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St Mary Bourne and Derrydown

There are currently 2 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

St Mary Bourne and Derrydown
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 15 Sep 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guidestar1 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guidestar1 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guidestar1 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guidestar0 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide
Hampshire, Andover
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
St Mary Bourne and Derrydown
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide boot St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide
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A circular walk of just less than 3 miles from the pretty village of St Mary Bourne in Hampshire. This lovely route belies its simplicity and length, giving you chance to explore a range of environments including the chocolate box village streets plus tracks through woodland, open crop fields and rural pastures.

The route includes a steady climb and equivalent descent on the valley side. Most of the paths follow stone and tarmac tracks, but there are sections through woodland that can get very muddy after periods of rain. There is one stretch along a quiet country lane and one through the village where there are no pavements, so take care of any traffic at these points. There are no stiles, steps or kissing gates on route, just one generous single gate, meaning the route would be passable with a rugged pushchair or disability buggy when the ground is firm enough. Approximate time 1 hour.

St Mary Bourne is a small village in north-west Hampshire, 5 miles north east of Andover. The village is accessed from the north via Hurstbourne Tarrant (take the A343 and then the B3048) and from the south via Hurstbourne Priors (take the B3400 and then the B3048). The walk starts and finishes from the free village car park alongside the village shop and playground. Heading north through the village on the main B3048, pass the church on the right, cross the river bridge and then turn immediately left onto the car park access lane (signed to Recreation Ground, Village Centre and Village Shop). Approximate post code SP11 6BE.

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Walk Sections

Start to Derrydown House
Start to Derrydown House

Start point: 51.2507 lat, -1.3973 long
End point: 51.2451 lat, -1.3963 long

Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance, following the small access lane to meet the village road.
Walk ahead (taking care of any traffic) crossing the river bridge and following the road as it bends right. Stay along the road edge through the village, which is packed with flint houses and thatched cottages, passing the Old Forge, the thatched St Peter’s Cottage and then St Peter’s Church all on the left.

St Peter’s Church dates from 12th century and has a distinctive square flint tower, a Belgian black marble font (one of only seven in the country) and internal wall paintings. In the churchyard there is an ancient yew tree which is almost as old as the church. There is one theory that St Peter's Church was originally called St Mary's (linking it to the village name) but parishioners changed the name after the English Civil War in the 1640s or 1650s when Oliver Cromwell's puritans were attacking anything associated with worship of the Virgin Mary.

Continue through the rest of the village and, immediately after the last house on the right, turn right onto the tarmac access lane signed to Derrydown House and Farm (NOTE: Don’t worry about the missing footpath signs, the Private Road sign only relates to vehicles and the lane is a public right of way).

Walk along the lane and, as you cross the bridge, look across to the right where you will see the village lake. The lake was the brainchild of Dr Evans, a local GP for many years. He had the area excavated and ground water appeared, but in dry summers it can nearly disappear. The lake is used for fishing and is popular with geese, ducks and swans.

Continue on the lane, passing a GP Surgery and ignoring the footpath on the right just after this. At the fork in the track, take the right-hand branch to reach the entrance gateway for Derrydown House. At this point turn right through the wooden gate to join the concessionary footpath, a wide grass verge which runs alongside the driveway on your left. At the top, where the grass verge ends, rejoin the entrance drive and follow this as it swings right, passing Derrydown House on your right.

Derrydown House to Bedlam Copse Junction
Derrydown House to Bedlam Copse Junction

Start point: 51.2451 lat, -1.3963 long
End point: 51.2486 lat, -1.4107 long

Continue along the tarmac access drive. To your right are fenced sheep pastures and beyond are glorious views across the valley, heavily populated with woodland. The track leads you past the flint Derrydown Cottage (on your left) and on through a section of trees.

As you emerge from the trees you will come to a junction of tracks. Turn right here, following the stone and grass track with the woodland to your right and a hedgerow running on the left. When the hedgerow on the left ends, you will notice a (subtle!) crossroads of paths. The (seemingly trivial!) path which crosses your track at this point was once a Roman Road, Portway, that linked Silchester and Old Sarum.

Do NOT turn onto the Portway, instead keep straight ahead on the main track between open crop fields. The track leads you past a single property on your left and then continues through a complex of farm buildings. You will emerge to a junction of quiet lanes alongside Bedlam Copse.

Bedlam Copse Junction to Haven Hill
Bedlam Copse Junction to Haven Hill

Start point: 51.2486 lat, -1.4107 long
End point: 51.254 lat, -1.4051 long

Go straight ahead at this road junction (taking care of any traffic as you cross) to join the small lane between hedgerows (marked as Unsuitable for HGVs and National Cycle Route 246). Ignore the first footpath signed into the crop field on your right, simply continue on the quiet lane heading downhill and swinging right.

Towards the bottom of the hill, the line of trees on the left ends. Continue a little further (passing a single ash tree on your left) and, a few paces later, turn right onto an unmade track signed with a purple arrow. The track leads you into trees and is part of the Brenda Parker Way, named in memory of a keen Hampshire walker and volunteer who supported the local rights of way network throughout her life.

Follow the wide level path through the woodland and, at the fork, keep right. The path soon swings right, still following the edge of the woodland. Further along, another path joins in from the right and, a few paces later, stay on the main track as it swings left (heading downhill).

At the bottom of the slope, the path widens to an access track, leading you between properties and then swinging right to reach a road junction alongside Haven Hill.

Haven Hill to End
Haven Hill to End

Start point: 51.254 lat, -1.4051 long
End point: 51.2509 lat, -1.3978 long

Ignore the signs for the Test Way ahead, instead turn left and follow the residential road passing the village school on your left. Continue down to reach the crossroads at the edge of St Mary Bourne. NOTE: The next section of the route follows the main road through the village and, whilst this is a 30mph zone, there are some sections without pavements so do take care of traffic.

Turn right and follow the road between pretty cottages. Soon, the houses to the left are set back behind the course of the Bourne Rivulet, the small river that gives the Bourne Valley its name.

The Bourne Rivulet is a chalk winterbourne, a seasonal surface stream which runs visibly in the winter months but retreats underground in the dry summer months. The Bourne Rivulet starts to run visibly on a different date each winter depending on the rainfall leading up to it. In winter 2014/15 the surface bed was dry until mid-January 2015. There are several rival theories why St Mary Bourne is so called and my favourite relates to the river. Under the old calendar the river may well have often risen on St Mary's Day, 2nd February, making it the St Mary Bourne. Just south of here, the river supports a watercress farm, a crop which thrives in the clear chalk water.

Continue through the village. When you draw level with Knapp Cottage on the left, you will find a section of flagstone pavement on the right. Look closely at this and you will see that some of the stones are actually fragments of old gravestones with the engravings still visible on the surfaces.

Just before the road swings left over the Bourne Rivulet, turn right onto the access drive for the village shop. Follow this access drive back to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "St Mary Bourne and Derrydown"

Heather Eves: We did this walk at the weekend, it was lovely and only about 2 miles from my home, I'd not known about it before, so many thanks to iFootpath.

By Facebook on 2015-09-22 10:05:59

Lovely route, great for dogs as well as no live stock and only a bit of road walking.

By injuryian on 2015-10-02 17:39:45

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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3 images to "St Mary Bourne and Derrydown"

5028_0Richard1442301918 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
In addition to walking through the lovely village and open fields there is a beautiful section of woodland with wide and fairly firm paths.
5028_1Richard1442301918 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
After you leave the woods you get great views ahead.
5028_2Richard1442301918 St Mary Bourne and Derrydown Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
We walked the route in September 2015 and although there had been quite a lot of rain in recent weeks the bourne was dry... If you get a picture with the St Mary's Bourne flowing please add it to the gallery.

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