Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2020
Section 35 Out
Odiham to Hook
|Map||OS Explorer 144 Basingstoke|
|Distance/Time||3 miles/ 2 hours|
|Start||The Waterwitch by Basingstoke Canal|
|Comment||A straightforward short and open walk through mixed use countryside, the busy M3 motorway contrasting with the natural history of Bartley Heath. The odd boggy moment.|
With the Waterwitch pub on your right, walk up the road. Just over the brow of the hill turn right on a footpath on a gravel track between houses. At the end reach a metal kissing gate by a metal fieldgate. Go through in to a large triangular field. Walk continue to walk directly away from the road behind. Keep along the top side of the field on a feint grassy path parallel to the hedge over on your right.
Head to the right of a clump of trees and ponds at the far end. Past the ponds down on your left, ignore a footpath off left and continue under power lines into the next pasture. Continue as before but move up closer to the hedge on your right. At a junction of power lines, meet a metal fieldgate and a metal kissing gate in the hedge.
Turn right through the kissing gate go up the field under power lines with a hedge on your left. At the top leave the field over a stile by a metal fieldgate (rather boggy here) and go forward over a canal bridge then a road bridge.
Keep on down a farm road (ignore a stile on your right) to farm buildings. Join a concrete track and keep on through new industrial units (making plastic tubs) and continue to a crossroads by a brick building.
Turn left here past a pond on your right. Immediately turn right up the side of the pond past a pond and on to meet a grey packhouse. Bear left then right up the side of this building with a field and river on your left. Pass a second packhouse.
Keep on across open fields ahead by power lines towards distant trees and motorway. Cross a ditch midway and continue to enter trees at the far side. Immediately turn right on a cross track and go along to a footbridge and cross the motorway.
At the far side enter Bartley Heath (beware of the ponies ! but look out for the Ruddy Darter and Broad Bodied Chaser dragonflies). Walk directly away from the motorway on a clear path. This soon becomes a wide beaten earth track straight as an arrow up the heath with power lines on the left.
Eventually pass under power lines and leave the heath through a gate by a cattle grid. Continue in same direction. The track becomes a roadway and passes under a railway. Go on by new houses onto what is now a public road. Basically keep on in the same direction.
Look out for a cycletrack on your left. Walk along this to take you through the road junction ahead aiming towards distant power lines.
Keep on the road ahead up to a junction with a main road and the Crooked Billet in Hook at the end of the section.