Section 34 Out
Crondall to Odiham
|OS Explorer 144 Basingstoke
|5 miles/ 3 hrs
|The Plume of Feathers in Crondall
|A pleasant and straightforward walk through undulating countryside presenting unfolding scenes and excellent views. There is a short stretch of permissive path and longer sections of road walking, although this is on very minor country roads with little traffic. There are many stiles. One farm has an interesting stock of horses, ostrich and Llamas.
With The Plume of Feathers on your left ignore the road down the side and go straight ahead along Well Road, heading out of the village. Just past a pond on the right, turn right up Itchel Lane for ¼ mile. At a Y-fork bear right and continue on to a T-junction.
Cross to a (broken) stile by a metal fieldgate. Enter a pasture and walk down bearing slightly right past isolated trees on your left. Find and cross a stile at the end and go on down a further pasture to a stile at the bottom. Cross into the corner of a field. Go a little right to cross the field bearing slightly left of pylons ahead to eventually reach a metal kissing gate.
Go through into the top of a long narrow paddock. Turn right to go down under power lines between pylons to a stile by a metal fieldgate. Cross into a green lane between lines of trees. Continue uphill. On reaching an isolated lodge, turn left on the entrance drive.
The drive leads to a very busy road. Don’t go all the way along, but, just before a bend, look for a very feint path off left through holly bushes, small branches have fallen across it (if the way through the trees is too difficult walk along the main road to the drive to Great Rye Farm turn down to a grassy area (see below)). Follow the feint path through the trees, parallel with a field edge over on your left. Emerge into an open area and skirt a shallow pond to reach a stream.
It’s rather boggy here and there is no footbridge but it is possible to cross. Continue on a rough path to meet the drive to Great Rye Farm Cross this and bear right across a grassy area to go on on a grassy path by trees screening the main road. Cross a footbridge and continue to soon reach a road end at Little Rye Farm.
Keep on in the same direction along the road, parallel to the main road which can be heard over on the right. Keep on the road for ½ mile, ignoring a turning to Odiham off right. Eventually the road turns left and reaches a junction. Here turn left onto a narrow side road to Roke. Follow this for ½ mile around two bends (ignore a bridleway off left at the first bend and another off right at the second bend).
Keep on for 200 metres uphill. At the top the road twists left then right. Here look for a stile on the left into the corner of a field. Bear left along by the fence on your left to soon cross two stiles into the top corner of a large sloping pasture.
From the corner go diagonally right down the centre of the field, aiming left of a brick oast in the valley below. As the field is descended a fence appears over on your left. Look for a stile in this. Cross and keep on in the same direction, down through horses and ostrich to another stile at the meeting of the corners of several fields.
Cross this stile and keep on in the same diagonal direction, down to a stand of young trees. Go through the trees to a corner. Go through a gap and drop down into another field. Once again keep on diagonally left heading towards the tower of Odiham church in the distance.
Reach a gap in the far hedge and keep on up and across the field ahead to a stile (broken) in the hedge (the red oast is over on the right). Drop down to a narrow road. Cross to a gap in the hedge and continue diagonally across the next field, still aiming for the church tower.
At the bottom reach a road. Cross to climb up into a vast field ahead. Keep on diagonally left still aiming for the pinnacles of the church. Halfway across the field, turn right on a path heading towards modern houses up on the skyline. Aim particularly towards a house with picture windows and a conservatory.
At the top of the field go forward into an enclosed path. Follow this down and over a road. Continue down to a second road then on through a wooden kissing gate to a grassy area then gravel drive beyond leading to a road in Odiham village.
Cross the road and turn left under the Hovis sign to a junction. Turn right a short distance then cross to an enclosed footpath hidden at the side of a house once a pub. Go up this path. Cross a road and continue to reach a metal kissing gate into a field. Turn right along the field edge with houses on your right.
At the bottom of the field cross into a field beyond. Continue up to a metal kissing gate by a white house. Turn right on the track down the side of the house to a road. Turn left along the road to soon reach the Waterwitch pub and restaurant and the end of the section.