Queen Elizabeth Country Park to Finchdean
The Staunton Way can be started at its northern tip in Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This is the largest of Hampshire’s parks and sits at the foot of Butser Hill, the highest point of the chalky South Downs. Starting at the Visitor Centre, the Way enters the quiet calm of the woodland where there is the site of a Roman farmstead, designated in 2002 as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Continue along Newbarn Hanger (a steep-sided, wooded hill) and out into the open space of the Downs. Gently descend south to the village of Chalton which has been occupied as far back as the Iron Age. From here you can cross over to the eastern side of the Way. A short walk off-route west from the village brings you to Butser Ancient Farm, an experimental archaeology project and to Windmill Hill.
The path then climbs up to a tumulus (an Iron Age burial mound) at the top of Chalton Down. Walk along the ridge at Idsworth Down, where there are nine Bronze Age burial mounds, and down to the tiny village of Finchdean. From here you can cross over to the eastern side of the Way.
Distances 5 miles (8km), 2-3 hours
Petersfield Tourist Information Centre, tel 01730 268829
Queen Elizabeth Country Park Café, tel 023 9259 6345
The Red Lion, Chalton, tel 023 9259 2246
The George, Finchdean, tel 023 9241 2257