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|Wootton St Lawrence and Malshanger Park|
|Author: Claire, Published: 11 Feb 2017||Walk Rating:|
|A 5.5 mile circular walk from the village of Wootton St Lawrence, near Basingstoke in Hampshire. The route explores the local footpaths and bridleway tracks, taking you through woodland and open fields with some beautiful views. Along the way you will pass through Malshanger Park, with glimpses of the mansion and the old parkland. This is a particularly peaceful area where you will enjoy a true feeling of escape. |
The route has long and steady climbs and descents throughout, but there are no particularly steep sections. About a third of the route follows tarmac or stone tracks, but the remainder of the woodland and unmade tracks can get very muddy at times. You will need to negotiate two stiles (both of which have open fencing or gateways alongside for dogs to pass through) on route. Most of the surrounding land is arable, but there is one sheep field that you will need to pass through or alongside (depending on the current position of the temporary fencing). Allow 3 hours.
Wootton St Lawrence is located about 3 miles west of Basingstoke in Hampshire. The walk starts and finishes outside the Church of St Lawrence, in the centre of the village. There is roadside parking available directly alongside the church. Approximate post code RG23 8PE.
|Start to Tangier Park|
Start point: 51.2752 lat, -1.1522 long
The walk starts and finishes outside the Church of St Lawrence. This medieval church was rebuilt in the mid-1800s, but it retains some original features. Charles Butler, sometimes called the Father of English Beekeeping, was the vicar of St Lawrence Church until his death in 1647. He popularised the notion that the head of the hive was a queen rather than a king.
|Tangier Park to The Lodge|
Start point: 51.274 lat, -1.1642 long
Just before these vehicle gates, turn left (over or alongside a stile) and follow the footpath along the left-hand edge of this field. NOTE: When we walked there was some temporary wire fencing that created an enclosed footpath along the field edge, but if this has changed you may be sharing this field with sheep. You will have great views of Tangier Park House across to your right.
|The Lodge to Garden Cottage|
Start point: 51.264 lat, -1.1848 long
Turn right (passing the front of The Lodge) and then walk straight ahead to take the public footpath, passing through the gap in the fence just to the left of the vehicle gate. Join the tarmac driveway and follow this winding steadily uphill into Malshanger Park. There are some beautiful old trees along this stretch.
|Garden Cottage to Byway Track|
Start point: 51.2695 lat, -1.189 long
Beyond the cottage, you will pass the walled gardens and glasshouses also on your right. At the small crossroads (with a post box set into the flint wall on your right), go straight ahead with the tall yew hedge running on your left. You will pass Sheardown House on your right. Immediately after the tall yew hedge ends on your left, fork left across the crop field (heading for the modern farm barns at the far side). At the far side of the field, turn left across the concrete farmyard and then turn right along the main concrete access drive which leads you out to the road.
|Byway Track to Bridleway|
Start point: 51.286 lat, -1.1866 long
Turn right along this vehicle track and follow it for about 800 metres to reach a junction with a road. Turn left along the road for about 25 metres and, where the road bends left, go straight ahead to join the next stretch of byway track. 400 metres along, ignore the first footpath signed off to the right. Stay with the main stone track and about 800 metres later (just after passing through an often muddy or partially flooded dip in the track, and before reaching the farm buildings on your left) look out for a bridleway signed off to the right.
|Bridleway to End|
Start point: 51.2808 lat, -1.161 long
Turn right onto this bridleway and follow the grass track between fenced crop fields. Once again you are rewarded with far reaching views at this point. The track continues through arches of trees and eventually you will emerge to a crossroads that you should recognise from the outward leg (with Tangier Park to the right). From this point, you will be retracing your steps back to the church.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Ice was rather exposed for today, which was cold and windy. Would have been lovely on a fine day.
|By bobs on 24 Mar 2017|
Completed this walk on 14/05/17. The fallen branches mentioned in section 2 are now cleared together with overhanging branches - so a nice walk through the wood.
|By Matt62 on 14 May 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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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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