Follow the River Itchen from its mouth at Woolston to its source near Hinton Ampner on this beautiful waterside walk.
You start near Woolston station near Southampton Docks and head north through Southampton to a lovely riverside park near Swaythling and the Itchen Valley Country Park. The path continues past Southampton Airport and through Eastleigh before arriving at Winchester with its impressive cathedral. Here you can take a small detour to climb the lovely St Catherine's Hill and enjoy fine views over the town below, the River Itchen and the surrounding countryside of the South Downs.
From Winchester you then turn east towards Itchen Abbas and New Alresford with the final section passing through Cheriton and finishing at National Trust owned Hinton Ampner.
Itchen Way Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Itchen Way Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Itchen Way OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Itchen Way Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
At the end of the walk in Cheriton there's the The Flower Pots for some well earned refreshments.
The attractive red brick building dates back to the 1830s when it was originally a farmhouse. They serve fine food and have a lovely large garden area to relax in.
You can find them at Brandy Mount, SO24 0QQ.
The pretty village is a pleasant place for a stroll too. There's a 13th century church some picturesque thatched cottages and the site of the Battle of Cheriton which took place as part of the English Civil War in 1544. This is located about a mile east of the village near Cheriton Wood where there's some peaceful woodland trails to enjoy.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just west of the trail in Southampton you can head west to visit the expansive Southampton Common. There's nice walking and cycling trails here with woodland and a number of pretty lakes.
At Itchen Abbas you could take a small detour from the path to visit the lovely Avington Park on the south side of the river. There's a picturesque lake, peaceful woodland and a herd of highland cattle to see here. See the circualar Itchen Abbas Walk for more details.
The Three Castles Path is coincident with the trail around Winchester. This historically themed long distance trail will take you from Windsor Castle to Winchester Castle, visiting the ruined Odiham Castle on the way.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Hampshire Walks and South Downs Walks pages.