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The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood

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The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 13 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Spotted Cow and Bourne Woodstar1 The Spotted Cow and Bourne Woodstar1 The Spotted Cow and Bourne Woodstar1 The Spotted Cow and Bourne Woodstar1 The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood
Surrey, Farnham
Walk Type: Woodland
The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood boot The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood
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0001_sunny The Spotted Cow and Bourne WoodToday's weather
13 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 9 mph SSW
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A 4 mile circular pub walk from the Spotted Cow in Lower Bourne, a wonderful rural pub with great ales and wines, a varied menu and which welcomes dogs and children. The walk heads out through narrow wooded lanes to reach Bourne Wood, before passing through the woodland to reach the Rural Life Centre and then returning through the heath, forest and quiet village lanes.

The walk has several climbs and descents throughout and most of the paths are unmade so can be uneven and quite muddy in winter and after periods of rain. There are no stiles and just a few gates. Some sections of the woodland and heath are grazed for conservation by rare breed cattle so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

The walk starts from The Spotted Cow pub on Bourne Grove in Lower Bourne. The pub has a large car park which walkers are welcome to use as long as they are using the pub for refreshments before or after their walk. From Farnham take the A31 then turn left into Tilford Road past Farnham Station. Go straight ahead at the traffic lights (with Great Austins to the right) and then Bourne Grove is the third right (a sharp right turn signed to the Spotted Cow). Approximate post code GU10 3QT.

If you don’t wish to visit the pub, you can alter the route to begin and end at the small Bourne Wood Forestry Commission car park which is further along the Tilford Road, next to Waypoint 2 – Forest Access Lane.

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Walk Sections

Spotted Cow to Dene Lane
Spotted Cow to Dene Lane

Start point: 51.2012 lat, -0.7813 long
End point: 51.1951 lat, -0.7807 long

From the pub car park, go back onto Bourne Grove and turn right. Follow the wooded lane with a shallow stream running to the right. At the T-junction at the end of the road, turn left onto the dead end branch of Vicarage Hill. Follow this dirt track climbing steadily uphill. At the top you will reach a T-junction with Lodge Hill Road.

Turn right along the pavement and after just a few yards, immediately after the property called Sweet Croft, turn left along the enclosed footpath signed to Old Man’s Hill. Follow this footpath along a fairly level section and then continue ahead with care as it begins to descend steeply downhill.

At the T-junction within the path, turn left and follow the path as it swings right to join a tarmac drive. Ahead you will meet a T-junction with Dene Lane.

Dene Lane to Forest Access Lane
Dene Lane to Forest Access Lane

Start point: 51.1951 lat, -0.7807 long
End point: 51.1924 lat, -0.7717 long

Cross over Dene Lane and go straight ahead onto the public bridleway opposite, a wide forest path with shallow steps climbing uphill.

You are now entering Bourne Wood. The woodland is managed by the Forestry Commission and some areas of it have been purchased by the RSPB to restore as heathland for species such as the nightjar, Dartford warbler, woodlark and tree pipit. Since 2000, Bourne Wood has been used frequently as a filming location for movies including Gladiator, The Golden Compass, several Harry Potter films and War Horse.

At the top of the steps you will meet a junction of paths, go straight ahead on the sandy public bridleway. At the next junction of paths, take the second left, ignoring the first left which is a narrower grass track.

After a little distance you will meet a T-junction with a main forest track. Turn right and follow the track heading downhill and then swinging to the right. You will come to a crossroads with the tarmac access lane for the forest. If you glance to the left, you will see the small roadside car park for use by forest visitors.

Forest Access Lane to Rural Life Centre
Forest Access Lane to Rural Life Centre

Start point: 51.1924 lat, -0.7717 long
End point: 51.1822 lat, -0.7724 long

Go straight ahead and at the next cross roads (with a wooden sign post) go straight ahead. Immediately afterwards keep straight ahead again over a forest track and fire break, passing by the marker post with blue arrows. A few paces later at the minor junction go ahead again and follow this path as it swings to the right.

As you begin to climb you will reach a gate ahead of you. Pass through the gate and note that this area is sometimes grazed by cattle for conservation so take care with dogs. Continue ahead and over the brow of the hill and you will then reach a junction with a wide sandy track.

Turn right and follow the track with open heathland over to the left. At the crossroads, just after a bench and fire beaters rack, turn left heading gradually downhill. Look out for a minor crossroads, marked with a small wooden post. Turn right here passing a small oak tree and bench. Pass through a kissing gate further along and turn left onto the wide fenced track. At the end of the track fork right down the narrow path to reach the main road.

Turn right along the grass verge taking care of oncoming traffic. After just around 100 yards you will come to the entrance of the Rural Life Centre on the right.

Rural Life Centre to Corner of Deer Fence
Rural Life Centre to Corner of Deer Fence

Start point: 51.1822 lat, -0.7724 long
End point: 51.1872 lat, -0.7791 long

The centre is open 10 to 5pm Wed to Sun and Bank Holidays from mid March to the end of October, and Wed and Sun only in the winter. There is a cafe open to everyone and/or you can pay an entrance fee to explore the museum itself.

Turn right into the entrance and then immediately turn left into the gravel car park. With a wide metal gate ahead swing right into the grassy area of the overflow car park. On the right you will see the Reeds Road Station of the steam train that runs through the museum grounds.

At the top of the car park go straight ahead through the wooden gate onto the bordered woodland footpath. As you reach the fenceline ahead, turn left for a few paces and then turn right through a gate to re-enter the grazed heathland. Go straight on, on the narrow path winding uphill through the heath. When you reach a T-junction with a bench ahead, turn left onto the level sandy path.

Pass through a gate at the end and turn right climbing steadily on the wide fenced path. At the junction, go straight ahead on the narrow path and then swing right to join the path coming in from the left marked with blue arrows. Follow this path and soon you will be walking immediately alongside a tall wire deer fence on the left. Continue until you reach the corner of this fence.

Corner of Deer Fence to St Martins Church
Corner of Deer Fence to St Martins Church

Start point: 51.1872 lat, -0.7791 long
End point: 51.1958 lat, -0.7869 long

Turn left at the fence corner, to join the wide sandy track climbing steeply uphill with the deer fence running still to the left. As you reach the brow of the hill continue straight ahead on the wide level path with the tall fence still to the left.

As a very wide stone track comes in from the right, keep straight on onto the narrower woodland path ahead. Follow this path gradually downhill and ignore the first path off to the left marked with a wooden signpost. As the path begins to swing right, fork left through a cutting in the bank marked with a yellow arrow.

Follow this path quite steeply downhill taking care of the uneven tree roots. At the bottom of the slope keep ahead through a wider path section with wire fences visible left and right. Keep straight ahead as the path narrows to wind downhill through another stretch of woodland. Cross over the brick bridge across the narrow stream to reach Dene Lane.

Turn left onto Dene Lane and a few paces later keep ahead, ignoring Dene Lane West off to the left. Follow the lane passing between properties and continue with a cricket green to the left. About half way along the green, look out on the right for the Church of St Martin.

St Martins Church to Spotted Cow
St Martins Church to Spotted Cow

Start point: 51.1958 lat, -0.7869 long
End point: 51.2006 lat, -0.7825 long

Turn right into the footpath immediately before the church and signed to Lodge Hill Close. As you emerge out to a stone lane with properties opposite, turn left and follow the lane to reach the junction with the main road. Cross over the road and take the lane opposite called School Lane.

Keep right at the fork, onto the unmade surface branch of the lane. As the main lane begins to swings left, take the right fork signed to The Switchback and passing concrete bollards. Follow this woodland path ignoring any smaller paths off to the left across the stream.

The path emerges out to the junction with Bourne Grove that you passed by earlier. Go straight ahead into Bourne Grove. Follow the lane back to reach the Spotted Cow pub on the left, for some well-earned hospitality.

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Check out these resources for your walk

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network The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood Original GPX source file

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


5 responses to "The Spotted Cow and Bourne Wood"

Wonderful woodland walk with plenty of wide open spaces to enjoy. Great lunch and you may get to meet the gorgeous pub dog called Goffey! Really recommend this one.

By clairesharpu on 2012-10-14 17:09:16

Lovely walk, great for adults and children. The instructions were really clear.

By milnehomefam on 2014-01-18 15:28:34

Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!

By Fazak on 2014-05-23 19:14:40

I use a Tramper all terrain mobility scooter and we managed to do this walk, with a couple of amendments. Firstly, we started the walk at the car park mentioned at point 3 on the app. You turn left after you go through the barrier at the end of the car park and rejoin the walk at the crossroads. The kissing gate mentioned in that section has now been replaced by a wide open and shut gate.

In section 5 on the app, you follow the walk until you meet the "very wide stone track coming in from the right" Instead of ignoring this, you actually turn right onto the track and just follow it when it becomes a tarmac track and it leads you back to the car park.

Really enjoyed this walk with its varied scenery. The pub is really nice too.

By Jules19 on 2014-06-09 17:29:37

Great walk - although we did it on a very hot morning (Lunch at The Spotted Cow was a bonus, though). I was concerned that it would be difficult to follow the route, as working it out on the Ordnance Survey proved difficult at first (I subscribe to the OS service and draw detailed maps for walks before venturing forth). However, it was a doddle to follow.

By RonFleet on 2016-09-15 11:18:40

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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