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St Catherine's Hill

Home > Winchester > Escape the City | Free | Lookouts | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Thomas Sylva (subscribe)
International travel enthusiast and expat from New Zealand, currently living in Germany.
Published March 11th 2017
Fantastic views of Historic Winchester
In the South of Winchester, next to the Itchen river, is a rather cute little chalk bump called St Catherine's Hill overlooking the city and surrounding areas. It takes roughly half an hour to walk to the bottom of the mound from the city centre through the picturesque water-meadows or along the historical Kingsgate Street, with an optional and completely worthwhile stop at the Queen Inn for some local ale.

The hill is not a long climb but can be quite tiring none the less. There are multiple routes up from the bottom, but the easiest is if you follow the river along from the main car park until you reach a wooden gate leading to a staircase on your left.

From the top, you will be looking over all the southern suburbs of Winchester and out towards the city centre and beyond. You can see very clearly all of Stanmore Hill and the prison at the top. On the other side of the hill, you can look out over the M3 towards Southampton and back towards the valley. There are some excellent places to set up a picnic blanket while you enjoy the scenery.

There is a small patch of forest on the top of the hill which sometimes contains rope swings. There's also a labyrinth to explore which is perfect for entertaining the kids for twenty minutes. There are also heaps of fantastic spots for photography and good photo opportunities.

From the base of the hill, there are a plethora of different walks through the grounds surrounding the Itchen, towards and away from the city centre. You can even follow the river all the way along until you reach Shawford (where there is an excellent pub called The Bridge with a beer garden by the river) and beyond if you feel like a slightly longer hike. There are also bike trails for those who prefer to cycle.

This is a perfect sunny Sunday afternoon activity to remove yourself from the city, immerse yourself in nature, and appreciate some fantastic views of historic little Winchester.
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Why? Gentle hiking, fantastic views, nature close to the city
When: Always
Where: Winchester
Cost: Free!
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