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Walk 6

The Brenda Parker Way

From Tadley to Kingsclere

Approximate time 10 miles, 5 hours

Map Reference: 605 609 at start of walk

The Brenda Parker Way has been developed by the North Hampshire Downs Ramblers Group in memory of Brenda Parker, a leading Rambler who was involved with rights of way work in Hampshire for over 35 years. 

This 78-mile-long distance path is broken into nine sections and crosses the rich and diverse north Hampshire countryside between the towns of Aldershot and Andover.  These towns lie respectively at the eastern and western edges of the north of the county and have links to Hampshire’s military heritage.

This walk describes the section from Tadley to Kingsclere, characterised by small patches of woodland and farmland, with an important nature reserve at Ashford Hill.  The route crosses what could have been the area submerged by the Enborne Valley Flood Schemes.

Start from St.  Paul’s Church at The Green in Tadley, continue to the end of the road and join a footpath along a track and then into an enclosed path beside some houses and then follow the path to a road. 

Turn right into Church Road and at the end cross New Road and follow the pavement to the left, over Guttridge Lane to follow the pavement between houses and a hedge to the corner.  Here go through the gap and cross the road to take the left fork along an oak-lined road to the corner.  Leave the road here and cross the stile on to a footpath and follow the field edge beside some more oaks past a path junction to the end and follow the path round to the right to the road.

Turn right then left over a stile and follow the left field edge round the field to the houses in the distance.  Cross the stile by the gate and turn right along Baughurst Road and then left into Chapel Lane beside the former Primitive Methodist Chapel. 

In Chapel Lane pass the footpath on the left and continue to Curtis Farm and through the gate on the left side of the farm, following the path down and over a stream.  Then turn right and follow the hedge round to the left and up to Violet Lane where you turn right to meet Wolverton Road, turn right then left on to Inhurst Lane and left at the first footpath turning along a loose chippings track.  At the end of the hedge turn right across the field north-westerly towards some woods.

At the wood edge take the dominant path that forks left and straight on and across the next footpath junction.  Continue westerly to follow the wire-mesh fence on your right as far as a bridleway joining from the left just before a ditch.  Cross the ditch leaving the wood to enter an open green near a waymark sign. 

In addition to the public rights of way, there are several other paths in this valley, but you need to find you way downstream to the road.  Pass the sign and follow the bridleway until a third of the way across the green and then turn right towards a green Natural England sign and gate into the Ashford Hill National Nature Reserve.  Follow the path round and down to the left onto the boardwalks beside Baughurst Brook to a metal gate by a wide wooden bridge over the stream.

Cross this and follow the edge of the green to the right, noting the flowers in these water meadows, and follow the grass track on the south side of the stream to a metalled track that leads to the gate on the Ashford Hill Road, the B3051, at Ashford Hill.  If you are ready for a lunch stop, The Ship Inn beckons across the road bridge to your right.

Continuing, take the track opposite the exit of the nature reserve, Old Lane.  Follow this gravel track all the way to the last house where the bridleway continues through a gap, change to the 158 map and at the road turn right down to the footpath on the left.  Follow the footpath along the right edge of the field, round the corner near a pylon, down to cross a small footbridge, and into woodland and then left beside a fence to eventually join a grassy track beside the River Enborne.

At a metalled drive turn right, pause to see the river from Park Gully Bridge but do not cross it, continue along the path beside the river but soon pass through a gate on the left to cross a field to another gate on the edge of a copse.  Turn left and take the path up through the copse and continue in this direction to the road at Goose Hill. 

Turn right along the road as far as the bridleway on the left at Goose Hill House and follow this up, past paths crossing near a corner of a wood to reach Huntsmoor Hill.  Turn left at the junction and then fork left down to the road.  Turn right here and then left into a cul-de-sac and follow the road past the houses at Plastow Green.  Go left at the path junction and just after a gate on the road leading to Scarlett’s Farm, turn right onto a footpath and follow the field edge with the hedge on the left to meet a bridleway.

At the bridleway, turn left and continue towards Watchbury Copse and turn right at a stile just before passing under the second set of power cables at the corner of Watchbury Copse.  Follow the path southwards along the edge of the copse and on the rise of the hill you have the first glimpse of the North Hampshire Downs in the distance to your right.  Some of the paths on the ground may differ from your map, but continue to follow the field edge ignoring first a stile on the left and then a little further on a metal kissing gate hidden in the hedge beneath some overhead cables.  A little further on take the stile on the left into a small band of trees and exit by a second stile.  Turn right and continue along the northeast side of Harridens Great Copse up to a stile on the right taking you southwards.

Follow the track through the copse, past a wooden keeper’s hut, down to a stream and up past a Harridens Wood sign facing away from you.  Keep on to a track and turn right for a short way before resuming on the footpath on the right, climbing gently beside a stream to emerge into a field.  Follow the field edge with the hedge on the left, join the 144 map and enter the wood where footpaths cross from left and right.  Keep straight on, with a an old boundary bank on your right, keep going, with fields through the trees to the right, as far as a stile into a field.  Cross the stile and another at the end of the field and turn right down to another, to follow a confined path to meet the A339.

Carefully cross the busy road and aim for the footpath a little way to the right, go over a ditch and turn right and follow a grassy path some way from but parallel to the A339 until a path is crossed with small gates to left and right.  Turn left and go up to join a metalled path to Strokins Road and turn right along the pavement to the end of the road. 

Continue a short distance then turn left along a metalled path through the trees.  At the next junction turn right and then left into the top of North Street, part of Kingsclere Millennium Trail, soon the church tower is visible and The Crown is at the end on the left on George Street opposite the church. 

Please help with updating the information on this walk.  This walk needs to be updated from the original 2012 version and if you follow this walk and notice a nice detail (an "instance of delight”) please send in images that we may use and a description of the item and where it is located.  Or if a walk reminds you of a personal anecdote, please sent it in to us.  The email address to use is in the below QR Code.  Just point your device camera at it and an email will automatically be addressed and prepared for you.  We will regularly update this walk with contributions from the community.