Meon Valley Railway Line
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Meon Valley Railway. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2016.|
|Meon Valley Railway Line (trail)|
|Length||17.5 km (10.9 mi)|
|Use||Walking, cycling, horse riding|
The trail follows part of the bed of the former Meon Valley Railway (Alton to Fareham), which closed in 1968. It ends at West Meon due to removal of the former viaduct across the Meon Valley, and the presence of tunnels further north.
The trail is now open again following extensive vegetation clearance and resurfacing. It is a level route with picturesque views over the nearby towns, villages and countryside.
There are free car parks at West Meon (off Station Road) and at Wickham (also off Station Road). There are also pay car parks in West Walk (part of the Forest of Bere).
The northern section emerges from the cutting south of West Meon onto an embankment which gives views of Old Winchester Hill to the east and Beacon Hill to the west. A few former bridges on the route have been dismantled, necessitating descent to cross minor roads. There is access at several points along the route including Meonstoke which has a pub and shop. The current temporary South Downs Way route crosses the trail to the east of Exton with an access point. The Monarch's Way crosses the trail east of Warnford by a high bridge, but the trail can be joined by a path which descends the side of the cutting north of the bridge. The route from West Meon to Wickham is 14.5 km (9 mi); the further 3 kilometre section south-west of Wickham is a dead end.
Various circular routes are possible, for example using the trail from West Meon to Meonstoke, taking the South Downs Way via Corhampton and Beacon Hill, and Monarch's way to Warnford, returning by local footpaths.
The A32 main road follows a similar route to the trail.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Meon Valley Railway Trail.|
- Rural rides The Meon Valley Railway
- Photo of a disused railway bridge on Meon Valley trail at Garden Hill Lane