East Meon and Butser Hill

Climbing to Duncombe Farm © Peter Facey
War memorial in East Meon © Barry Shimmon
View north from Butser Hill © Barry Shimmon

This trail is a circular walk from the Sustainability Centre to the pretty and historic village of East Meon before climbing to Butser Hill for views to Sussex, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

East Meon

East Meon is a picturesque and historic village. The 12th century All Saints church was built after the Norman Conquest. Opposite the church is the old Court House, with a medieval hall dating from the late 14th century.

Butser Hill

At 271 metres (889 ft) high this chalk hill is one of the highest points in Hampshire and the highest point on the South Downs ridge. On the flat summit there are panoramic views in all directions. The hill was used for growing wheat but now the only farming activity is sheep grazing. Butser Hill National Nature Reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The Sustainability Centre

In an idyllic setting on the South Downs ridge above East Meon, the Sustainability Centre is spread across 55 acres of woodland and natural chalk downland. The Centre aims to educate, enable and inspire people from all walks of life to make positive changes to the way they live and work. The Centre welcomes families and schools; professionals and special interest groups; walkers and cyclists on the South Downs Way; children and young people; and simply anyone with an interest in what they do.

Hampshire Cottages

Beautiful Hampshire holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county

Readers' Comments

  • Fri 20 Jul 2018, 14:35
    David Lawes

    The dog and I walked on July 17th 2018. Looking at the other comments I can say there was no mud for me! Lots of lovely views and I went after work so caught the sunset. The path was a little narrow and V shaped in parts but we were able to follow the GPX route you provided on my phones so thanks for that. Would recommend.

  • Wed 29 Mar 2017, 12:48
    Rob Stanley

    Hi Dave, it's along well defined bridleways mostly, so easy to follow. However take the map with you. Butser Hill has car parking with a ticket machine. There is a free car park in East Meon so personally I would start the walk from there. If you want to park at the Sustainability Centre you should ask at reception for permission - although I haven't heard of them ever refusing it especially if you use the Beech Cafe while you are there.

  • Tue 28 Mar 2017, 12:57

    Can you start this walk at butler hill and is it easy to follow

  • Tue 7 Mar 2017, 17:30

    I've just done this walk today, 07/03/17, with a slight detour as I missed a turn! Ended up being 9.5 miles and took 3 hours and was a really enjoyable walk. Lots of beautiful views along the way but also lots (and lots) of mud! You can park at the sustainability centre as long as they don't have an event on, just get a ticket from reception. My first proper walk to test out my hiking gear, would definitely recommend. Thanks walkandcycle for the route :-)

  • Mon 29 Feb 2016, 20:40
    Sue Kellaway

    We walked it today, 29th February 2016. It was very muddy in places, and we started from East Meon walked clockwise to Butser Hill, then along the ridge finishing on Small Down. It was wonderful, amazing views from every hill, and apart from the first mile or so where it was muddy in the valley where we assumed motorbikes had been churning it up at the weekend, it was good walking as long as you had walking boots on! Coffee in the George at East Meon at the end was well receivedtoo.

  • Sun 14 Apr 2013, 20:02
    Clive Harris

    We walked it on April 14th 2013 - very muddy in a very few parts near Butser, otherwise a terrific walk. We started off at East Meon rather than the Sustainability Centre (... to ensure that there was a pub at the end of the walk). Great views over the Solent and inland across to the Meon Valley, and an interesting walk around a large natural bowl.