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Kingsclere and Hannington

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Kingsclere and Hannington
Author: Claire, Published: 04 Dec 2016 Walk Rating:star1 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide star1 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide star1 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide star1 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide star1 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide
Hampshire, Basingstoke
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Kingsclere and Hannington
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide boot Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide boot Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide
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A 6 mile circular walk from the pretty village of Kingsclere in Hampshire. The route heads south, exploring the beautiful rolling Hampshire Downs with peaceful tracks and beautiful views throughout. Halfway round, the walk leads you through the idyllic village of Hannington with its pretty village green and imposing church.

The route has several climbs and descents throughout. The vast majority of the route follows bridleway tracks, some tarmac or stone which give a firm walking surface, but also some grass stretches which can get muddy and slippery. There is one stretch of footpath which passes through a pasture, sometimes holding cattle, although this can be avoided if you prefer. You will need to negotiate a few staggered barriers, a couple of flights of steps, some bridle gates plus three kissing gates, but there are no stiles on route. Some of the tracks have sheep pastures alongside, enclosed with electric fencing so take care with children and dogs. Allow 3 hours.

Kingsclere is located just south of the A339, about 8 miles north west of Basingstoke. The walk starts and finishes at the Anchor Road car park (near to St Mary’s Church), a free car park for about 20 cars. If this is full, there is some street parking available further along Anchor Road, but please park with respect for the residents. Approximate post code RG20 5NE.

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Walk Sections

Start to Rectory Lane
Start to Rectory Lane

Start point: 51.3243 lat, -1.246 long
End point: 51.3235 lat, -1.2418 long

Leave the Anchor Road car park via the vehicle entrance and turn left along the pavement, heading uphill. Cross over the side road (Larch Drive) and continue up the hill. Where the road bends right, go straight ahead through the staggered barrier to join the narrow stone footpath. At the top of the slope you will reach a T-junction, turn left and pass alongside the wooden gate to reach the corner of a playing field.

Walk straight ahead, following the left-hand boundary. At the far side, follow the shallow stone steps down to reach the end of a residential stone access lane. Walk straight ahead along this access lane (first stone then tarmac), which winds between the houses. Continue just until you reach a junction where the main tarmac access lane swings sharp left and a bridleway fingerpost points right along a stone track. This point marks the junction with the bridleway known as Rectory Lane.

Rectory Lane to Plantation Farm
Rectory Lane to Plantation Farm

Start point: 51.3235 lat, -1.2418 long
End point: 51.3124 lat, -1.2228 long

Turn right to join the stone track, signed as a bridleway. Follow this bridleway track heading steadily uphill and, at the brow of the first rise (within a gap in the hedgerow on your right), you will have your first glimpse of the views across the rolling Hampshire Downs. The most prominent landmark is the large mast, a television and radio transmitting station sitting on Cottington Hill. This will make a useful landmark throughout your walk, but also has an interesting snippet of history…

On one day in November 1977, the sound transmission from this station was hi-jacked. As a result, viewers of ITV found the ITN news bulletin accompanied by six minutes of an unrelated voice, purporting to be an alien called Vrillon from Ashtar Galactic Command. Despite a thorough police investigation those responsible were never identified.

Further along, another bridleway merges in from your right. Keep ahead and a few paces later you will come to a fork. Take the left-hand branch, the main grass track between hedgerows. Stay with this track for about 0.6 miles, climbing quite steeply to reach the junction with the access road alongside the paddocks and buildings of Plantation Farm.

Plantation Farm to Copse Crossroads
Plantation Farm to Copse Crossroads

Start point: 51.3124 lat, -1.2228 long
End point: 51.3 lat, -1.2135 long

Go straight ahead along the tarmac lane, passing the main properties on your right. Where the main lane swings hard left, go straight on (across the concrete vehicle access area) and continue ahead to join the tarmac track with a tree line on your right and horse paddocks on your left.

Beyond the paddocks you will come to a fork in the track. Take the left-hand branch and follow the tarmac track winding down through the valley bottom and up the other side. (NOTE: At the valley bottom you will need to cross over a quiet road, so take care with children and dogs). At the brow of the rise, just as you reach the start of a copse on your left, you will come to a crossroads.

Copse Crossroads to Hannington Green
Copse Crossroads to Hannington Green

Start point: 51.3 lat, -1.2135 long
End point: 51.2957 lat, -1.2273 long

Turn right at this crossroads and follow the straight level stone track, with far reaching views stretching to your left and right. Further along, the track leads you past a playing field (beyond a hedgerow on your left) and you will reach a T-junction with a gate ahead. Stay with the main stone track which turns left and follow this to reach the junction with a road (with a pretty thatched cottage ahead).

Turn right along the lane, passing between more pretty cottages and taking care of any traffic. You will reach the T-junction in the centre of Hannington village, with the village green and church directly ahead.

Hannington Green to Hannington Scrubs
Hannington Green to Hannington Scrubs

Start point: 51.2957 lat, -1.2273 long
End point: 51.3018 lat, -1.2289 long

Cross the village green at about 1 o’clock and join the stone track which passes immediately to the right of the churchyard. As you approach the residence vehicle gates ahead, turn right (signed as Footpath Only). Follow this stone path which soon bends left alongside an old timber barn. Continue ahead, now following a grass track between hedgerows and fenced pastures. You will come to a gate ahead.

Pass through this gate and turn immediately right, following a grass track with a hedgerow on your right. At the junction with the road, turn right along the road for about 50 metres and then turn left through the metal gate to join the signed bridleway. Stay with this bridleway (with a fenced field on your left) as it leads you ahead and then left along the top of the field. A short way along the top boundary, stay with the track as it swings right (away from the field), leading you past a woodland on your left called Hannington Scrubs.

Hannington Scrubs to Horse Gallops
Hannington Scrubs to Horse Gallops

Start point: 51.3018 lat, -1.2289 long
End point: 51.3108 lat, -1.2457 long

Simply keep ahead on this grass bridleway (which can be muddy and slippery at times) leading you down through the valley bottom and up the other side. At the top of the rise, keep straight ahead at the crossroads, heading downhill with beautiful far-reaching views ahead. You will be able to see the Cottington Hill mast across to your left.

The track swings left, passing a section of young trees on your left. Immediately after these you will see a metal kissing gate on your left. NOTE: This next field sometimes holds cattle. If you would prefer to avoid this, you can take an alternative route back to Kingsclere by staying ahead on the main bridleway track. This will lead you to a junction with the Rectory Lane bridleway that you followed on the outward leg.

For the main route, turn left through the kissing gate and follow the obvious path ahead, staying close to the left-hand fence line at the top of this steep sloping pasture. Continue ahead as the field narrows to a fenced grass corridor, populated with pine trees. When the fence on your right ends, keep ahead now with a mixed woodland on the slope to your right. About 100 metres along, you will come to a fork (with waymarker arrows nailed on the trunk of a tree).

Fork right here, following the narrower footpath which leads you diagonally downhill through the woodland. Halfway down, pass through the metal kissing gate and continue ahead on the woodland path. At the bottom on the slope you will reach a staggered T-junction, with the white railings of a horse gallop training area visible ahead. Turn left along the woodland track (passing alongside one cross-country horse jump) and then turn immediately right down a slope to reach the gate at the edge of the horse gallops.

Horse Gallops to End
Horse Gallops to End

Start point: 51.3108 lat, -1.2457 long
End point: 51.3244 lat, -1.2462 long

Pass alongside this gate and walk directly ahead, keeping close to the hedgerow on your left, watching out for any horses in training and following any local safety notices. Simply keep ahead, following this hedgerow along the full length of the horse gallops.

This racehorse training area is part of Park House Stables, owned by the Balding family. The main trainer is Andrew Balding and the stables is home to 170 horses with state-of-the-art facilities including 7 stable yards, covered horse walkers, an equine swimming pool and digital weighbridge. Andrew’s elder sister, the TV presenter Clare Balding, grew up with him here at Kingsclere when their father Ian was at the helm. She still takes a keen interest in the yard and watches the horses training when her schedule allows.

At the far end of the gallops, dog-leg left and then immediately right, heading up a flight of steps through an arch in a beautiful ivy hedgerow. Follow this enclosed footpath ahead, climbing a second flight of steps and passing through a metal kissing gate to reach the corner of a playing field.

Walk straight ahead, following the hedge line on your left. At the far side, you should recognise the path to your left as the one from the start of your walk. Turn left out of the playing field and then immediately right following the footpath down to Anchor Road. Keep straight ahead to reach the car park on the right where the walk began.

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 Kingsclere and Hannington Walking Guide Original GPX source file

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


1 comments for "Kingsclere and Hannington"

Excellent walk. Lovely views and we saw four red kites in the sky at the same time. Not a good idea to do it if the ground is wet. There's a very muddy track after leaving Hannington

By bobs on 11 Apr 2017

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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