Winchester River Walk
A lovely circular walk along the River Itchen and Itchen Navigation in Winchester. The route uses a section of the Itchen Way to take you along the Itchen Navigation before crossing St Cross Bridge and picking up the Clarendon Way to take you back into the city along the River Itchen.
The walk starts at the cathedral in the city centre and heads east to pick up the riverside path. You then head south past Wharf Bridge and Tun Bridge before coming to St Catherine's Hill. You can take a short detour from the route by climbing the hill for great views over the South Downs, the city and the river below.
Just after passing the hill you come to St Cross Bridge where you cross the water. Here there's views of the disused Hockley Railway Viaduct which was built in the late 1880s. The newly restored viaduct was officially opened on 26 February 2013 by the World Champion cyclist Dani King.
After crossing the bridge you head along the river towards the noteworthy Hospital of St Cross. The medieval almshouse was founded between 1132 and 1136. It's a Grade I listed building and the oldest surviving charitable institution in the United Kingdom. Most of the historic buildings and surrounding grounds are open to the public at certain times. These include an inner quadrangle with a wonderful Norman church, a classic medieval hall and kitchen, a Tudor cloister and an ancient hall which serves as a tea room. This is a lovely spot for refreshments before completing the final section of the walk which takes you back into the centre of Winchester. You'll pass Winchester College and Water Meadows before returning to the cathedral.
To extend your riverside walking you can continue south along the Itchen Way to Southampton, via Eastleigh. There's also the option of climbing St Gile's Hill, just to the east of the river. There's another nice viewpoint here with a little park, an information board and fine views over the cathedral, college and castle.