Footsteps of the Naturalists
Follow in the footsteps of Gilbert White, pioneering British naturalist. His classic book, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, noting his observations on the plants, birds and animals of the area, was first published in 1789 and is still in print.
A figure of eight Gilbert White Literary Walk takes you past the sights and landscapes in and around Selborne that inspired White’s life-long investigation of the natural world.
The first circuit follows the valley and is on a level, taking you through Selborne’s history, including the churchyard where Gilbert White is buried.
The second circuit is up the zig zag and along the Selborne Hanger where you can admire stunning views over the valley. Look out for the sarsen, or wishing stone, on top of the zig-zag which was placed there by Gilbert White.
Each circuit starts at the public car park behind the Selborne Arms, so you can stop off for a refreshing pint. Sample one of the several local ales featured on the bar or fill up from a menu of delicious homemade and locally-sourced food before continuing your walk.
Afterwards, follow the brown signs and visit Gilberts White’s House where all the family will find plenty to see and explore. An extension to the house hosts The Oates Collection, devoted to two members of the Oates Family – Frank Oates, Victorian explorer and naturalist, and Captain Lawrence Oates who accompanied Scott to the South Pole.
|Distance||First circuit 2.5 miles, second circuit 3.5 mile|
|Duration||A half-day walk and afternoon visit to Gilbert White’s House & The Oates Collection|
|Grade||FAIR first circuit, ENERGETIC second circuit|
|Directions – Bus||Stagecoach 37x and 38 at Stop R outside Petersfield railway station takes under 40 minutes to the Selborne Arms.|
|Directions – Walk||10 miles walk along the Hangers Way from Petersfield railway station to Selborne village.
The Hangers Way is a 21-mile long-distance walking route that runs from Alton Station, along a -series of steep-sided wooded hills known as The Hangers, through pretty Petersfield to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
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Follow the footsteps of the naturalist and author of Nature in Downland and Hampshire Days in the W. H. Hudson Literary Walk.
EXTEND YOUR VISIT
Spend a day in the pretty market town of Petersfield and explore the Heath with its many burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age.
Follow the Hangers Way south from Petersfield to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Ascend Butser Hill and drink in the panoramic view at the highest point of the South Downs.