Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Walking the Old Meon Valley Line

It was a bitterly cold day on Saturday 11th February with a very strong Westerly Wind blowing along our Dog Walking Beach.

Some time ago while visiting the Village of Wickham we stood on the track base of the Old Fareham to Alton Railway Line which has now been converted into a leisure trail for walkers, Cyclists and Horse Riders.

As our son was staying with us for the weekend I suggested that we all make a visit today particularly to walk the dog.

Being Saturday Wickham was very busy preventing us from using the free carpark in the old Station Road so we parked in the town for the 3 hour limit for just £0.80p

Having walked down through the village we climbed the footsteps opposite the church of St Nicholas on the A32.

St Nicolas Church from the Railway Trail Footpath Steps

 The View South Towards Fareham

The View North Towards Alton and on to London

The Old Railway was largely single track widening to twin tracks at the stations.
It opened in June 1903 and was closed to passenger traffic in 1955.

The disused track finally was allowed to become derelict and overgrown before the Hampshire County Council decided to convert the old base to a leisure trail along the part of the track where there was a complete trail with bridges intact.

Further along the unused track toward Alton much of the track base is not useable and Bridges and Tunnels have been destroyed 

The Leisure Trail from just south of Wickham to the village of West Meon.

The Old Railway Line Diagram and Station List From Fareham through to Alton.

Ordinance Survey Map of Wickham showing the Track Line, Station Location and our starting point opposite the St. Nicolas Church

Wickham Station during its full operations with Twin Lines and Footbridge and Station Master.

Steam Train arriving on the Down Line.

Now disused by passengers one track has been lifted and platform deterioration is evident.

 The Station Building from the approach road close to finally being demolished.

 The Same Station Platforms After Years of Neglect

The Beginnings of the Footpath that becomes the Leisure Trail

There is very informative board at the beginning of the trail at Wickham

A closer look at the detail

About two miles in our direction is a old Pub called The Roebuck on the A32 road which is a good place to head for.

Our Dog Digby striding out with new scents to experience

We only walked about a mile to the north and then returned as our Daughter and Grandsons were due to arrive at home.

Son Robin leading the way as usual. He is too keen to wait for us oldies.

The bridge across the track carries a Farm Track used to transfer machines and animals so its path does not link to any formal roads.

Arriving back at Wickham the path splits where it approaches the location of the old station indicating that there may have been a Goods siding there once?

 We always try and end our walks with a nice cup of coffee so The Kings Head was a perfect place to stop. It used to be an old coaching inn in day gone by.

Being a Saturday it was very busy but fortunately the Library was empty. a perfect Coffee Shop for us to use.

Plenty of books to brows

While there this time I decided to find the Skittles Ally located on and old barn at the rear of the Hotel.

Sandwiched between the Hotel and the Skittles Alley is this small bar and Pool Table.

Coffee taken, we headed home once again, but we love Wickham so will be back for another country walk very soon


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