, which is
privately owned.  The only entrance, and that for walkers
only, is through the Park Gates just off the A32 near the

The distance between the Exton and Warnford churches is only 1½ miles.  But it would be both noisy and dangerous to walk there beside the busy A32 and so is not recommended.  Instead, because pleasure and safety are paramount, we suggest a detour to the east.  The continuation to West Meon is much easier and quieter, across some fields.  For this walk of about 5 miles, allow 2 hours.


On the road near Exton Church, but please consider the local dwellers!
The "Shoe" is an excellent country pub, with very good food and drinks, and it has a garden beside the river.

The Walk

Exton Church to Warnford Church (3 miles; 1½ hours)

Starting from the Church, turn left along the minor road which soon goes round a sharp left-hand bend.  Follow this road, beside the River Meon, for about 600 yards.  This brings you to the "Grinch" where the river goes under the A32. 
(From here, the entrance to Warnford Park would be just over a mile taking the road; but, as suggested in the Introduction, we will make a detour to the east along the old railway track)

So cross over the A32 and follow the footpath (yellow arrows; the sign says "No Through Road"!).  Cross the river and, after a right-hand bend, turn left over some sleepers to follow a small path beside a stream.  Head towards Old Winchester Hill on the skyline.  This path leads, after about 600 yards, to the old railway line.  Stop to admire the brickwork of the railway bridge.  Climb up steps on to the embankment; turn left.  You are now back on the old Meon Valley Railway, which ran from Alton to Fareham and was closed in 1968.

It is easy and comfortable to walk along this embankment, with views of Old Winchester Hill to the right and of Beacon Hill to the left.  After about ½ mile, because the bridge has been removed, it is necessary to come down off the embankment; cross over Peake Farm lane, and climb back up again.  After another ¾ mile, we enter a cutting and, soon, will see a bridge carrying a road over this cutting.  Go under the bridge and, after 150 yards, turn sharp left up a path which climbs the embankment back towards the bridge.  This comes out on to a road; turn right.  After rising for a couple of hundred yards, this road drops down into the village of Warnford.  Opposite, across the A32, is the "George & Falcon" which provides meals and drinks.

If you feel that you do not yet deserve refreshment and wish to go on to the Church, continue on, passing the 'pub, in a southerly direction, following the pavement beside the A32.  Cross over the river bridge and continue as far as the pavement goes.  By a grassy area with a lovely tree, cross over the Old Winchester Road and walk along the left hand side of a watercress bed.  Continue southwards along the edge of the A32; for safety's sake, please face the traffic and keep in!

After about 200 yards, the Park Gates will be seen on the left.  Cross over.  This is a private Park but there is a public footpath to the Church.  To the right of the big gates, there is a small "wicket gate".  Go through and follow the drive and the signs to the Church.  But stop at the bridge over the River Meon, to admire the grounds which are said to have been landscaped by "Capability" Brown in about 1760.  This work was done for the owner of an Elizabethan manor which was sited on the plateau to the left; it was knocked down in about 1955.

(The Church of Our Lady of Warnford was founded by St Wilfrid in 682; a few  Saxon stones were included in its rebuilding, and a Norman tower was added.  A leaflet provides information.  Beyond the Church is St Johns House, which is the ruin of an early 13th century mansion.  There is only one other in England, at Oakham in Rutland)

Warnford Church to West Meon Church (2 miles; ½ hour)

Retrace your footsteps to the "George & Falcon" - you are certainly justified in paying a visit now!  Just past the 'pub car park, take the lane to the left; cross the bridge over the River Meon, and turn right in to Lippen Lane.  Continue along this lane, passing the village play-ground and several houses; follow round to the right and pass a lovely thatched house ("Longthatch").

After about 300 yards, look out on the right for a Footpath sign which takes you up a bank and over a stile.  This path goes through two fields, with lovely views of the Meon Valley, and over a couple of stiles.  Continue eastwards towards West Meon Church.  The path drops down into a modern housing development of old farm buildings.

Continue virtually straight on (Footpath finger) up a narrow path beside a high wooden fence.  Climb over a stone "stile" into the Churchyard and so to the Church. 

(Almost straight in front is the large rectangular tomb of Thomas Lord, who founded Lords Cricket Ground and who died in the village.  Turn left towards the South door of the Church of St John which was rebuilt in 1846, to replace a medieval church.  It was one of the first commissions for the young Giles Gilbert Scott.  There is a leaflet. West Meon and Warnford form a joint benefice)

Total for Section 5 : 5 miles in about 2 hrs.

Refreshment can be obtained down in the village where there are two pubs: The "Red Lion" beside the A32 and The "Thomas Lord" in the High Street, where there are a PO and a stores.

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