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Writers' Way

21 km / 13 miles

The Writers' Way is a 13 mile trail linking Alton to surrounding villages through some beautiful countryside. It uses a mixture of paths and rural lanes and is open to walkers, cyclists and, where possible, horse-riders. Several famous authors were closely connected to the countryside here, hence the route's name. The novelist Jane Austen lived at Chawton and was very familiar with the surrounding countryside, taking regular walks with her family and friends. The Austen's beautifully-decorated house, museum and cottage gardens are well worth a visit. Gilbert White lived in Selborne and was curate of nearby Farringdon; his detailed wildlife observations and fascination with nature, conveyed in his hugely influential book, 'The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne', transformed the way we think about the natural world today. William Cobbett was born in nearby Farnham to a farming family; self-educated, he campaigned for better living conditions for rural families and as research he undertook long rides on horseback through the countryside. He describes much of the area in his book 'Rural Rides' and was inspired to visit Selborne after being given a copy of Gilbert White's book.


Path Type
Other Paths
Average Gradients; Literary
SU708375 - Chawton, Hampshire
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SU679349 - Four Marks, Hampshire
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Publications, Badges and Certificates:

External PDF
Writers Way (Hampshire County Council - 2017)


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
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Route Profile:

21.2 Km (13.2 miles)
393 m (1,289 ft) ascent
214 m (702 ft)  maximum height