The trail follows part of the bed of the former Meon Valley Railway (Alton to Fareham), which closed in 1968. It ends at West Meon due to removal of the former viaduct across the Meon Valley, and the presence of tunnels further north.
The route is level but can be muddy in places. The northern section emerges from the cutting south of West Meon onto an embankment which gives views of Old Winchester Hill to the east and Beacon Hill to the west. A few former bridges on the route have been dismantled, necessitating descent to cross minor roads. There is access at several points along the route including Meonstoke which has a pub and shop. The current temporary South Downs Way route crosses the trail to the east of Exton with an access point. Ironically the bridge by which the Monarch's Way crosses the trail east of Warnford is intact with no access, but the trail can be joined by a short diversion along the South Downs Way.
Various circular routes are possible, for example using the trail from West Meon to Meonstoke, taking the South Downs Way via Corhampton and Beacon Hill, and Monarch's way to Warnford, returning by local footpaths.
The A32 main road follows a similar route to the trail.
UK Activities: Leaves on the Line ; the Steam Train That Once Took Watercress to Market Is Now a Tourist Attraction
May 01, 2005; We are standing on the lovingly restored platform of Alresford station in Hampshire, six miles from Winchester. A 1940s steam...