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St Catherine's Hill, Winchester

(55+ reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area
St. Catherine's Hill is a small but dramatic chalk hill to the south east of Winchester in Hampshire, England. Rising steeply some 67m from the water meadows of the River Itchen, the summit of the hill at 97m provides a fine view over Winchester.The hill is owned by Winchester College, and largely managed as a nature reserve by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. St. Catherine's Hill is at the westernmost extremity of the South Downs National Park, having previously been designated as part of the East Hampshire AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). In addition, much of the hill and adjoining Plague Pits dry valley is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its chalk downland flora, including 'practically the full range of downland orchids', with chalkhill blue and other butterflies.HistoryThe top of the hill is ringed by the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort, which is a scheduled ancient monument. In the centre a copse of beech trees contains the site of the 12th-century chapel of St. Catherine. There is also a mizmaze, probably cut between 1647 and 1710.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • You can get a lovely view of Winchester by going to the top of this hill. There are 333 steps, easy to manage - well worth it. There's an ancient maze at the top, not the typical sort.  more »
  • A wonderful walking area very steep to get to the top but well worth it. There are steps from the river walk did not count them as there are so many. .  more »
  • Short climb to lovely views over the valley. Just us the cows and the sheep in the winter mist. Lovely  more »
Google
  • Fantastic place to let off steam, Get them Hiking Boots on and take the kids and pets out for a nice walk
  • Great option for a sunny weekend with the family and children or to stretch your legs. Offers great views across the Itchen Navigation and Winchester. Steep Iron Age, Roman and Medieval history, not to mention a SSSI for its rich herb flora and population of butterflies. Anyone who says the steps are "hard going"... wow, it's not a mountain. Any fitness level can do it. The incline is gentle. And there's plenty of room for people to overtake. The steps are very wide, deep and are slip-proof. Unfortunately there's the background noise of the M3, which spoils the tranquility of the downland, and you can peer into the cutting as you stand on the south border of the site. Nice footpath loop from Hazeley across the Golf Course to the hill via the footbridge, across and down by the canal along the towpath, under the bridge on the B3335 towards Twyford and back to Hazeley parking.
  • Maybe the nicest place within a shory walk from Winchester. Great views!
  • Despite the M3 motorway and legions of runners, dog walkers and trainers, this place always seems to remain quite tranquil, probably because there are so many places to hide! Don't miss the Miz-Maze!
  • Excellent place to take the dog for a walk