Planning a Clarendon Way walk

Last updated 24 August 2017

Clarendon Way

At 26 miles the Clarendon Way is the perfect size to do in a weekend, especially if you’re based in the south or south east of England. Running between the cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester, it takes you across a variety of countryside, from woodland to down-land, and gives you historical buildings to view too.

Going along good paths and with shorter distances, it’s an ideal walk for autumn or spring when the nights are drawing in, however it also has links with other long distance routes meaning it can be part of a longer trip.

In this guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The Route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Extending your walk
  5. Accommodation
  6. Getting to/from the Clarendon Way
  7. Guide Books and Maps
  8. And finally, and any questions

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What is the walk like?

Old and new Clarendon Way logos on an old fence post

With a cathedral city at each end, the Clarendon Way starts and ends in style. In-between you’ll find a mixture of farmland, woodland and downsland walking as well as the odd site of historical interest. You’re never too far from a small village, and there’s plenty of churches too.

As the walk approaches Winchester you will find yourself walking through a plethora of suburban streets, although there is the chance to see some of the interesting sites of the city.

The route is never difficult – it’s pretty flat and the paths are of a pretty good quality. It’s well waymarked and hard to get lost most of the time, however there are occassions when you will need to be able to read a map in order to find your way.

You can read about my own journey in the Clarendon Way section, or watch our video about the walk:

The Route

The Clarendon Way goes between Salisbury and Winchester, and you can see the route using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

You can also download the GPX file of the route.

Planning an Itinerary

Tree near Houghton

Due to its short length there aren’t many decisions to be made with the Clarendon Way. Basically it will take you two days (unless you’re a speed demon!) There aren’t that many places to stop overnight and you’re only decision is which city to start in, and there’s no right or wrong answer on that one.

Accommodation can be found in two different villages so two options are shown below. The itinerary is shown running west to east, however is easily reversed. Locations with a railway station are marked with a *.

2 Day Itinerary (Option 1)
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
Option 1
1 Salisbury * Houghton 14½ 24 [1]
2 Houghton Winchester * 12½ 18
Option 2
1 Salisbury * Broughton 12 19
2 Broughton Winchester * 14 21
  1. Alternative accommodation can be found in Broughton, two miles before Houghton. You can also stay in Stockbridge, 1½ miles north of the trail. To get there just The easiest way is simply to follow the Test Way north from the Clarendon Way.

With simple navigation and good paths, the Clarendon Way is a great walk to do all year round.

Extending your walk

Autumn leaves

There are a couple of options for extending your walk.

The South Downs Way runs for 99 miles between Winchester and Eastbourne, however it is very easy to chunk up in to two day sections. See Planning a trip to walk the South Downs Way for more information. Not surprisingly, the Clarendon Way shares a lot of similarities with the South Downs Way, so they’re a good fit.

Alternatively, the St Swithuns Way connects Winchester with Farnham. At Farnham this then connects with the North Downs Way which runs to Dover. The combination of these two routes with the Clarendon Way effectively provide a safe, modern and road-free version of the Pilgrims Way.

Accommodation

The White Hart, Stockbridge, Hampshire

Not being a very well known route, there’s no dedicated accommodation guide for the Clarendon Way, however accommodation can be found relatively easily. The main places where you’re likely to want to stay are listed below, along with information on how to find accommodation. All have facilities like shops and pubs.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and there may be other alternatives nearby.

Hostels and Bunkbarns

Since the closure of YHA Salisbury in 2015, there are now no hostels or bunkbarns on the Clarendon Way.

Camping

If you’d like to walk the Clarendon Way and camp, you may want to change your mind. There are no convenient campsites on route and as the Clarendon Way passes through cultivated land and several villages, it is not particularly suitable for wild camping.

Getting to/from the Clarendon Way

Ladybird on rucksack

There are railway stations at both ends of the Clarendon Way and both stations are well served by trains to London and the South East. Services from Winchester also run direct to Birmingham and Manchester. From Salisbury services run to Bristol and Cardiff.

More information and train times can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Guide Books and Maps

Giant mushrooms

There is no guide book for the Clarendon Way, however Hampshire County Council publish a leaflet on their website which covers a (very) basic overview of the walk, along with some history and information.

The route is reasonably well waymarked in most places, however not always in the most obvious way. It is especially lacking in the few miles to Winchester. Taking a map is, therefore, highly recommended. The following maps cover the Clarendon Way, and the trail is marked on them:

Note: in June 2015, OS Explorer OL32 replaced OS Explorer map 132.

And finally, and any questions

Entering the grounds of Winchester Cathedral

If you live in the south or south east of England, the Clarendon Way is a good choice for a two day walk, or maybe just as a quick, simple introduction to this long distance walking thing. The relatively short distance and good path conditions mean its especially ideal for autumn or spring walking, and maybe even for one winter.

It’s only downside is that some of the signage on the route isn’t brilliant, especially in Winchester which seems to go out of its way to be awkward for walkers (we found the South Downs Way signage in the city to be pretty bad too), but if you’ve got the maps you’ll have no trouble.

So what are you waiting for? Get those boots on and head to Salisbury or Winchester and get walking! And if you’ve any questions or would like some more information, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments box below.

We update our planning guides on a regular basis, and welcome reports of errors, clarifications and additions. If you have any, please email us using our contact form.

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Your Comments

Ingolv Urnes

5 May 2013 at 8:51 pm

Thanks for a good website. Reg the Clarendon walk, it is worth mentioning that this is a perfect one day march for serious walkers. Leave your car in Winchester and take the train to Salisbury (ca 1.5 h as is via Southampton) and walk back. Stop for lunch in King Somborn (your are then a bit more than halfway!)

Ingolv

Andrew Bowden

7 May 2013 at 9:23 am

Absolutely. Although personally I prefer a more relaxed walk!

Kerry Darker

23 October 2013 at 4:26 pm

Hey andrew,
I run the tally ho in broughton, a lot of people stop here as we are a great half way point stop on the clarendon way walk, a number of people have stopped here and then felt misslead because your website didnt mention the 2 b&b’s in the village yew tree house and fords farm, plus west view stores is open in the village. It just means that people are stopping here but then have booked accommodation outside of the village and are not happy because they could have just stayed and relaxed after their long walk rather than upping and moving on. Broughton has lots of great facilities for walkers please could you update up your great site with these: tally ho food and drink pub, west view stores, yew tree b& b fords farm b&b

Andrew Bowden

25 October 2013 at 1:41 pm

Hi Kerry. The original guide was based on research for our own walk back in 2011. At that point we could only find the one B&B in Broughton, so I’m happy to hear there are more and have updated accordingly. Broughton was our preferred stopping point for our trip, but sadly we ended heading up to Stockbridge. Glad to hear the Tally Ho is open again – it was closed when we passed by.

Jayne Lobley

4 January 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hi,
Are there any guides that show the walk from East to West? If not, would you say it is simple enough to follow normal signage and have a map at hand? I am trying to arrange a walk for charity so it would be good to be able to give written directions to other people who may wish to join in but not used to reading maps.
The charity walk will be from Reigate to Dorset (over 4 weekends), so if you have any further advice on planning a walk please let me know – any advice gratefully received!!
Thanks
Jayne

Andrew Bowden

5 January 2014 at 10:46 am

Hi Jayne – there isn’t really any guide to the route, but it’s very easy to follow from signs and maps so you should be fine.

Michelle

23 October 2014 at 12:35 pm

We often get walkers saying they did not know there was somewhere to buy a snack or a drink on their trip . On the Cross, Winchester Road, Kings Somborne, SO206NY is Cross Stores. A local family run independent convenience store that offers a varied selection of items that might appeal.

Les Ruddick

17 February 2016 at 7:29 pm

Andrew, I like the site, comprehensive with lots of useful information but simple and clear; pity I saw it after I’d done most of the planning. Accommodation halfway is a problem; I got through to one of the Places in King’s Somborne but they no longer operate, the other doesn’t seem to work either as your info states. I found a B&B in Houghton in the end.
Was disappointed to find (in mid February) that neither pub in Middle Winterslow was open at lunchtime although the Greyhound at Broughton was; I should have telephoned to check, might be useful to include contact no’s on your site(?)

Les Ruddick

17 February 2016 at 7:33 pm

Forgot to mention that the kilometrage is incorrect…. 24/26 miles isn’t equivalent to 24 km (26 miles ~ 42km)

Andrew Bowden

18 February 2016 at 10:07 pm

Thanks Les – I’ve now corrected the km distance where I’d obviously transposed the 2 and the 4! It looks like Kings Somborne is no longer an option so I’ve removed that, but as it happens I have heard there’s now a B&B in nearby Houghton, giving another option.

Paul Mullins

19 March 2016 at 7:34 pm

Dear Andrew,
Many thanks for your great video, most enjoyable.
I am planning to do this at the end of May 2016, thinking of taking a train from Winchester first thing and walk back in a day, which has 12 hours of sunlight.
Do you think that is reasonable?
Do you have any recommendations as to which map to buy as a guide?
Best wishes,
Paul

Andrew Bowden

20 March 2016 at 5:11 pm

Paul – If you’ve the stamina and fitness levels to walk 26 miles in one day, then it is possible. Bit too much for most people though!

Luanne

22 March 2016 at 6:40 am

Thank you Andrew for all this great information!

R & S Broadway

1 April 2016 at 1:39 pm

We did this walk from Salisbury over 2 days over the Easter weekend and really enjoyed it, though we cut it a bit short at the Winchester end, as we live on the edge of the city anyway.
The signage isn’t brilliant on the Wiltshire side; we took a couple of unnecessary detours around the Winterslows. Better on the Hampshire side until you get to Crab Wood, where it disappears for a while and then. confusingly points you back the way you came…….
We can thoroughly recommend Yew Tree House in Broughton for an overnight stop.

Allison

10 April 2016 at 12:08 pm

My sister and I walked this in a day yesterday. The path markers kind of disappeared at West Winterslow church meaning we took a long circular detour here. Top tip go alongside the church then diagonally across the field to the gate which will put you back on track.
I would agree that this is better split over two days, although my sister and I used it as a training walk for a 100k charity challenge. It was quite tough going especially in the mud at times.
We stopped at the Tally ho in Broughton for lunch and had the most amazing cheese and pickle sandwiches.
Overall we had a great time and would recommend this walk to anyone.

Hester Lyons

7 June 2016 at 7:29 am

Hi, we walked this on Sunday as a fundraiser for the Naomi House Hospice and found that it was in fact 27.4 miles from cathedral to cathedral – measured on three separate devices! This is something to bear in mind if planning to do it in one day as we certainly felt it. Beautiful walk though and with it being an organised event we had no issues with the signage, but people that had walked it on their own still said they’d had the same ‘disappearing signs’ problems.

Lovely site :-).

James

30 July 2016 at 8:07 am

We have just completed this excellent walk from Winchester to Salisbury in two days, breaking at Houghton. The leg from Houghton to Salisbury makes an easy day’s walk of some 14 miles, but we agree with earlier posts that signage is poor in places…a lot worse than the first half. We can recommend The Silver Plough at Pitton as a very good lunch stop…but don’t leave it too late as it gets very busy, even on a weekday.

David Winson

14 September 2016 at 6:08 am

Good Day fellow Hikers

Reading the feedback and seems a lot of people are taking a detour or two due to the lack of signage on the Trail. Have the signs been updated recently on the Trail?

Hope to be walking the Trail at the end October with our Scout Group as part of the 1st Class Hike and can anyone tell me whether the lack of trail signs have been reported to the Rights of Way Team at Hampshire County Council at rightsofway@hants.co.uk or not?

Shelly

20 February 2017 at 11:27 pm

Hi, my friend and I are doing the Clarendon Way walk in June but want to do it in reverse I.e. Starting in Winchester and ending in Salisbury. Do you know if the signs are clear both ways? Also, we think we will walk to Broughton on day 1 and wondered if there are any recommendations for accommodation roughly half way and not too far rom the pub or eatery?

Rupert Broadway

21 February 2017 at 9:33 pm

We’d recommend the Yew Tree at Broughton for your overnight stay. Very comfortable and just over the road from the pub. It’s a lovely walk – good luck.

Philip and Janet Mutton

22 May 2017 at 6:19 pm

Hi, My wife and I run Yew Tree House in Broughton and have done so for many years welcoming hundreds of walkers. We are the only B&B left in Broughton now, more or less half way along the walk. The Mill Arms is miles off the route in Dunbridge and Yew Tree Barns is in Houghton.
There are now two food options in Broughton, the Tally Ho offering good pub food and The Greyhound which is a Thai restaurant as well as being open all day for drinking

Mandy Price

5 August 2017 at 7:59 am

Are there any pubs to stop for lunch midway on either or both days? We’re staying overnight in Broughton.

Andrew Bowden

7 August 2017 at 12:46 pm

Mandy – there are a couple of pubs between Winchester and Broughton. But not much on the section to Winchester that I remember.

Bill Hodgkiss

15 August 2017 at 9:46 am

Have done this walk several times, in both directions, it being very accessible from London train stations. A return ticket to Salisbury seems to be acceptable at Wincehester! I agree with the figure above of 27.4 miles, having measured: Salisbury 8.0m. M. Winterton 4.2m. Boughton 4.1m. Kings Sombourne 11.1m. Winchester. It is also about 2 miles detour to Stockbridge up the Test Way for accommodation if required.
Going is easy with firm surfaces and only the occasional muddy bit in wet weather.
Signage is pretty good either direction. Having completed Winchester to Salisbury at the weekend, I took a wrong turn once, west of Broughton at a fork by a reservoir (underground?) where there was no sign.
The best way? Possibly from east to west as the part in Winchester suburbia is a bit tedious so that gets done first.

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