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Finchdean Loop

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Finchdean Loop
Author: mike evans, Published: 07 Nov 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1  Finchdean Loopstar1  Finchdean Loopstar1  Finchdean Loopstar1  Finchdean Loopstar1  Finchdean Loop
Hampshire, Hampshire Sussex border
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Finchdean Loop
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot  Finchdean Loop boot  Finchdean Loop
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A pleasant 4 mile circular walk starting and ending in Finchdean, Hampshire. The walk includes woodland and open downland with glimpses of the Solent. It includes the ancient church of St Hubert's which has some recently discovered wall paintings.

On the walk you will encounter a number of stiles and kissing gates and one field where cattle may be grazing. Allow 2 hours.

Finchdean is a small village which lies to the north of Rowlands Castle and to the east of Horndean. From Rowlands Castle travel north up the Finchdean Road. After one mile turn left onto Dean Lane. You will reach Finchdean, in 0.4 of a mile. The postcode in the centre of the village is PO8 0AY and the lat-lng is 50.910129 -0.950824.

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Walk Sections

Start to Woods
Start to Woods

Start point: 50.9098 lat, -0.9513 long
End point: 50.9193 lat, -0.9707 long

Finchdean is a very small village with just one pub. Our walk starts out by walking down the road opposite the pub. It is easily identified by a red telephone box which we leave to our right. After 200 metres or so we meet Ashcroft Lane coming in from the right. Just after they join there is a footpath sign on the left. Ignore this sign but follow the one on the right which is opposite (but is obscured until you reach the gap in the hedge). Go through the gap on the right and follow the direction of the road but now in a field to the right of the hedge. At the end of the field turn left to exit back onto the road and go across to a footpath opposite. Again the footpath sign is somewhat obscured. The footpath goes to the right.

After some 700 metres the path takes a 90 degree turn to the left (with a slightly smaller path carrying on to the right). Turn to the left here and after just 4 or 5 paces take the turning on the right. The new path starts with a short rise. Follow this path until it meets a T-junction in about 650 metres. At the T-junction turn left and in a few metres cross a path to a kissing gate and into a field. Crossing the field you may just catch a gimpse of the Solent on the horizon. At the end of the field pass through a kissing gate and turn right onto a road. Go down the road and, after 280 metres, take the right-hand turning down a road signposted to Charlton one and three quarter miles. In a further 300 metres, as the road turns left, take the footpath on the right leading into the wood.

Woods to T-Junction
Woods to T-Junction

Start point: 50.9193 lat, -0.9707 long
End point: 50.9195 lat, -0.9533 long

Continue through the wood going gently downhill. After about 450 metres you will exit the wood. Bear left, now with a fence on your left and a hedge on your right. After a further 40 metres you will meet a road. Cross the road to continue straight on, on a new footpath with a fingerpost on your left. This path climbs steadily.

Initially the path has a tree hedge on both sides and later a hedge on the right and open fields on the left. After some 750 metres the hedge ends on the right and the path turns 90 degrees to the right and after a further 340 metres meets another wide path at a T-junction.

T-Junction to Pasture
T-Junction to Pasture

Start point: 50.9195 lat, -0.9533 long
End point: 50.914 lat, -0.9435 long

At the T-junction of paths turn right and after a short distance turn left down a track. The track now has a hedge of trees on your right and, after a short distance, opens to fields on your left with expansive views across to St Hubert's Church and beyond. After 380 metres you will meet a road at a T-junction.

Turn left and in 220 metres at a fingerpost on the left, turn right to pass under a small bridge carrying the Portsmouth to Walterloo railway line. Turn left again when you meet a road just the other side of the bridge. Continue along the road and after a short distance (just after a post box on your right), turn right to take the path up towards St Hubert's Church. The church was believed to have been built in the 9th century on land owned by King Harrold's father. It holds some interesting wall paintings.

The path goes to the left of the church but it should be noted that there are two seats in the church grounds on the right-hand side of the church, should you wish to stop for a break.

After passing the church, continue up to the hedge and through a kissing gate into a further field. Turn immediately right and walk along beside the hedge which you have just passed through. At the end of the field pass through a kissing gate on your right to re-enter the field containing the church. Turn to your left and in a few metres cross a stile into a meadow.

Turn left in the meadow, pass to the left of an old sunken ice house and walk up towards the tree line which is about 100 metres away. At the tree line go through a kissing gate and turn right to initially follow the edge of the tree line before gradually veering left away from it as you climb. Follow the path (which is a little indistinct in places) for 500 metres to a stile at the edge of a field.

Pasture to End
Pasture to End

Start point: 50.914 lat, -0.9435 long
End point: 50.9098 lat, -0.9512 long

The field ahead does some times hold cattle. If you are concerned you can avoid the cattle by walking either down to the bottom of the field or up to the top depending where the cattle are. The topography of the field is such that the top of the field cannot be seen from the bottom and vice versa. Personally I have walked through the cattle with a dog on a number of occasions without any problem. The correct route crosses the field at a slight angle to the left and ends at a stile.

Cross the next short field to a further stile. At this stile a three-way fingerpost indicates either straight on across the stile or a path to the right. Do NOT cross the stile but turn to the right to remain in the field and move diagonally to the right across this field away from the tree line. The ill-defined path across the field goes downhill passing close to the corner of a fence on your right to arrive at a stile. (Distance of this section of path is some 200 metres). Cross the stile and walk straight ahead a further 100 metres to a stile on the far side and cross it onto a road.
Turn left onto the road and immediately under a railway bridge. A further 100 metres takes you back into Finchdean marking the end of the walk.

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

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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