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Queen Elizabeth Country Park

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Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Author: Claire, Published: 24 Jul 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guidestar1 Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guidestar1 Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guidestar1 Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guidestar0 Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guide
Hampshire, Petersfield
Walk Type: Woodland
Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guide boot Queen Elizabeth Country Park Walking Guide
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A 5 mile circular woodland walk through the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire. Forming part of the South Downs, the park is within the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It contains 2,000 acres of open access woodland and downland and was mostly planted in the 1930s. The park is popular with dog walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers and with dedicated routes for each, everyone has the chance to enjoy their own space in the tranquil woodland.

The walk follows a mixture of stone, grass and dirt tracks and paths through the woodland. Some of these are uneven with tree roots and some areas can be very muddy after wet weather. There is one steep but fairly short climb at the start of the walk and then long and more gentle ascents and descents throughout. There are no stiles or gates and the walk follows a waymarked route (marked with a purple footprint on a green background) making it very easy to follow. There is a cafe and toilets at the start of the walk. Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours.

The walk starts from the main pay and display car park which is next to the visitor centre and cafe within Queen Elizabeth Country Park. The park is situated between Petersfield and Horndean on the A3 and there are brown signs to direct you from the A3. Approximate post code PO8 0QE.

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Walk Sections

Start to Higher Parking Area
Start to Higher Parking Area

Start point: 50.9616 lat, -0.9777 long
End point: 50.9649 lat, -0.9752 long

The walk starts from the main car park, the first one you come to as you leave the A3. Walk to the far end of the car park heading for the visitor centre and then turn left in front of the centre to reach an information board and large wooden signpost. Go straight ahead up a few steps and continue up the steep woodland path as it curves left into the forest.

Throughout the walk the route is waymarked with signs showing a purple footprint on a green background. Keep right at the fork and follow the path climbing and zigzagging up the steep hillside. Towards the top the trail crosses over a level path and continues up a short slope and ahead onto a less well-defined woodland path. You will emerge out into another, higher, parking area.

Higher Parking Area to Merged Tracks
Higher Parking Area to Merged Tracks

Start point: 50.9649 lat, -0.9752 long
End point: 50.9691 lat, -0.9623 long

Cross straight over the parking area and follow the waymark on the opposite side onto the level stone path which heads out with the play area to the left and the wooden building to the right.

Follow this fairly straight stone path for some distance passing a number of named picnic grass clearings on the left hand side. Eventually the trail will begin to descend downhill though a section with arches of trees above and will then swing right.

Continue to follow the path for another long straight section as it heads gradually downhill. Another major track will then merge in from the left.

Merged Tracks to Crossroads
Merged Tracks to Crossroads

Start point: 50.9691 lat, -0.9623 long
End point: 50.9589 lat, -0.9623 long

Continue straight ahead on the main track still heading downhill. At the fork keep left, on the path marked as the section of the South Downs Way for horses (do not follow the walkers’ arrow to the right). A few paces later you’ll see the next purple footprint confirming you are on the correct path.

Continue straight ahead on the main level track ignoring the smaller paths heading into the woodland each side. After a little distance you will reach a section with the woods to the left sloping steeply down into the valley below. You will emerge at a major crossroads in the track.

Crossroads to View Point
Crossroads to View Point

Start point: 50.9589 lat, -0.9623 long
End point: 50.9526 lat, -0.9569 long

Go straight on, following the track still heading steadily downhill. This section is part of Hampshire County Council’s Staunton Way long distance path.

Continue on the main path, ignoring the right hand turn into the woods where Staunton Way leaves this route. Follow the main path as it swings steadily right and you will reach a section with fenced pastures to the left and a bench on the right – an ideal point to enjoy the views.

View Point to Pine Woodland
View Point to Pine Woodland

Start point: 50.9526 lat, -0.9569 long
End point: 50.9545 lat, -0.9745 long

Take a moment here to enjoy the views across the beautiful surrounding hills – look for the windmill on the hill across to the right. When you’re ready to move on continue straight ahead on the main path, ignoring the footpath going over the stile to the left.

A little distance later, turn right onto the stone path into the woods (marked with the purple footprint). At the next crossroads turn left and follow the long straight path with towering beech trees each side.

At the next major junction turn left and then continue straight on at the next crossroads. Follow this path as it winds through the section on old woodland and soon you’ll pass through a beautiful collection of oak trees. The path will emerge at a crossroads with a wide grass track.

Pine Woodland to End
Pine Woodland to End

Start point: 50.9545 lat, -0.9745 long
End point: 50.9592 lat, -0.9778 long

Go straight ahead onto the narrow path winding through the pine section of woodland. Follow the path under the canopy of trees and continue as the path swings left and then right. You will pass through a section of pine trees with feathery leaves and red trunks – a species of redwood.

Continue on the path winding through the trees and heading steadily downhill. The path emerges out into the open onto a wide stone track. Turn right onto the track and follow this as it runs parallel to the A3 on the left.

Continue straight ahead as a track merges in from the right. Follow the track as it bends left downhill. Pass through the staggered wooden fence to reach a section of the access road. Turn left for just a few paces, and then turn right through another staggered fence to pick up the stone track once again. Follow this passing by the fenced grass parking areas to the left. Continue past the play area on the right then keep ahead to pass to the right of the visitor centre to reach the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

1 comments for "Queen Elizabeth Country Park"

A really lovely walk, just a little note that the way mark signs are actually a purple footprint on a green background rather than a red footprint. We got a little confused to start with so thought it might be useful for others to know :)

ADMIN RESPONSE: Hi Becky, thank you for letting us know. I have spoken to QE Country Park and they confirmed that you are quite right, the red footprint waymark signs have recently been replaced with purple ones. We have updated the walk so that future walker have the latest facts.

By becky64 on 28 Feb 2016

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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