Walking the Western Weald

Where is the Western Weald?

The Western Weald & Downlands, centred on Petersfield, Hampshire, is just one hour from London, yet few know of its beauty & diversity of landscape.

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, where dramatic chalk scarp meets patchwork weald, heavily wooded sandstone ridges and colourful open heaths, Petersfield, and its surrounding area, is the ideal location for a walking adventure with Rural Strides.

Western weald Rural Strides Image by Rachel Hudson Illustration

Where is the Western Weald?

The Western Weald & Downlands, centred on Petersfield, Hampshire, is just one hour from London, yet few know of its beauty & diversity of landscape.

Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, where dramatic chalk scarp meets patchwork weald, heavily wooded sandstone ridges and colourful open heaths, Petersfield, and its surrounding area, is the ideal location for a walking adventure with Rural Strides.

Image by Rachel Husdon Illustration

Back in the 1820s, journalist and political reformer William Cobbett rode through this area for the first time, enroute to Headley in Surrey. In his book, Rural Rides, he wrote of his journey through the Hampshire Hangers:

“… out we came, all in a moment, at the very edge of the hanger! And never, in all my life, was I so surprised and so delighted! I pulled up my horse, and sat and looked; and it was like looking from the top of a castle down into the sea….Thus ended the most interesting day, as far as I know, that I ever passed in all my life. Hawkley hangers, promontories, and stone-roads will always come into my mind when I see, or hear of, picturesque views.”

Sitting atop Wheatham Hill (the site of Cobbett’s Viewpoint) one beautiful summer’s evening during lockdown 2020, surveying Hawkley ahead and Selbourne in the distance, it was difficult to find fault with this description. A stroll or ride in this part of the world is the perfect tonic for body and mind.

Western weald Rural Strides Image by Rachel Husdon Illustration

Whether you are a walker or wanderer, I warrant that a visit to the Western Weald will be worthwhile!

Walk with us

With both private and scheduled walks, as well as outdoor courses, Rural Strides has a Western Weald journey to suit everyone. Seek inspiration from our blog posts, choose a planned event below, or request a private guided walk….the choice is yours.

Western Weald Rural Strides
Western weald Rural Strides Sheep
Western weald Rural Strides lane
Western weald Rural Strides field
Western weald Rural Strides sunset view
Vineyard Rural Strides

See our great reviews