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The Three Paths Trail

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The Three Paths Trail
Author: MarilynR, Published: 09 Jun 2017 Walk Rating:star1 The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide star1 The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide star0 The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide star0 The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide star0 The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide
Hampshire, Brown Candover
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Three Paths Trail
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide boot The Three Paths Trail Walking Guide
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An 8 mile circular route starting from the Abbotstone Down car park, near Alresford in Hampshire. This is an Iron Age fort and now also a picnic area. The Three Paths that you will be walking small sections of are, the Oxdrove Way, the Wayfarer's Walk and the Three Castles Path. About half way around you will pass the Woolpack and in the distance you can see St John's Church in Northington. Walking through Brown Candover, you will pass the charming St Peter's Church. Tributaries and chalk streams run down through the Candovers, eventually feeding the River Itchen. Wildlife on the walk often includes Deer, Red Kites and Buzzards.

There are no stiles on this route, just a number of kissing gates. There are some small hills but the gradients are not strenuous. The paths are reasonably clear and a good percentage of the route falls across farm tracks and some made-up roads. One leg follows a B-Road without pavements and you must walk on the road for approximately 1 mile. OS Explorer map: OL32: Winchester. The walk takes approximately 4 hours.

The car park for Abbotstone Down is on the B3046, about 2.5 miles north of Alresford. The nearest post code is SO24 9DT (and grid references OSGB SU 58513 36112, Lat 51.121317 Long -1.1653340).

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Walk Sections

Start to Large Barns
Start to Large Barns

Start point: 51.1212 lat, -1.1654 long
End point: 51.1421 lat, -1.171 long

Leaving the car park, cross the B3046 and head north along the Wayfarer's Walk, through the wood and ignoring the kissing gate on the left into the woodland. After 100 yards, you break out of the wood, and continue uphill across the fields. At the brow of the hill you will pass into Spy Bush Plantation, a belt of mainly Beech trees.

The narrow path opens into a track at this point and, out of the other side of the wood, the track heads downhill and passes into open farmland (with Swarration Farm on the left and Spy Bush Plantation on the right). At the bottom of the hill, the track meets a metalled lane which is the access lane to the farm.

Pass the gate to the farm on your left and head uphill staying on the lane. The path follows the metalled lane for the next mile. At the top of the hill, the track meets Spy Bush Plantation again. Do NOT take the path right that enters the woodland, instead stay on the lane which takes a 90 degree right-hand turn then a similar left-hand turn, heading off downhill and passing a barn on your right. At the bottom of the hill (by the large barns), the Wayfarer's Walk meets the Oxdrove Way.

Large Barns to Woolpack
Large Barns to Woolpack

Start point: 51.1421 lat, -1.171 long
End point: 51.138 lat, -1.1855 long

By these large barns is a T-junction in the paths - the Wayfarer's Walk on the left and the Oxdrove Way to the right. Turn left, following the Wayfarer's Walk. The path is narrow in places and rises and falls gently between two hedgerows for about 0.8 miles. The path opens to some cottages at Totford, and meets the B3046 at the Woolpack Inn.

Woolpack to Totford Hill

Start point: 51.138 lat, -1.1855 long
End point: 51.1379 lat, -1.1925 long

The next leg is quite a short uphill stretch. Cross the B3046 (with care) into the side road opposite and proceed up the hill. On the left there are views across the fields to St John the Evangelist church at Northington. After about a quarter of a mile, halfway up Totford Hill, a path leads off to the right (a very sharp right turn of about 135 degrees). Take this path which is well-signposted.

Totford Hill to Bryces Lane
Totford Hill to Bryces Lane

Start point: 51.1379 lat, -1.1925 long
End point: 51.147 lat, -1.1816 long

Follow the path downhill alongside the hedgerow. Where the path crosses the hedgerow, there is a steel seat should you need to take a break. Continue along the path that runs next to Candover Brook (which eventually runs into the River Alre / Itchen).

The path between the fields eventually meets Bryces Lane. Follow this ahead as it passes some cottages to reach a junction with the B3046.

Bryces Lane to Moth Farm
Bryces Lane to Moth Farm

Start point: 51.147 lat, -1.1816 long
End point: 51.1528 lat, -1.1685 long

At this junction, turn left and follow the road, the B3046 (taking care of traffic), for about half a mile into Brown Candover. Along the road on the right is a well-preserved Red GPO telephone box that doubles as the Village Library and on the left is the lovely Saint Peter’s Church, standing proudly elevated above the immaculately kept and quintessentially English cricket green. Opposite the church, look for the path beside Moth Farm (on your right).

Moth Farm to Oxdrove Junction
Moth Farm to Oxdrove Junction

Start point: 51.1528 lat, -1.1685 long
End point: 51.144 lat, -1.1597 long

Turn right up this track beside the Moth Farm, following the track alongside the hedgerow on your right. The track turns 90 degrees left and then right. After the right turn, the path runs in between two rows of trees that form the hedge bordering the fields. After a quarter of a mile the path meets the Oxdrove Way at a T-junction.

Oxdrove Junction to Restricted Byway
Oxdrove Junction to Restricted Byway

Start point: 51.144 lat, -1.1597 long
End point: 51.1298 lat, -1.1565 long

Turn left at this junction and head along the Oxdrove Way toward Spiers Lane. Along the way you will come across a small isolated red wooden cottage on the right.

Continue on to the junction with Spiers Lane and turn right. NOTE: There are NO pavements here, so you will be walking down the side of the road for approximately one mile. There are only limited places where you can stand on the bank to keep away from traffic, having said that, the road is usually quiet and the first uphill leg to Bugmore Hill copse is fairly straight so any traffic can be seen well in advance.

Once at the brow of the hill, by the entrance road to Armsworth Hill Farm, the same can be said about the downhill stretch. Please remember to keep to the right of the road facing the oncoming traffic.

As you walk down the road, Spy Bush Plantation will come into view on the right. At the bottom of the hill, turn right onto the footpath that is signposted as a Restricted Byway into the woodland.

Restricted Byway to End

Start point: 51.1298 lat, -1.1565 long
End point: 51.1214 lat, -1.1652 long

This restricted byway is part of the Three Castles Path. The uphill path takes you through mixed woodland with a number of interesting trees, including some very old looking Yew Trees. NOTE: Although not a steep gradient uphill, the path can be a little slippery when wet.

The path soon levels out and, following a break in the trees to allow for the passage of some power pylons, the path exits the woodland and once again meets the metalled access lane down to Swarration Farm. At this point, turn left to follow the Wayfarer's Walk, retracing your steps back down to the car park at Abbotstone Down Car Park 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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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author MarilynR and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 comments for "The Three Paths Trail"

Beautiful walk. Thank you.

By PaulB31 on 03 Jun 2018

Use the lat-long in your database - the postcode is a mile off. Lovely walk after that. The road part was a bit busy.

By porkfin on 16 Sep 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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