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West Marden Loop

There are currently 2 comments and 10 photos online for this walk.

West Marden Loop
Author: seekin, Published: 17 Feb 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guidestar1 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guidestar0 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide
West Sussex, Border with Hampshire
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
West Marden Loop
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide boot West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide
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This is one of my favorite walks in the area, a circular walk, not too long and not too short. It is gently undulating with views down to the Solent and the Isle of Wight in the south and Telegraph Hill in the north.

There are several gentle climbs and descents throughout. The initial and final couple of hundred yards are on the road, so take care on these stretches. You will need to negotiate gates and stiles but these all should be easy enough for a dog to get through. There is a short section in which I have seen sheep once and another small field in which I once came across cattle.

West Marden lies on the B2146. Once in the village, at the crossroads, take the road south signed to Rowland Castle.
Pass the Victoria Inn on the right and Noredown Way is a short distance on the left. I have found this to be the best place to park. The approximate post code is PO18 9EP.

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Walk Sections

Start to Horsley Farm
Start to Horsley Farm

Start point: 50.9163 lat, -0.9038 long
End point: 50.9169 lat, -0.913 long

Walk back to the junction of Noredown Way and the Rowlands Castle road and turn left. Walk for about 200 metres up the road. Take care as there are no pavements on this stretch, although the traffic is very light. As the roads bends left, West Marden Hall is situated on the right. Ignore the first fingerpost, this will be your return path. Instead take the path just to the left of the entrance to West Marden Hall.

This is the first of the two climbs on the walk. The path, which follows the edge of the Hall Gardens, winds its way up and has a solid base of chalk and stones and is not muddy even in wet conditions. At the top, turn right along a wide farm track. Continue along the track, which can be muddy when it is wet, until you reach the farm. At the farm there is a three way fingerpost, turn left to continue along the track in front of the farm.

Horsley Farm to South Holt Farm
Horsley Farm to South Holt Farm

Start point: 50.9169 lat, -0.913 long
End point: 50.912 lat, -0.9404 long

At Horsley Farm cross the small drive which goes into the farm and continue straight ahead into a field. The path stays close to the hedge on the right-hand side. At the end of the field the path enters a wood. After a short distance you meet a staggered crossroads. Go left and immediately right (in effect continuing straight ahead). The path continues through an attractive tree-lined avenue. At the end of this, the path continues with open fields on your left. The path continues just inside the wood with a broken wire fence separating you from the field.

Eventually you enter open fields on both sides with views to the left going all the way to the Isle of Wight. The track then merges with hardcore farm track, continue straight on. Go through South Holt Farm, bearing right onto a surfaced road.

South Holt Farm to Ice House
South Holt Farm to Ice House

Start point: 50.912 lat, -0.9404 long
End point: 50.9192 lat, -0.9421 long

Once on the surfaced road, after about 30 metres turn right at a three-way fingerpost towards Rookwood Cottage. The scalping-based path turns to grass. After a short distance you pass through a kissing gate and in another 25 metres cross over a stile into a small field. Looking left you may see a train passing along the bottom of the valley as it travels the Portsmouth to Waterloo line. You may occasionally also see cows in this field so take care if you have a dog with you. The topography of the field is such that you cannot see the top of the field from the bottom or visa versa. The direction you need to take is straight ahead to a stile which is clearly visible on the far side. (You may wish to stay close to the fence and go round either the top or bottom of the field depending on the location of the cattle).

Once over the stile you enter a wood where, at the right time of the year, you will be overwhelmed by the smell of wild garlic. Continue through the wood, bearing left at a green waymarker labelled Staunton Way. The path now continues downhill towards the edge of the wood where you will see a large house with a walled Victorian garden. Beside the garden (facing you) is a long open shed which until recently housed a small aircraft. Together with the now also removed windsock, you have to marvel at the pilot because the terrain does not look suitable for any landing or take off. As you pass this point also look to your right as a fallen tree just off to the right provides an excellent seat if you are looking for somewhere to stop and have a drink or possibly lunch.

The track then carries on for a short distance to a kissing gate where you will see the remains of a sunken ice house in the field in front of you. The ice house wall, until recently, provided an ideal spot to sit and enjoy the view of St Huberts Church which can now be seen in the middle of the adjacent field. Now though it is protected by a barbed-wire fence.

Ice House to Table and Chair
Ice House to Table and Chair

Start point: 50.9192 lat, -0.9421 long
End point: 50.9266 lat, -0.9105 long

Whilst strictly not on the walk, if the field in which it stands is fallow, you may wish to pay a visit to St Huberts Church which was believed to have been built in the 9th century on land owned by King Harold's father. It holds some interesting wall paintings.

From the ice house, your journey continues to a stile at the bottom of the field in the direction of the church. Pass over the stile and turn immediately right through a kissing gate into another field. Stay close to the hedge on the right and walk parallel to some power lines which run a short distance into the field. Continue to a stile, cross it and keep to the right-hand side of this next field. Just before you meet a galvanised five-bar gate in front of you, the path bears right heading uphill and into a wood.

This is the start of the second and last climb on the walk. After a short distance you will meet a track. Turn left and continue straight ahead (note that another path leads off to the left). In 60 metres some steps on the right show your next direction. Climb the four steps and continue up the path. As you reach the top, the path bears right. Stay close to the field which can now be seen on the right. Shortly after the path flattens off you reach a T junction with a bridleway. Turn left and 85 metres later turn right at an angled crossroads. (Alternatively continue on for a short distance and turn right at a fingerpost under some power lines).

At the next fingerpost do not go on through the five-bar gate, instead turn right. You will shortly exit the wood. Your path carries on, following the right of the field. There are views on your right down to the Solent.

At the bottom of the field turn left then at the next T junction turn left again (the right turn option is signed to a private wood). After going left, the path sweeps around to the right with expansive views to the north as far as Telegraph Hill. At a sharp right bend in the path there is a rather rustic seat made out of a tree trunk and an equally rustic table. Time perhaps for a final rest before the last section of the walk which takes us downhill all the way back to West Marden.

Table and Chair to End
Table and Chair to End

Start point: 50.9266 lat, -0.9421 long
End point: 50.9163 lat, -0.9038 long

From the rustic table and chair it is all downhill back to West Marden. Follow the track down to the bottom of the field. At the T junction of tracks, turn right and head down to a stile. Cross the stile and turn immediately left. The path stays close to the left-hand side of the field. I should say that I have once seen sheep in this field so take care with dogs.

Following along the left-hand edge of the field you quickly meet a stile. Go over this and two further stiles to finally come out on the northern side of the entrance to West Marden Hall (a few metres from where your first climb started). Turn left and make your way back down the road and right into Noredown Way where your walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author seekin and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "West Marden Loop"

Lovely walk with views towards Isle of Wight. Don't recommend walking this route after rain as it was extremely muddy and slippery!

By nancywalking on 2016-04-10 15:41:26

Really enjoyed this walk today. Beautiful sunny day and gorgeous views.

By Betterthantw on 2016-05-16 22:13:36

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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10 images to "West Marden Loop"

5545_0seekin1456087615 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: seekin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Stile on route to Ice House
5545_1seekin1456087615 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: seekin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
All down hill from here
5545_2seekin1456087615 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: seekin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Sunken Ice House now fenced off
5545_3seekin1456087615 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: seekin
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Fallen tree provide ideal lunch seat on the right
5545_0kev0011460328010 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: kev001
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

5545_0Ginaha111463434438 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Ginaha11
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
In the distance you can see the skyline of Portsmouth and its Spinnaker Tower.
5545_1Ginaha111463434439 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Ginaha11
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
At some points on this walk there was wild garlic as far as the eye could see. Pathways lined with it made the walk even more pleasurable.
5545_2Ginaha111463434439 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Ginaha11
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
I aim to return when the field is fallow to have a look inside this church.
5545_3Ginaha111463434440 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Ginaha11
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This was before the Church. Wild garlic, buttercups and rape. View was gorgeous
5545_4Ginaha111463434441 West Marden Loop Hampshire Walking Guide Image by: Ginaha11
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
A welcome rest point.

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