The village of Selborne is famous for having Gilbert White of one of its inhabitants. Gilbert White was a naturalist, born in 1720. The walk starts by walking up a zig-zag path, cut by Gilbert White and his brother, in 1753.
This is my first walk from Hampshire - the county I was born and raised in!
O/S Ref: SU742335
Length: 10¾ Miles approx.
Approximate time: 3¾-4¼ hours.
Parking: Car park just off B3006 in Selborne.
Refreshments: Pubs in Selborne or East Worldham. Lots of culinary establishments in Alton if you want to take the diversion half-way through the walk.
Start by walking out of the car park. At a footpath signpost, which has “The Zig-Zag Path and Hanger” on it, turn sharp right. Continue along a stony path, going through a kissing gate, then turn left to start up the zig-zag path. Don't be tempted by any paths off it; keep on it right to the top. At the top, take a path in a westerly direction (1), through some pleasant woodland. On coming to a more open part, keep along the left edge of the clearing, going slightly left on a path at the far end.
At the end of the wooded area, rather than continue on the bridleway you are on, climb a stile to turn right at a footpath signpost to follow the left edge of a field. At the far end of the field, turn left then immediately right to pick up the bridleway again. On coming to a road, turn right, then right at a church signpost to head towards a church. Just before the church is a junction of paths – take the one to the left to head in a north-westerly direction. Keep ahead between an area of scrub to the left and a field to the right.
Go through a couple of metal kissing gates to cross a track. Carry on in the same direction gently downhill on a meadow, with some extensive views ahead. At the end of the meadow, climb two stiles in quick succession, then turn right onto a road. After 100 metres or so, turn left at a public footpath signpost (2). Follow a track with a barbed wire fence to the right, and a hedge to the left. As the path starts to climb, go left, then immediately right near a pylon, to walk along the right edge of a field. At the far corner of this field, go left at a way-marker. Keep ahead to a gap on the right by a signpost. Turn right here to strike diagonally across a field towards a signpost. Keep ahead at the sign into another field, still diagonally, to another signpost at the far side. Cross a stile here to go (still diagonally) through a young plantation initially, then into a meadow. Cross another two stiles to turn right onto a bridleway, which soon curves left. Follow the bridleway to a road then turn right (it may be a bit muddy just before this turn).
Follow the road for a short while, until it bends right. Here, go straight ahead, on a path to the right of a public house. Turn left round the far side of the pub grounds, then right at following corner. After about 200 metres, just before a hedge, turn left over a stile to walk along the east edge of a meadow. Turn right over a stile in the far corner, then climb another stile after a short piece of meadow. Go through a farm-yard, then turn left along a track. Follow the track to a road, then turn right. Walk along the road for about 400 metres, coming to a signpost pointing left. Take this turn (3), along a track, which curves right after a short distance, by a signpost. Follow an enclosed section of path for a short while, with a narrow belt of trees to the left. Climb a stile at the end of this section, into a pasture, keeping to the right initially. Soon, the path follows a route somewhere half-way between a hedge on the right, and a stream on the left (Caker Stream). We'll be seeing quite a bit of this stream for the next mile or so!
Cross a stile at the far end of the pasture, then follow the path – now quite close to the stream. After a while (200-300 metres), cross a bridge to walk along the other side of the stream. Keep ahead to climb a stile, then turn right to follow a signpost to cross the stream again, following another signpost to go left, keeping the stream one more to the left. Climb another stile soon, to go through a small meadow to a road (B3006). Turn right onto the road for a short distance, then left at a signpost onto a track for the last part of our out-bound journey, ignoring all paths to the left and right. Keep ahead a junction of paths to cross a brick bridge over the stream again. Keep ahead, past a gauging station, then pass to the left of a gate. Go a few paces further, then turn right at a by-way signpost (4). Turn left soon at a footpath signpost. There IS a style here, but as it was a bit obstructed when the notes for this walk were taken, it was easier to creep around the side of a gate! The by-way may seem the more obvious way to go here, but it is extremely likely to be very wet (as its name, Water Lane, may suggest!).
Walk along the right edge of a golf fairway for about 600 metres, bearing left at a way-marker. Walk diagonally across the end of the golf-course, to come to another way-marker on the right, along the far boundary.
Walk diagonally across a field. I guess there could be an issue here during crop growing, with the path being ill-defined. It was okay however, in mid April. Make for the right end of a row of small trees, to come to a signpost. Cross a plank bridge, then aim for a point about 50 metres to the left of a windsock, coming to a signpost by a road. Descend the bank to the road (B3004), then turn right. This road can be pretty busy on week days, which may mean diving to the verge every so often to avoid traffic! Later on, there are pavements to make life a bit safer. Continue into East Worldham, past the Three Horseshoes pub, the “Hangers Way” soon emerging from the left (Wych Lane).
Leave East Worldham on the road, going gently downhill. Look out for a Hangers Way signpost to the right. Turn right to follow it (5). We will be using the Hangers Way on our route back to Selborne. The Hangers Way is a 21 mile long-distance path, running from Alton railway station to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Pass to the right of a barn, then at a signpost, turn left through a kissing gate. Aim towards the right end of a pond to turn left through another kissing gate, then cross a plank bridge. Go half-right to skirt the bottom of King John's Hill, in a south-east direction. Go through another kissing gate then turn half-left to follow the path. Follow a Hangers Way way-marker to go half-right, down to a kissing gate. Walk along the left edge of a meadow to yet another kissing gate, followed by a bridge, then another gate. Keep ahead in a south-easterly direction to – you've guessed it – yet another kissing gate, followed by a plank bridge. Go through what can be rather a muddy area, to continue in a southerly direction, your progress soon confirmed by a Hangers Way way-marker.
Turn right soon through a kissing gate in an easterly direction. Soon, there is a Hangers Way way-marker directing you left to cross a small plank bridge (6). The path weaves around trees in a wooded area. The path is fairly well defined, but you may have to look for it occasionally. Make for another kissing gate, then go half-right after it towards another gate, across a meadow. Enter another wooded area, going in a WSW direction, crossing a track after a short while. At this point, the obvious track to use is slightly diverted from that on the OS map. This diversion does seem the best way to go though. Carry on in the same direction the other side of the track – the path swings left a short while after, then dips down to a wide plank bridge. Keep straight ahead when another path joins from the left (the official track) – it can get a bit muddy in places here.
Go through a gate to come to a road, going right along the road for a short way. Go left at a road junction, by a Hangers Way signpost. Pass to the right of some houses, resisting the temptation after the last house to go left at a junction. When I originally looked at formulating this walk, I tried a path further along the road (starting at SU753358). This was really steep in places, and although I used it that time, I didn't want to be held responsible for anyone getting hurt using it, so I amended the route somewhat. Anyway, I digress!
Follow the path for about 750 metres, coming to a signpost on the right, by a gate (7). Follow the left-hand finger of this sign to go across a pasture, then climb a stile by a gate. After a short while, climb another stile to the right of a gate, then turn left to walk in a southerly direction to come to a brand-new (at the time of writing) kissing gate. Go through the gate, cross a short plank bridge to turn half-right. At the far side of the meadow, go through a kissing gate by a National Trust sign with “Long Lythe” on it to go in a south-westerly direction. There are some attractive views over a small valley to the left for a while.
Go though a kissing gate, bearing left shortly after, to go through yet another kissing gate. Walk through a slightly more enclosed section for a while, still in a south-westerly direction, negotiating the remains of an old rotten tree. Cross a bridge, still going in a SW direction to come to a stile (8). Climb it, then turn half-right to walk along Huckers Lane. At the end of Huckers Lane, where it meets the main road in Selborne, turn left towards the Selborne Arms public house, passing it to come to the car park, from where the walk started.
Click here to get an OS map with the route highlighted.
Click here for a GPX file containing sat-nav details for the walk.