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Hampshire's Countryside

A-Z of countryside sites

Mapping Hampshire's countryside
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A

Abbotstone Down
Downland and woodland picnic site within the earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort near Old Alresford. Car park off B3046 road.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 585 362

Alice Holt Forest
This ancient forest is famous for its oak trees which once supplied timber for navy ships.
OS grid ref: SU810420

Ashford Hangers National Nature Reserve
Beautiful and varied "hanger" woodland of beech, ash and yew on steep chalk hillsides, with areas of chalk grassland. There is a memorial to local poet Edward Thomas on the Shoulder of Mutton hill, from where there are panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 735 265

Avington Park
Parkland picnic site, overlooking Avington Lake in the Itchen valley. A popular starting point for local walks. Car park off the minor road between Avington and Easton villages.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 527 322

Avon Water, Pennington
Small wetland area managed under agreement with Southern Water.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SZ 308 934

 

B

Basingstoke Canal
Canal Centre at Mytchett, Surrey. Fully restored waterway and towpath from Greywell in Hampshire to Byfleet in Surrey. The canal is managed for conservation and recreation, including boating and fishing. A towpath trail follows the waterway. The canal centre is open to visitors most days and provides an information point, exhibition about the canal, tea-room, and children’s play area. The Centre is also a starting point for boat trips and serves as the administrative centre for the whole of the canal. Car parking at various points along the canal.
tel 01252 370073, OS grid ref SU 894 551

Beacon Hill lron Age Hillfort
Near Burghclere An impressive hillfort on chalk grassland with extensive views over the North Wessex Downs. Car park off A34 road.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 463 575

Bishops Waltham Railway Path
A permissive footpath following part of the former railway line between Bishops Waltham and Botley, from the roundabout on the A332/B3035 to the footpath by Brooklands Farm.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 550 174

Blackwater Valley
Between Aldershot and Eversley River valley with walks and a wide range of outdoor activities, including special events and school activities, managed by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Service, a partnership project between Hampshire County Council and other community organisations. Car parking at various points within the valley.
tel 01252 331353, OS grid ref SU 860 590

Botley Wood Local Nature Reserve
Near Wickham. An extensive area of varied woodland, scrub and grassland with rides and ancient droveways. The woods are of exceptional importance for wildlife.
tel 01329 662145, OS grid ref SU 552 097

Bramshill Common
Small fragment of wooded common land, managed by Bramshill Parish Council.
tel 01962 846037, OS grid ref SU 745 613

Browndown
Near Lee-on-the-Solent. Open grassland and amenity area between residential area and the Browndown military training area.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SZ 573 996

Broxhead Common
Near Lindford and Bordon. Part of the Broxhead & Kingsley Commons, an area of open dry heathland which is of national importance for its bird and insect life. Car park off B3004 road adjacent to Lindford cricket pitch.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 806370

Buckland Rings
Iron Age hillfort with woodland and grassland. North of Lymington.
OS grid ref SZ 314 969

 

C

Calshot Marshes Nature Reserve
Saltmarsh and inter-tidal mudland lying within the shelter of Calshot Spit, close to the Calshot Activities Centre. Car park nearby, charges apply.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SU 486 017

Castle Bottom National Nature Reserve
Near Eversley. Heathland and woodland nature reserve with important areas of valley mire.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 795 596

Castle Shore Park
Portchester. Landscaped open space on the shore of Portsmouth Harbour, close to Portchester Castle. Car park nearby, adjacent to Portchester Castle.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid SU 623 050

Catherington Down Nature Reserve
Chalk grassland and woodland, with well-preserved strip lynchets, an important example of early strip cultivation. Managed in partnership with the Hampshire Wildlife Trust.
tel 023 9259 5040, OS grid SU 693 144

Cheesefoot Head
A small viewpoint on the high downs to the east of Winchester. Car park off A272 Winchester-Petersfield road. Popular car park for ramblers joining the South Downs Way.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid SU 529 278

Chilling Coastal Area
Sea views from cliff tops overlooking the Solent, coastal farmland and woodland with attractive walks and horseriding routes. The area is managed primarily for agriculture, with areas set aside for nature conservation and public access. Not suitable for wheelchair access. Car parks at Thatcher’s Copse (off Meon Lane) and Hook Lane, Titchfield.
tel 01329 662145, OS grid SU 529 038

Claylands Nature Reserve
An area of grassland, scrub and woodland on the site of a former claypit, once used for brick-making. Although small, the reserve supports a remarkable variety of wildlife.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid SU 548 180

Crab Wood Nature Reserve
Near Sparsholt, Winchester. Ancient woodlands of oak, ash, maple and hazel, mainly of coppice origin, with a rich flora and fauna. Small woodland car park with picnic area, benches and free to use family size barbeque grills.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid SU 438 295

 

D

Danebury Iron Age Hillfort
A spectacular monument, enclosed by high ramparts, in a beautiful downland setting. The site is of national importance for both archaeology and nature conservation. Car park with toilets off the Stockbridge to Middle Wallop road.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid SU 329 378

Dundridge Nature Reserve
Grassland habitats on gently sloping ground, in the quiet Dundridge valley near Bishops Waltham.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid SU 564 182

 

E

 

F

Farley Mount Country Park
A large area of beautiful downland and woodland, including West Wood (managed by Forest Enterprise). The Park is ideal for walking and picnicking, with fine views over central Hampshire, particularly from the interesting monument at Beacon Hill. Several car parks serve the area, and there are toilets at Crab Wood.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 420 293

Fort Nelson Downland
Downland area with a rich flora, enjoying panoramic views over Portsmouth Harbour. The car park serves nearby Fort Nelson, the Royal Armouries Museum of Artillery.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 607 070

 

G

Greywell Tunnel
A former tunnel for the Basingstoke Canal, now closed due to a major collapse of the roof lining. The tunnel is of national importance as a winter roost for bats. The tunnel portal may be viewed from the adjacent canal towpath.
tel 01252 370073, OS grid ref SU 719 515

Gutner Point Nature Reserve
Hayling Island.
Grassland, saltmarsh and inter-tidal mudland extending into Chichester Harbour.
tel 0239247 6411, OS grid ref SU 735 015

 

H

Hackett’s Marsh Nature Reserve
Wet meadows and saltmarsh on the shore of the River Hamble near Bursledon. Restricted access; please phone for details.
tel 0238045 6484, OS grid ref SU 485 089

Hamble Common
Hamble Common is 55 acres of coastal heath of special scientific interest managed by the Countryside Service of Eastleigh Borough Council.

Hamble Rail Trail
Path following the disused railway line from Royal Victoria Country Park to Hamble Lane.
tel 0238045 5157, OS grid ref SU 465 082

Haven House Visitor Centre
Haven House visitor centre contains information and displays, a shop, tearoom with views over the Solent, and toilets. Tickets to visit Titchfield Haven NNR can be bought at the visitor centre. Car parking on nearby seafront.
tel 01329 662145, OS grid ref SU 535 023

Hawley Meadows
Meadows adjacent to the River Blackwater.
tel 01252 331353, OS grid ref SU 860 590

Hayling Billy Coastal Path
Coastal footpath, bridlepath and cycleway along the shoreline of Langstone Harbour, following the route of the former Hayling Billy railway. Small car park at North Hayling (near filling station) and at West Town.
tel 0239247 6411, OS grid ref SU 717 030

Herbert Plantation Nature Reserve
Mixed woodland of oak, birch, alder and pine.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 474 622

Hook-with-Warsash Local Nature Reserve
Varied coastal habitats of shingle, grassland, wetland and woodland at the mouth of the Hamble river. Car parks in Warsash village.
tel 01329 662145, OS grid ref SU 493 051

Hurst Spit
Near Keyhaven
Shingle and saltmarsh adjacent to Hurst Castle, at the western end of the Solent.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SZ 317 900

 

I

 
 

J

Johnston’s Coppice Nature Reserve
Varied woodland nature reserve and environmental study area serving nearby schools.
tel 023 92 476411, OS grid ref SU 689 077

http://johnstonscoppice.wordpress.com

 

K

The Kench Nature Reserve
Saltmarsh and tidal inlet of Langstone Harbour, of special importance as a sheltered feeding area for birds.
tel 0239247 6411, OS grid ref SZ 693 997

Kite's Croft Nature Reserve
Oak and alder woodlands bordering the Brownwich Stream near Titchfield.
tel 0238045 6484, OS grid ref SU 528 066

 

L

Lancaster House
Site of former Poor Law House, now attractive grassland and woodland
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 360 349

Lepe Country Park
Attractive beaches and coastal walks with superb views over the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The Park has a visitor information point, toilets, cafeteria, shop, restaurant and children’s play area. Car parking charges apply.
tel 0238089 9108, OS grid ref SZ 456 985

Lymington - Keyhaven Nature Reserve
Coastal marshes, lagoons and former salt marshes

 

M

Manor Farm Country Park
Farmland and ancient woodland beside the river Hamble, with a historic working farm - ‘life in the past lane: Manor Farm is ideal for the whole family, with a wide range of livestock and superb collection of old farm buildings at its centre. The park offers extensive riverside and woodland walks, picnic areas and children’s play areas, tea rooms, a shop and programme of events. Car parking and entry charges apply.
tel 01489 787055, OS grid ref SU 497 110

Martin Down National Nature Reserve
Chalk grassland and scrub, of national importance for its rich archaeology and wealth of downland wildlife. The reserve is managed in partnership with English Nature. Car parks at Sillens Lane, to the west of Martin village, and off the A354 Salisbury-Blandford road.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SU 057 192

Meon Valley Trail
Meon Valley, from West Meon to Mislingford. Footpath, bridleway and cycleway following the route of the former railway line, open from West Meon to Knowle. Small car park at West Meon (old station).
tel 0845 603 5638, OS grid ref SU 642 237

Mercury Marshes Nature Reserve
Saltmarsh, reedbeds and scrub flanking the river Hamble.
tel 0238045 6484, OS grid ref SU 485 076

The Moors Nature Reserve
Flower-rich wet meadows, fen and woodland surrounding a group of springs and a mill pond, at the source of the Hamble river near Bishops Waltham. The site is of exceptional interest for its flora and fauna.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 558 169

 

N

Netley Common
Open heathland and woodland on the outskirts of Southampton. A small remnant of a habitat now rare in this part of Hampshire.
tel 023 8045 6484, OS grid ref SU 478 118

Netley Woods (St. Mary’s Road and Gashouse Lane)
Small areas of woodland which once formed part of the entrance to the original Royal Victoria Hospital.
tel 023 8045 5157, OS grid ref SU 465 085

New Forest
Set aside as a hunting ground by William the Conqueror in 1079, it is a living and working place where ponies and cattle freely graze the land and wild deer browse beneath canopies of oak and beech

 

O

Oakdene Wood
Small area of oak woodland within mainly built-up area in Rowner, Gosport.
tel 023 8045 6484, OS grid ref SU 588 025

Odiham Castle
Near North Warnborough. Ruins of a 13th. Century royal hunting lodge, alongside the Basingstoke Canal. A scheduled ancient monument, known locally as "King John’s Castle".
tel 01256 844214, OS grid ref SU 725 518

Old Winchester Hill
National nature reserve, with steep downland slopes, an iron age hillfort and wonderful views. owned and managed by the English Nature

Oliver’s Battery
Oliver’s Battery, Winchester. Historic earthworks dating from the Iron Age.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 459 278

Oxenbourne Down Nature Reserve
The reserve forms a significant part of the Butser Hill National Nature Reserve. It comprises an area of species-rich downland and yew woodland on the southern flanks of Butser. Car parking at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
tel 023 9259 5040, OS grid ref SU 716 185

 

P

Park Field
Open space land forming part of a strategic gap within the Havant area.
tel 023 9247 641,1 OS grid ref SU 702 088

Peak Copse
Mixed plantation woodland.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 592 474

Petersfield Heath
The heath is all the more delightful for the surprise of finding its great expanse of grass, heathland and pond such a short walk from the High Street

Portsdown Hill
A chalk escarpment 120 metres high with spectacular viewpoint across the Portsmouth harbour to the Isle of Wight. It also has an interesting military history, as well as being an important area for wildlife.

 

Q

Queen Elizabeth Country Park
The Park is managed in partnership with Forest Enterprise, and comprises extensive woodland and dramatic downland scenery. There are magnificent views from the top of Butser Hill, highest point on the South Downs, and of national importance for its chalk grassland habitats. Butser is managed with Oxenbourne Down as a National Nature Reserve. A cafeteria, shop, information point and toilets are located in the Visitor Centre. Special activities and facilities are provided for schools. The Park also offers children’s play areas, horseriding and mountain biking trails, and a varied programme of events. Car parking charges apply.
tel 023 9259 5040, OS grid ref SU 718 185

 

R

Rockbourne Knoll Iron Age Hillfort
The site comprises part of a hill-fort, situated on a ridge of high ground to the west of Rockbourne. It is a scheduled ancient monument. Close to Rockbourne Roman Villa tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SU 099 185

Royal Victoria Country Park
Attractive parkland, woodland and seashore overlooking Southampton Water, on the site of a once-famous military hospital. The Park has an information point, shop and exhibition housed within the former hospital chapel. There are also tearooms, a children’s play area and a miniature railway, as well as easy access trails, sensory garden, toilets, BBQ areas and an exciting programme of events. Car parking charges apply, and there is a separate charge to view the chapel exhibition and tower.
tel 023 8045 5157, OS grid ref SU 457 080

Rye and Hillside Commons
Wooded common land.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 757 511

 

S

Sandy Point Nature Reserve
Coastal dune, heath and grassland with rare plants and insects.
tel 023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SZ 747 9811

Seven Barrows
A group of Bronze Age bowl barrows, at the foot of Beacon Hill, alongside the A34. A scheduled ancient monument.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 462 552

Shawford Down
Chalk downland and scrub, with a prominent series of strip lynchets.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 471 250

Shawford Knoll
Near Shawford and Compton villages. Chalk grassland area, established as part of the landscape scheme carried out alongside the M3 and grazed by sheep. Dog free site.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 470 255

Silchester Roman Town
One of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain and one of the very few with continuous occupation since the Iron Age.

Shortheath Common Nature Reserve
Heathland and woodland with an important valley mire. Small car park off minor road between Kingsley and Oakhanger.
tel 023 9247 6411. , OS grid ref SU 775 369

Staunton Country Park
1,000 acres of beautiful parkland with lake and follies. Ornamental Farm with a wide range of animals, walled garden and fabulous tropical glasshouses. The park has a farmhouse cafe, visitor centre, gift shop, toilets and children’s play area. Facilities are available for disabled visitors and groups, and there is a programme of special events and activities. Entry charges apply for the farm and gardens.
tel 023 9245 3405, OS grid ref SU 722 087

Strawberry Fields
Warsash.
Picnic site and viewpoint overlooking the mouth of the Hamble River. Managed in partnership with Fareham Borough Council.
tel 023 8045 5157, OS grid ref SU 492 059

 

T

Test Valley Path (Test Way)
Part of the Test Way long-distance footpath, established on the route of the disused railway line. Car parks at Stonymarsh and Horsebridge.
tel 01962 86094, OS grid ref SU 336 270

Three Maids Hill
A roadside belt of beech woodland, north of Winchester.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 460 339

Tidpit Down
Downland picnic area and access land with important archaeological features.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SU 072 181

Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve
Major wetland nature reserve at the mouth of the Meon river, of particular importance for wildfowl, waders and a wide range of breeding birds. Tickets to visit the Reserve can be bought at the Haven House visitor centre. A programme of walks and other events covers the three adjacent nature reserves and coastal area. Car parking on nearby seafront.
tel 01329 662145, OS grid ref SU 535 023

 

U

 
 

V

 
 

W

Waterloo Oaks
A roadside belt of ancient oaks.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 722 565

West Down
Woodland and downland open space and picnic area. Car park.
tel 01962 860948, OS grid ref SU 386 390

Western Commons, New Forest: Gorley, Hyde, lbsley and Rockford
In the parishes of Hyde, Ellingham, Harbridge and lbsley. Predominantly open heathland on the western edge of the N Forest, grazed by the livestock belonging to local commoners. The commons are of outstanding importance for wildlife. Restricted car parking on site at Abbotswell and North Gorley.
tel 01590 674656, OS grid ref SU 165 115

Westwood Woodland Park
Ancient woodland with streamside walks, rolling grassland slopes and extensive views. The site includes historic water conduits which once served the nearby Netley Abbey. A programme of events and educational activities is provided for Westwood and other countryside sites in the area. Car parking at Weston Shore.
tel 023 8045 6484, OS grid ref SU 447 094

Whitehill
Downland viewpoint on the north Hampshire downs. Car park off B3051 between Overton and Kingsclere.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 517 565

Whiteley Coppices: Berry, Gull and Round Coppice
Ancient coppice woodland of oak, ash and hazel.
tel 023 8045 6484, OS grid ref SU 525 094

Wickham Common
Open grassland, heathland and woodland, rich in plantlife and insects.
023 9247 6411, OS grid ref SU 591 109

Wicor
Coastal scrub and grazing land on the shore of Portsmouth Harbour.
tel 0239247 6411, OS grid ref SU 605 047

 

X

 
 

Y

Yateley Common Country Park
Extensive heathland complex with areas of open heather, gorse, birch and oak woodland. The site is covered by a good network of paths and trails. Guided walks and school visits are available by arrangement. Fishing at Wyndhams Pool by permit only. Car parks are sited at Wyndhams Pool (off Cricket Hill Lane), and at Stroud’s Pond and the Gravel Pit off the A30.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 820 595

 

Z

Zebon Copse Nature Reserve
Mixed broad-leaved woodland with mire habitats adjoining the Basingstoke Canal.
tel 01252 870425, OS grid ref SU 798 518

 
 

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