This is a walk from Robust Rambles, a collection of walks across the South East of England
Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2019
|Map||OS Explorer 144 Basingstoke|
|Distance||6 miles/ 3 hours|
|Start||The Crooked Billet pub on the east side of Hook on the A30.|
|Comment||Pleasant walk of constant twisting and changing paths providing much interest and contrasts from woods to heaths to secret shady ways; some boggy patches|
With the Crooked Billet pub on your right walk up the main road towards Hook (ignore a footpath down the side of the pub). Soon pass a Snack Bar and keep on to Hook House Hotel. Here turn right up a gravelled bridleway called Searl’s Lane.
Some way along pass Searl’s Farm on your right, ignore a footpath off right. The lane becomes a shady green way going gently downhill. Stay on the bridleway where it turns sharp right (the footpath off here was waterlogged but exits at the same place). Continue on bridleway which eventually becomes an asphalt drive down to a main road.
Turn right for a few paces over a stream then cross to go up a private track to fisheries and Nightingale Cottage (if this way is not available, turn left on the main road. At a fork, bear right on a side road and walk along looking for a footpath off on the right. Follow this up to Nightingale Cottage and continue uphill on the route).
If using the original route, on passing Nightingale Cottage on your left, come to a grassy cross path. Turn right uphill. Pass a small wood on your left and reach a junction at the top with a farm beyond. Turn left here onto a wide grassy common.
In the middle turn right to head down towards woods, passing the farm over on your right. At the bottom walk between ponds and over a footbridge to a cross path at the edge of a wood. Turn left here on the path running along the edge of the wood, the first section is very wet.
The path improves and runs along the edge of a field. At the end it pops into trees to meet a drive to Runton’s Farm. Cross this and go ahead into a field. Continue up the side of the field with a hedge on your left. When the hedge ends go forward to a Y-fork just before solitary trees. Bear right on a broad grassy track across the open field towards houses.
Emerge onto a road at Rotherwick. Turn left along to the Coach and Horses pub. Here turn right up the entrance to Rooks Farm. Pass buildings on your right then swing left. Go up the side of the first house on your left to reach a junction of paths where field corners meet just beyond a parking area. Turn right through two metal kissing gates. Walk down a paddock to a third kissing gate and turn right onto a narrow path between trees and a fence on your right. Soon enter a field and continue down its edge to a kissing gate at the bottom. Cross a grassy space to a kissing gate by a metal fieldgate.
Go forward on a drive to meet an asphalt roadway. Turn left on this into houses. Go up the edge of Wedman’s Place to an enclosed path which soon exits through a wooden kissing gate. Cross to a second kissing gate and cross a narrow field to a third kissing gate. Through this turn right over a footbridge into a narrow enclosed path to a drive. Turn right on this.
Follow this drive to soon cross a road and keep on past cottages to a grassy area by Rotherwick Woodland. Bear left to a metal kissing gate by a metal fieldgate and join a clear track beyond going up through the woods. Go under power lines to eventually reach a metal kissing gate and footbridge at the top of the wood. Continue by a fence on your right to a stile onto a road. Turn left on the road.
In ¼ mile turn right through metal gateposts. Immediately turn sharp right to a stile into a field. Turn left along the field edge. Just after passing a house on the left turn left out of the field over a stile. Go forward a few paces to a gravel drive. Cross this to go through a wooden fieldgate and go up the filed to a stile in the top right corner by a barn. Cross onto a gravel drive. Go over this and go up the back of the converted barn on a gravel way. At the top go through a wooden kissing gate into a field. Go up the field edge with a hedge and ditch on your right.
At a corner cross a stile and footbridge into the field on your right and turn left up the edge with hedge and ditch now on your left. Keep on around the top edge of the field to a squeeze stile. Through this bear right into the corner of a field. Turn left up the edge with woods on your left. Where these end continue across the open field towards an ancient barn in the distance.
Emerge onto a road by the barn. Turn right along the road for some way to reach a corner of common by Hound Green Close. Bear left across the common to reach a main road by a car sales garage. Cross to go down a gravel drive between the garage and a house called The Meet. Stay on the drive upto a wall then bear right onto an enclosed path.
This path is easy to follow going over a footbridge, across pasture then up through woodland. Ignore side paths and tracks and go straight up the woods (a bit boggy) to continue on a farm track at the back of extensive stables. Just past the last building on the right (a bungalow) turn right over an unpleasant stile (rocky and barbed wire) into a large rising pasture.
Go up with a fence on your right to the very top corner. Cross a stile and go down to a second stile. Cross to go down steps to a busy road. Cross to a rough horse ride and turn right along the road to a junction with a side road.
Cross to a side road opposite and walk down to the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Hazeley and the end of the section.