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.

Jan 282006

Distance: 16.9 km (10.4 miles)
Time: approx 5hrs
Height gained: (Not recorded)
Map: Outdoor Leisure 131- Romsey, Andover & Test Valley
Parking: Vernham Dean, adjacent to playing field (SU 344564)
Refreshments: Pub in Vernham Dean (SU 341565) at start/finish (nothing else on route)

View the route in OS Openspace:  Vernham Dean (opens in a new window)

Mar 212003

A walk taking in some of east Hampshire’s prettiest villages, with good views and generally good conditions under foot although can be muddy in places after rain. We were fortunate to walk this on a glorious spring day.

Distance: 8 miles (approx 12km)
Time: approx 2½ hrs.
Height gained: 249 m
Map: Explorer 119
Parking: Adjacent to Village Hall and Church (SU 606182)
Refreshments: Pubs – Exton (SU613208), Meonstoke (SU 612201)
and Droxford (SU 613186 and SU 606183)

View the route in OS Openspace: Droxford (opens in a new bowser window) or Droxford (opens in an image window)

From the car park, cross the A32 and walk along Hacketts lane, following the Wayfayers Way signs, heading W. Continue straight on to a path where the road turns R. Continue towards the hill ahead. At the foot of the hill, turn R and continue to follow the Wayfarers Way signs. After about 0.5km, as the path starts to descend on a more defined track, watch for a turning to the, almost hidden in the hedgerow. Take this path, leaving the Wayfarers Way, and continue climbing to cross a stile just before a minor road.

Continue across the road on to a very pleasant bridleway, heading generally W, then very soon almost S. Turn sharp R and descend heading N to a minor road. Follow the road straight ahead and a short while after the road swings L heading W, turn R to head N again to pass by a farm on the R and then a lovely house with a walled garden on the L. Continue on to enter a copse.

Continue straight across the B3035 across a field. At the time of the walk, the field had been very recently ploughed and there was no obvious path but the next marker can be seen straight ahead. Immediately after crossing the field at Bottom Copse, turn R to follow a bridleway heading east, then turn L at the farm to head N.

Cross another minor road and continue heading N into Corhampton Forest. At a T junction with another path, turn R and head E and then SE. Cross a minor road and continue straight on. The track now drops quite steeply. Just after passing a farm on the R, continue straight ahead on to a lane. Where the lane turns L, turn R on to a footpath, now heading S passing the infant River Meon and then over a stile before a wonderful old house (see photo above) just before emerging on to the busy A32. Turn R at the road, cross the road and continue heading S a short way, turning L (to head E) at a minor road signposted Meonstoke. Pass Meonstoke Church on the L (see photo above) and then a pub, climbing. At the road junction, turn R, now heading S, and continue along the minor road. Where the road turns L continue on into the entrance of a school. Pass by a school on the L and continue on a footpath.

Turn R at a minor road and climb slightly. Just after passing Meonstoke House watch for a gravel driveway on the R – the path can be seen to enter a small copse, running parallel with the minor road. At the road (B2150) turn L and then R on to Mill Lane, heading generally SW. Descend gradually to cross the delightful River Meon and then follow alongside the river, heading S, to pass by the lovely old Droxford Mill (now a private home -photo above) on the R. Continue straight across a stile until the churchyard of Droxford Church (see photos above). Turn R to enter the church yard, picking up the Wayfarers Way again. Pass through a final gate and the car should be straight in front.

A lovely walk for a warm spring day!

Apr 051999

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.

Distance: 14.5 km (approx 9 miles)
Time: approx 4½ hrs.
Height gained: 223 m
Map: Explorer 133 – Haslemere & Petersfield
Parking: Adjacent to the village green (SU 745292)
Refreshments: 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!