This walk takes in some of the finest scenery in Hampshire and one of its more famous villages, Selborne. Park in the centre of Hawkley, where there is plenty of parking and overlooked by the church with its unusual tower.
||14.5 km (approx 9 miles)
||approx 4½ hrs.
||Explorer 133 – Haslemere & Petersfield
||Adjacent to the village green (SU 745292)
||Pub at Selborne (SU 742335)
View the route in OS Openspace: Hawkley & Selborne (opens in a new bowser window) or Hawkley & Selborne (opens in an image window)
All images taken in 1999 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.
Leave the green by the road to the southwest signposted to Oakshott. Within a few steps pick a bridleway (Hangers Way) and head towards the trees and the hills. At the junction with another bridleway, turn right and follow the bridleway through the lovely wooded area. As well as being particularly attractive, this is the hardest part of the walk as the path can be extremely muddy. At the time of undertaking the walk (late April 1999), several days of rain had made the path very slippery The path is sloped from left to right and follows the angle of the hill. The slippery chalk surface made for difficult walking. Trekking poles would have been very useful! Keep to the bottom of the slope ignoring a path off to left and right.
The path emerges from the woods and becomes considerably easier underfoot. After dropping down to cross a small stream, the path follows the edge of the field before emerging onto aminor road at a very picturesque pond surrounded by hanging willow trees. Turn left up the road and very soon turn right crossing two fields and another minor road before the first serious climb up through Noar Hill Hanger.
At the top of the hill, there is a junction with five other paths. However, we want the only footpath which goes off in a very general direction of north west. After a short while we are out of the woods and soon there are splendid views to the north, together with our next hill.
Cross a very minor road and continue through a small copse to another metalled road. Do not carry on down the road but turn left and immediately right and walk a few yards parallel to the road, passing bee hives, before striking out across the field to emerge opposite a bridleway (more mud!). Continue up the bridleway, gently at first, but more steeply as it enters the National Trust’s Selborne Common.
Again at the top, there is a myriad of paths, most of those to the right will take you to another highlight of the walk, a wonderful view of Selborne. We chose to ignore Church Path, but took the next path on the right , heading north east now towards Selborne. After about a mile, we reach the top of Zig Zag Path, which gives the wonderful view of Selborne. If you are very fortunate, the seat at the top of the hill (just out of view from the route on the right) will be vacant and provides a wonderful place about halfway round our route for a break for refreshments.
After a suitable pause, continue on down Zig Zag Path. At the foot of the hill is an information board, describing the history of the path and the area. Ignoring other paths, continue on towards the road, where you can turn left for the centre of the village. However, our route turns right, generally heading south.
Ignoring minor turnings into housing developments, take the first turning on the left. As the road turns sharply left after crossing a small stream, continue on and as the path emerges from a few trees, turn left at the sign and follow a hedge line towards a row of trees. At the trees, turn right, now passing an apple orchard on the left before emerging on to a minor road. At the road, turn left and carry on past Sotherington Farm. Very soon after, take the path on the right and pass through a cage door into another orchard.
Turn left and then right at a row of trees at right angles to our present direction. At the end of the trees, turn left through another cage door and drop down through a wooded area. Turn right and head down a valley towards a lake, crossing a field which gets gradually boggier the lower it gets. Skirt the lake towards the left and follow the path round to the right at the head of the lake, before climbing uphill again. Pass through a small wooded area on the edge of Outshott Hanger, and, at the stile at te top of a short climb, turn acutely to the left.
Cross straight across another minor road and pass through a small collection of buildings before striking out across a field. Cross over a track and enter a very pleasant wooded area, Le Court Hanger, before emerging onto the busy B3006. Follow this down hill and take the first turning on the right after the bend onto a minor road. A short uphill climb follows before picking up a bridleway on the left. Bear left at a stream crossing and ignore the obvious path up towards a wood. Instead bear to the left of this and keeping more towards the valley bottom.
Emerge onto a metalled road, passing through a few building. Where the road turns right, climb steeply up and bank and then follow the field edge before emerging on to a road, with a small pond on the right. Turn right and follow the road to a junction. Turn left and immediately right (small pond on the left) and all too soon you will be back at the car in Hawkley – the end of another wonderful day!