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Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones

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Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones
Author: Ecoworrier, Published: 26 Feb 2019 Walk Rating:star0 Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guidestar0 Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guidestar0 Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guidestar0 Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guidestar0 Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guide
Surrey, Frensham
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones
Length: 11 miles,  Difficulty: boot Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guide boot Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guide boot Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guide
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This 11 mile circular walk in Surrey combines various kinds of woodland, hills, rivers, ponds and historic buildings. The route has lots of twists and turns so remember to use the App's live GPS map to help with navigation. Sections of this walk will be muddy after wet weather. You will need to negotiate kissing gates and stiles. You will cross one busy road twice, and there are a couple of other road crossings where care is needed. You will probably encounter horse-riders and mountain bikers and, towards the end of the route, there is a section through farm fields that are likely to contain livestock. The footpath used for the last section of the walk is not well-used and could require careful route-finding (again the live GPS map is your best guide). Allow 5 hours.

There are a couple of pubs on our route as well as cafes at Alice Holt Forest, Frensham Great Pond and Farnham Pottery. This walk is adapted from a walk originally published in Raymond Hugh’s Adventurous Walks in Surrey and is covered by OS Landranger Map 186

This walk starts at Alice Holt Visitor Centre, which is clearly signed from the A325 (OS 810417). Be prepared to pay a hefty fee for parking, and pay attention to the car park closing times. Approximate post code GU10 4LS.

Alternative Start Point: If Alice Holt is full, you can adjust the walk to start at the Frensham Great Pond car park and visitor centre (Waypoint 3 - where a parking fee is only charged at weekends and bank holidays).

Public Transport: Bentley station is close to the start of our route (follow the Shipwrights Way to join the route between Alice Holt Arboretum and the Starting Point). The Stagecoach Number 18 Bus calls at Farnham Station and goes down the A325 with a stop close to the entrance to the Alice Holt Visitor Centre (at the garage in Bucks Horn Oak).

Walk Sections

Start to Batt's Corner
Start to Batt's Corner

Start point: 51.169 lat, -0.8409 long
End point: 51.1622 lat, -0.8304 long

(IMPORTANT NOTE: It is easy to become disorientated in the forest, so remember to use the App's live GPS map to guide you and to ensure you stay on track). From the Alice Holt Visitor Centre main car park, take the tarmac path from the car park and, shortly after leaving the car park, turn left onto the gravel track that runs eastward between an avenue of trees. The Alice Holt visitor facilities are currently (2019) nearing the end of a major renovation and just to your right there is a nice new cafe, toilets and an information centre where you can find out about the forest, walks and the Shipwrights Way.

Continue down the track, ignoring all paths until, just after a woodland play area on your left, you reach a wide gravel crossing track. Turn right, still following the Shipwrights Way, and descend gradually. Bear left at a fork and follow the gravel track downhill, ignoring a track joining from the left. Continue downhill (ignoring the family cycle trail crossing our route) and shortly after, bear left when the track forks. As the track starts to climb, take the next turning left onto a smaller gravel path, leaving the Shipwrights Way.

Follow this gravel path until it turns sharp left. At this point leave the gravel path to continue straight ahead along a narrow muddy path. This path leads into a more tightly planted area of the forest and turns right now following the line of a ruined fence on the left. When the path forks, bear left over a small stream. Go uphill and you will eventually see the houses of Batt’s Corner to your left. After the path stops climbing, and just before it bends to the right, turn left along a small path to leave the forest and emerge onto Boundary Lane alongside The Old Chapel, a former non-conformist church that is now someone’s home.

Batt's Corner to Frensham Mill
Batt's Corner to Frensham Mill

Start point: 51.1622 lat, -0.8304 long
End point: 51.1622 lat, -0.8051 long

Turn left and walk along Boundary Lane until you reach two lanes on the right, either side of a green space. Take the second of these to pass in front of The Bluebell. Continue downhill along the lane past the pub garden, which becomes a bridleway marked as part of the Surrey Hills Cycle route. The bridleway passes to the left of Bealeswood Common, below which you can see the pretty village of Dockenfield. The bridleway becomes a lane, again passing between attractive properties and passing to the left of a pond. When the lane turns right, leave it to go straight on passing a new house called Orchard End on your left. The fenced bridleway now heads east between fields. As you progress, the view opens up across the Wey Valley, with Frensham Manor visible in the trees ahead of you and two oast houses to your left. When the bridleway reaches a road turn left and then first right to reach the mill-pond for Frensham Mill.

Frensham Mill to Frensham Great Pond
Frensham Mill to Frensham Great Pond

Start point: 51.1622 lat, -0.8051 long
End point: 51.1587 lat, -0.7946 long

Follow the road alongside the mill pond and then, just before it turns sharp left, turn right to enter the courtyard of The Mill House. Continue straight ahead across the gravel courtyard to join the bridleway at the far end. The bridleway leads gently uphill with a high wall, hiding Frensham Manor, on your left. Continue to follow this bridleway for a kilometre, staying on the left of the river and ignoring turnings off, until you reach the road that skirts Frensham Great Pond. It is worth taking your time along this section of the walk as the river, ponds, and parkland surrounding the manor attracts a range of wildlife.

When you reach the road, you will see The Frensham Pond Hotel to your right. Turn left and follow the road around the edge of the pond until you see a track to your right. Take this bridleway, which initially follows the pond edge with good views across to the hotel. Continue to follow the bridleway when it turns left and climbs away from the pond. After the bridleway levels out, you will see the car park and visitor centre in the distance to your right. Continue to follow the bridleway, ignoring turnings off, until you reach a tarmac drive which leads to the car park. If you are in need of refreshment, a toilet, or information about Frensham Great Pond then follow this drive past the car park to the visitor centre.

Frensham Great Pond to Frensham Village
Frensham Great Pond to Frensham Village

Start point: 51.1587 lat, -0.7946 long
End point: 51.1658 lat, -0.7965 long

Our route continues across the tarmac drive and along the bridleway. When the bridleway starts to climb, ignore a crossing path, then at the next junction (where the bridleway turns right) continue straight ahead to climb to the top of the hill. When you reach the hill top, turn left and then right at the T-junction with another path. Shortly after this look out for a yellow footpath sign on the left and follow this path to descend through the woods to a road. Turn left along the road and then right onto a signposted footpath.

When this reaches a residential road, cross the road and continue on the path ahead. The path becomes a lane (Lovers Lane) and shortly after passing cottages on your left, ends at The Street, the main road through Frensham. Cross the road and turn left to approach St Mary’s Church.

Frensham Village to Farnham Pottery
Frensham Village to Farnham Pottery

Start point: 51.1658 lat, -0.7965 long
End point: 51.1952 lat, -0.8201 long

Turn right down the tarmac path before the church. This path heads downhill before turning right to follow the River Wey. After a short distance, cross the river on a wooden bridge and climb the lane (ignoring a footpath to the right). At the top of the hill turn left along Hammondswood Road, ignoring two sets of footpath signs to your right. At the end of this lane turn right along the wider road (Shortfield Common Road) taking care of any traffic.

This road starts to descend and passes the entrance to Spreakley House on your right. Turn left into Woodhill Lane and after a short distance turn right onto a signed footpath to cross two fields diagonally to your left. You are heading in the direction of Frensham Heights School which is visible on the hill ahead of you. After crossing the two fields and the stile between them, cross another stile and then a bridge over a small stream. Go uphill, ignoring a footpath to the left, crossing another stile to go along the right-hand edge of a field, passing to the left of a line of Scots pines. Go through a kissing gate and cross a lane to follow the footpath opposite, leading uphill between steep banks. (At the time of writing this section of path contained an impressive piece of badger engineering!)

Cross a second lane and continue uphill to reach a third lane, Frensham Heights Road. Turn right to follow this lane uphill and eventually pass Frensham Heights School. As you climb the lane take a look back at the views to the south. The lane ends at a busier road, which you should cross to join Switchback Lane opposite. Ignore a footpath to the right and walk along the lane.

When the lane turns right into Frensham Vale House, continue ahead to follow a bridleway, with iron railings and rhododendron bushes on your right. The bridleway passes the end of a lane on the left before descending steeply into a valley and then climbing the other side. This section can get muddy. At the top of the hill go across a small crossroads where Switchback Lane becomes Shrubbs Lane. At the end of Shrubbs Lane turn left along Boundstone Road and follow this for about 300 metres.

Just after you pass Clare Mead & The Copse on the left, you reach a bus stop on the right-hand side of the road. Turn right here to join Browns Walk, a bridleway leading behind some new houses. This bridleway takes you down the side of a surprisingly rural valley.

At the bottom of the valley the track bends gently left to pass a secluded property on the left. Turn right to follow the track away from the property with a stream on your left. After 50 metres turn left to join a footpath going over the stream and uphill. The path becomes a track and reaches the B3384 road. Turn right and take the first left into Pottery Lane. Follow Pottery Lane uphill and continue along it as it starts to descend passing Farnham Pottery on the left. There has been a pottery on this site since 1873 and it is now the heart of a thriving local arts community. There is a shop and cafe on site, both of which are open to visitors (usually open Tues-Sat).

Farnham Pottery to Alice Holt Arboretum
Farnham Pottery to Alice Holt Arboretum

Start point: 51.1952 lat, -0.8201 long
End point: 51.1835 lat, -0.8536 long

Continue to follow Pottery Lane downhill and round to the left to meet Quennells Hill. Turn right, going downhill to reach the main road, The Street. Turn right and cross the road carefully to turn left and join Westfield Lane (opposite The Royal Oak). Follow this lane downhill ignoring a marked footpath on the left and passing Farnham Mini Rugby Club on your left and Wrecclesham Cricket Club on your right.

Immediately after the rugby club the track turns left. Follow the tree-lined track past the rugby pitches and then allotments. The track turns right and becomes a fenced path which crosses a footbridge over the entrance to a quarry and reaches a T-junction of paths just before the railway line. Turn left to walk between the railway and the quarry fence for about a kilometre, ignoring a footpath going right under a railway arch after about 250 metres. This section of path can get overgrown but can also be surprisingly rich in birdlife.

Eventually you will enter a small oak copse ending in a stile into a field. Follow the right edge of this field to pass through a kissing gate to join a muddy lane. Turn right to pass under a railway arch. Go over a stile by a gate and then turn immediately left to cross a stile into a field. You will see the River Wey on your right. Follow the left-hand edge of this field crossing another rickety stile. Continue to follow the woodland edge on your left. The field bends left to become a narrow clearing in the trees. At the end of this you will find the remains of a fence. The path now follows the river, but you can choose when you head down to the river edge depending on how muddy it is between the field and the river. If it is really muddy you can walk to the end of the clearing before heading diagonally down to your right to pick up the river-side path. As you proceed, the path becomes more distinct and crosses a small stream, then a stile to enter a field. With the river on your right follow the distinct path across the field towards a house in the distance.

Just before the path leaves the field to join Gravel Hill Road turn left and cross a ditch to join another path that goes uphill passing to the left of the oak tree in the middle of the field. Keeping the ditch on your left continue up into the woods.

Cross the railway line carefully, and continue ahead through the trees to meet a grassy track. Follow the track ahead uphill to join Gravel Hill Road. Walk ahead along the road going uphill until you reach a staggered crossing track signed as a footpath, onto which you should turn right to lead you to a gravel parking area.

Alice Holt Arboretum to End
Alice Holt Arboretum to End

Start point: 51.1835 lat, -0.8536 long
End point: 51.169 lat, -0.8409 long

From this gravel parking area, walk west passing round the metal barrier. Follow this track past the Arboretum on your right. This used to be a car park and picnic area. Although these have not been maintained, the specimen trees are still there and a leaflet is available telling you what to look for. Ignore the track to the left, opposite the Arboretum entrance, and continue along the track past the Arboretum, until you reach a tarmac drive. Turn left along the drive, which is the route from Bentley station to the Research Station. You are now following the Shipwrights Way, a 50-mile long way-marked trail that links Alice Holt Forest to the historic dockyards in Portsmouth. Our route follows the Shipwrights Way for a couple of kilometres, but the sign-posts are sporadic.

Continue along the tarmac drive, passing a fenced pond on your right, until you pass an avenue of houses on your left and the drive turns left towards the research centre. At this point, turn right onto a track and continue until you reach a crossing path. Turn left along a fenced path to reach the A325. Cross carefully and continue straight ahead for 50 metres. The path bends left and reaches a T-junction. Turn sharp right along a wide gravel forest track, still following the Shipwrights Way. Ignore all turnings off to continue heading south following the Shipwrights Way and the Family Cycle Trail until you reach a 5-way junction. Take the second left, heading south-east to shortly pass some wooden buildings on your left and reach the main car park where the walk began. (Note that the last 200 metres of this track is the route to the overflow car park and you may encounter cars on a busy day).

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones, Surrey Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2019 by iFootpath and the author mikecoker and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 Comments for: "Pots, Ponds and Pine Cones"

After Wrecclesham and going under the railway bridge through the meadows there was a low barred gate which had to be climbed over. The path after that was rather unclear. At the end of the route through Alice Holt forest the map goes way off course and I had to backtrack to the road and find my way to Batts Corner

By Judithforde on 08 Mar 2019

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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