The Clarendon Way is a fairly easy 42.8 kilometre walk between the great cathedrals of Winchester and Salisbury. The path is generally quite well waymarked aside from one short stretch on the outskirts of Winchester. The Hampshire Country Council publishes a small leaflet about the path and it is also marked on Ordnance Survey sheets 130, 131 and 132, though I rarely felt the need to refer to these. The leaflet describes the route starting from Salisbury, but I chose to walk the path in the opposite direction, treating it as a continuation of the South Downs Way, which I had completed in Winchester the previous Easter.
The only real difficulty on this walk is transport; the two cities are on different railway lines from London and there is no longer a direct bus service between them. I presume the withdrawal of the direct bus service is at least partly due to the fact that the two cities are on opposite sides of the county border between Hampshire and Wiltshire, which crosses the Clarendon Way about two-thirds of way to Salisbury. There are bus services from Winchester out to the villages on the Hampshire side of the border and from Salisbury to the villages on the Wiltshire side of the border.
For those using public transport, the lack of a direct link between the start and the end of the walk leaves three choices: walk the whole route in one go, walk it in three shortish stages, or walk it in one long and one short stage. While the first option is probably just within my capabilities, it really wouldn't leave any time to stop along the way or to indulge my habit of taking lots of photos, so I chose the latter option, making this a one-and-a-half day walk.
Despite that minor difficulty, this is a very enjoyable walk with plenty to see along the way.
|Stage||Start and Finish||Date||Distance|
|1||Winchester to Middle Winterslow||21 Sep 2012||31.4km|
|2||Middle Winterslow to Salisbury||22 Sep 2012||11.4km|