Bishop’s Waltham nature walk
This circular walk starts in the attractive market town of Bishop’s Waltham. It visits local nature reserves managed by Hampshire County Council as well as land owned by the Woodland Trust and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. There are a number of information boards along the way.
Download the route map 227kb pdf
Length: 3 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Accessibility: No stiles, but many kissing gates. Undulating tracks and paths with two steep descents down steps.
Start point: Central car park in Bishop’s Waltham. Charges apply.
Public transport: Stagecoach no.69 bus from Winchester and Fareham. Brijan no.7 bus from Southampton. Bluestar F bus from Eastleigh.
From the central car park, pass the chapel up Little Shore Lane to the T-junction. Turn right, then take the second left to the gate into The Moors. Keep right to the kissing gate to visit the Sand Boils, a source of the River Hamble. Return to the meadow, bear diagonally left, and then bear right and through the gate into the wood. Follow the path past numerous springs on the right. At the gate bear diagonally right across the field, past the bench and passing the fen on the right, which is of exceptional interest for its flora and fauna.
Pass to the left of the five-bar gate, to the narrow strip wood and, after the first kissing gate, turn left down a narrow path. Keep straight through the gate, following the right side of the meadows, which are retained as natural pastures, to arrive at Hoe Road. Turn right and, after the cemetery, turn left into West Hoe Lane taking care in crossing the road. After 200m, at the cross tracks, turn left and up the hill to open fields. Then bear right and immediately left to the path crossing the brow of the hill. Looking back over your left shoulder, the Isle of Wight can be seen in the distance.
Enter Runnydown Copse and descend a flight of steps to the track junction, then turn left along the path, exiting the wood to Dundridge Meadow, a south-facing chalky grassland bank with new wildlife habitats. After 200m continue straight on at the second bench and through the gate into the wood. Follow the track down the steps and along the path, keeping straight on into Chalky Lane, emerging at Free Street. Turn left, then right to St Peter’s Church. Enter the churchyard through the gate on the left, pass the church, and exit through the gates and down St Peter’s Street. Cross the road and return to the car park.
This walk has been supplied by Bishop’s Waltham Parish Council.
This was a relaxed and very enjoyable walk. The car park is easy to find and only 60p to park for two hours which is ample for the walk.
This walk is only suitable for people that can manage steep steps as there are two lots to be negotiated.
At Beechen Copse watch out for mountain bikes and do be aware of traffic on the road sections.
Reviewed by Nigel Wright, from Chineham