Section 36 Return
Hazeley to Hook
|OS Explorer 144 Basingstoke
|4 miles/ 2 hours
|The Shoulder of Mutton pub in Hazeley.
|An excellent walk of contrasts and constant new experiences, from woodland paths to heathland, field edges and secret secluded ways only accessible to walkers. Enjoy the excellent West Green House and the impressive Borough Court. Seen on this walk, deer, woodpecker, heron, butterflies and Gloucester Old Spots. There are many stiles.
With the Shoulder of Mutton pub on your right walk down the road past the car park and houses down on your right. At a Y-fork go left up to a main road. With care cross to the far side and join a footpath off diagonally right across a footbridge into woods.
This soon crosses another footbridge and reaches a drive to a police college. Turn left down the drive to eventually arrive at a twin lodge gateway. Here turn right along the edge of the wood for ½ mile. Make sure you are right over left at the wood edge on a proper footpath not a rutted tractor track running parallel to it at some distance from the edge.
Ignore side tracks and keep forward eventually passing a pond and reaching a stile in a hedge leading to a gravel parking area by Crabtree Lodge. Go across the gravel and immediately past the first tree on your right turn right up a path into woodland. There are no more waymarks on this path. Go up through the trees passing the pond over on your right. The path reaches a sunken path at the top of the woods. Bear left on this and follow it parallel to telegraph poles on your left. After a while the path broadens and veers away from the poles. Follow it across the heath. At the far side it meets a cross track.
Turn right on this, gradually rising up through gorse bushes. Near the top of the rise the track disappears into the gorse. Just before this the gorse gives way on your left to a short section of trees. Turn left on a leafy path through the trees to a main road close by.
With care cross the road to a vehicle track opposite. Go down this. Where the track swings left go straight on down through trees. The path is very feint but at the bottom, with a field beyond, reach a bridleway. Turn left on this down to a road.
Turn left along the road ignoring a side turning. Just before a house on the right, turn right off the road up steps to a gate. Through this follow an enclosed path to a metal kissing gate and a junction of paths. Bear left down to a corner of fencing. Still keep left along the foot of gardens with a fence on your right. Keep following the fence.
Where it ends cross a footbridge and (broken) stile and go on to a second footbridge. Go forward into the bottom edge of a large field (the path is now easy to follow but not always on the public right of way). Turn left along the field edge with a hedge on your left. The hedge becomes a wooden fence and swings right uphill towards a house. Keep on along by the fence (ignore a stile off left).
At the top of the field swing right then left around the house. At the far side, drop down left onto an entrance drive and walk down this for ¼ mile, ignoring all side paths, to eventually reach a road.
Cross to the road opposite and go down for 50 metres. Leave the road bearing left onto a grassy track into trees. In a short distance meet a broad cross track. Turn right on this (ignore a footbridge on your right) and follow it down past a pond to a road.
Cross the road to the gravel drive to West Green House. Walk up this to a car parking area. Bear right here through iron gates and on past the house. Keep on to more iron gates. Exit through these to an enclosed path down through woods. Eventually reach Murrell Green Road.
Cross and go through a wooden fieldgate to a cinder track beyond. At the bottom, go through a metal fieldgate and on down a grassy way by a horse training area. At the bottom at a line of trees, turn right along with a ditch on your left and a fence on the right. Soon reach a farm track. Turn left on this down to farm buildings.
Reach a gravel parking area. Bear right across this to a broad track between fences. Go through a metal fieldgate at the end into a paddock. Cross towards the top righthand corner and a footbridge and stile.
Cross into a further paddock. Go straight across to another footbridge. Over this follow the fenceline up to a stile in the top corner. Ignore this stile and keep on around the edge of the field to another stile by a metal fieldgate at the far end (a fine house, Borough Court, is over on your left).
Cross the stile and follow the stream on your left to a further stile by a gate. Cross this and follow the hedge on your right away from the river along the edge of a large field under power lines to a broken stile at the very end.
Cross into an enclosed path. At the end ignore a path off right and drop down left to walk along by a stream. This soon joins a driveway. Go all the way down this to meet a main road by the Crooked Billet pub in Hook and the start of the section.