May 262009
 

A walk rich in historic interest and the beauties of Hampshire’s round-hilled chalkland countryside.

Distance: 14.5 km (approx 9 miles)
Time: approx 4 hrs
Height gained: 76 m
Map: Outdoor Leisure 131- Romsey, Andover & Test Valley
Parking: Public car park in Horsebridge near “John o’Gaunt” pub (SU 346303)
Refreshments: “John o’Gaunt” (SU 344304),
Offroute pubs at SU 343325 and SU 308329

View the route in OS Openspace: Horsebridge and Broughton (opens in a new window)

All images taken from the same walk in 2000 using a Nikon 950 Coolpix camera. This was then considered to be a high quality camera! I’ll update the photos with more recent ones when I get the chance. Click on an image to display a larger version and then use the navigation buttons in the bottom to move forwards and backwards.

   

Go back to the car park entrance opposite the John o’Gaunt pub and turn right onto the road and immediately look for a FP on the left. Take this path and head E as it passed along the backs of the gardens of the houses to the R. Take care when crossing the A3057 to the S of King’s Somborne. Continue through the recreation ground to a minor road. Turn L and pass the church on the L with a pub in front. Turn R on to the A3057 then then immediately L (signposted to the Cemetery) and climb up hill, now heading N and look for a path the field on the L; take this and continue parallel until a track is reach. Turn L and after around 700 m, continue on down hill. At the crossing the Test Way on the old “Spratt & Winkle” railway line (photo 1), continue straight on, now on the Clarendon Way.

Follow the Clarendon Way as it crosses several carriers of the river (photos 2 & 3). At a junction with a metalled road in Houghton, turn left and follow this past houses until reaching a wooden seat on the right. Turn right, still following the Clarendon Way.

Continue on to a track, eventually passing a copse on the left. At a junction after dropping down the hill, turn left (point 3) and continue straight on at a minor road. Cross the ford on a concrete bridge (photo 4) and at a junction with another road, cross the road and start climbing “The Hollow”. Ignore the first crossing path and continue to where the track splits into three. Take the left hand path (no obvious signpost) and follow the grass track along the field edge and shortly enter a wooded area, climbing steeper now.

Turn left on to the road. After about 200 m, turn right at a road with a cul-de-sac sign. Start to descend and where the rack bears sharp right at the bottom of the hill, go straight on, following the right-of-way sign. At the gateway, turn left.

Follow the wide grassy track, through another gateway into the farmyard. Go through this and follow the concrete track which shortly meets a road. Turn left and follow the road for about a kilometre until there is a farm drive on the left and a gravel track on the right. Turn right on to the track. Cross over the river and after a second bridge, bear left across the field towards old willow trees. Climb the stile at the old railway line and turn left. The path skirts around the old Horsebridge Station with its restored platform, signal box (photo 5) and carriages. Take the narrow track to the right at the end of the station back to the car park.