Alton's Autumn Walking Festival 2021


Welcome to this year's Autumn walking festival which will run from Thursday 14th October –  Sunday 17th October 2021.

With the help of local walk leaders and walk Alton we have compiled 4 days of walking ranging from 2 miles - over 9 miles everyday.

Please note:

  • All walks MUST be booked in advance. Please go to https://forms.gle/QTUZE1jaMotLUmhB7 to book. Please only book walks you can definitely attend. 

  • Each booking is for 1 person ONLY. If you are booking for more than one person please complete with their name and contact details.

  • Please do not attend your walk if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

  • If you touch gates and stiles wash your hands as soon as you can. We recommend carrying alcohol-based hand sanitiser and gloves.

  • Wear suitable clothing and footwear for the conditions.

  • Bring your own food and plenty of water.

  • Please bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitiser, face covering and basic first aid kit. We recommend that the walk leader also brings a first aid kit, but for minor incidents it may be better to use your own.

  • Please arrange your own transport. All travel costs (buses, trains and parking are at the expense of the walker.

  • Many walks are in the countryside/woodland so rest stops for toilets may not be possible.

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the start if your walk.

Alton Town Council would like to say thank you to all the committed local walk leaders who have put together a programme to promote, share and develop walks in and around Alton.

Thursday 14th October 2021

 

WALK 1
Rowledge and Holt Pound tree walk

Ben Hamlin
will be starting his guided walk in Rowledge, passing through Glenbervie Inclosure and Holt Pound, talking about trees. Partly on forest paths with one steep incline and frequent stops. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:

2.5 miles / 2hrs

Start time:
11:00am

Meeting point address: 

Rowledge Recreation Ground car park

To book please click here

WALK 2
Monks Wood

Julie Wakefield 
will guide you out to the East of Alton, leaving and returning via Holybourne. Following a route out to Neatham Down and on to Wyck before heading back into Alton. Faster paced walk walking on tarmac, forest tracks and paths. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
6 miles  / 2.5 hours 

Start time:
9:30am

Meeting Point address:

Outside Holybourne Post Office

To book please click here.  

WALK 3
Alton’s Lost Railways

Ian Fleming’s walk, which proved very popular in the May 2021 Walking Festival,  starts on the Butts and goes under the railway bridge, continuing to Chawton, then diverting via the edge of Mingledown Wood before reaching Chawton House. We go through the park, follow the track to Upper Farringdon and do a short circular walk in the village to view some interesting buildings.

Leaving Upper Farringdon, the walk continues to the old railway bridge where the first Cadburys ‘Milk Tray’ advertisement was filmed in 1968, then we follow the old roadbed north and cross back into Chawton, divert across a field to view more old buildings and walk back through the village and up Mounters Lane, then via the Sports Centre to reach the site of Treloars Hospital. Here we will visit the old hospital platform (Alton Park station) on the route of the Basingstoke and Alton line before returning to the Butts. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
6.5 miles  / 2.5 - 3 hours 

Start time:
10:00am

Meeting point:

The Lions Bench, east end of the Butts

To book please click here.


WALK 4
A circular walk around Shalden, Bentworth and Wivelrod

Helen Dudley will lead you out of Alton through Flood Meadows, crossing the B3349 towards Shalden. The walks skirts the village, goes past the church and up a long lane to Bentworth, passing the church and having lunch on the village green. We then walk round the back of Bentworth by the cricket ground and head towards Wivelrod and back through Ackender Woods and into town. Walking at a moderate pace, up several hills, which are a mix of slow inclines and shorter sharper steep ones, uneven steps down a disused railway embankment and over 9 stiles through pleasant countryside with a good mix of views of rolling fields and lovely woodlands. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.


Distance and duration:

10.5 miles / 5 hours 

Start time:
9:00am

Meeting point address:

Market Square

To book please click here.


 

Friday 15th October

WALK 1
Bentley and Forest Research tree walk

Ben Hamlin’s walk starts in the grounds of Forest Research, passing round the Arboretum, through the Bentley Butterfly Meadow and along a section of the Shipwright's Way, talking about trees. Partly on forest paths with one steep incline and frequent stops. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
2.5 miles / 2hrs

Start time:
11.00am

Meeting point address:
Gravel Hill Road car park

To book please click here.

WALK 2
Ackender woods to Bentworth

Julie Wakefield will guide you through forest tracks through Ackender Woods onto Bentworth and back to Chawton Park Woods. Loose gravel and potentially muddy in places. Fast paced walk with some hills. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
Just over 8 miles

Start time:
3.5 hours

Meeting Point address:
9:30am at Jubilee playing fields - on the grass above the skate park

To book please click here.

WALK 3
Walking the ridge between Wey & Itchen

Paul Ebbutt’s walk starts at the Butts Alton. then we walk to Chawton village. From Chawton we briefly follow the route of the old Alton to Farringdon railway track. We then follow the St Swithins Way up past Upper Woodside farm towards Four Marks to the top of Brightstone Lane. From here we walk across to Kitcombe Lane with excellent views all round. We then descend through woodland and across fields to Farringdon. From Farringdon we climb to another ridge and follow the Writers Way east towards Selbourne. Before Selbourne we turn north on footpaths and after crossing the Selbourne Road continue to Hartley Mauditt and West Worldham. We walk back to Alton via Water Lane and Windmill Hill crossing the A31 at grade en route. We will finish at the Town Hall. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
12 miles / No more than 5 and half hours

Start time:
10:00am

Meeting point:
The Butts – The Lions Bench Alton

To book please click here.

Saturday 16th October

WALK 1
Ackender Woods and Bushy Leaze

Marilla Ferguson
will guide you through Ackender and Bushy Leaze woods. Following the forest tracks. A slow paced walk. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
3 miles / 1.5 hours
Start time:
10:00am
Meeting point address:

Jubilee playing fields (Harry Baker Pavilion)

To book please click here.

WALK 2
Shortheath and Wyck circuit

Ian Fleming
will lead a walk which starts at the northern end of Shortheath Common, crosses to Rectory Farm and follows the bridleway to Binswood, then crosses the B3006, goes along Green Lane and up to the hamlet of Wyck, then back along the plateau to cross the line of the Roman Road from Silchester to Chichester. We pass East Worldham church, recross the B3006 and walk past King John`s Hill to the western end of Binswood, then through the wood and on to the outskirts of Oakhanger, returning to the start via the Shortheath ‘quaking mire’ and Shortheath Pond. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.


Distance and duration:
6.5 miles / 2.5 – 3 hours

Start time:
10:00am

Meeting point:
Shortheath Common car park

Car park is on the left off the Kingsley to Oakhanger road

Grid ref SU775368

Bus 13/23 Alton to Liphook/Haslemere stops at Baker`s Corner, about half a mile north

To book please click here.

WALK 3
East Hampshire Autumn Delights

Paul Roberts will guide you on this circular route via Worldham, Selborne, Farringdon and Four Marks. Hilly, likely to be muddy with a number of stiles. Passing through Selborne, the former home of the Naturalist, Gilbert White. Walking at a moderate. Only suitable for those with a good level of fitness and stamina. The walk will be hard and strenuous! Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:

15 miles/ 7 Hours

Start time:

Start: 9.00am The Butts Alton

To book please click here.

Sunday 17th October

WALK 1
Birds and other wildlife of Kings Pond and Windmill Hill

Peter Hutchin’s initial walk will be a circuit of just Kings Pond, those then wishing to walk further will be taken through the residential areas of Mount Pleasant and out on to Windmill Hill, a circular route being followed to bring them back down to Kings Pond.

The walk about the pond is on generally level and well maintained tarmac-type paths, the walk to and from Windmill Hill the same but taking in several steeper areas. On Windmill Hill itself there will be a maximum of two stiles to be used, the footpaths here being 'natural', grassy and possibly muddier due to autumnal weather, some steeper areas of ascent also to be taken in.

About the pond both residential and wintering birds will be looked for, as will late flowering plants and the invertebrates associated with them, the reptiles and fish within the pond and the wildlife associated with the neighbouring residential gardens and railway line.

Further attention will be paid to residential garden wildlife on the way to and from Windmill Hill where woodland, farmland and scrub-associated wildlife will be looked for, the latter site giving views out to the south over the farmland, golf course and the less residential areas south of the A31. A good viewpoint from which to look for wildlife and to pick up and exiting migrants on the wing. Due to the more exposed nature of this area it might be anticipated that the vagaries of the weather will affect it more so than the lower and more sheltered reaches of residential Alton / Kings Pond.

The basic route will be an anti-clockwise circuit of Kings Pond followed by a walk up Crowley Drive, following the road Windmill Hill south-east before a circuit of the hill proper is covered, returning the same way to the Kings Pond car park. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Walking pace:
Easy with frequent stops to watch wildlife and discuss it.

Distance and duration:
Kings Pond - c. .5m / c.75km; c.45 minutes.
Windmill Hill extension - c.1.25m / c.2km; c.90 minutes.

Start time:
9:00am

Meeting point address:
Kings Pond car park, Ashdell Road, Alton. GU34 2SZ. OS Grid Reference: SU 724 394 (
Grid Reference Finder). Google Maps: 51.14989301596991, -0.966156029575998. what3words: ///picked.slower.mailers

To book please click here.

WALK 2
Medstead Northern Loop

Alison Lackey’s
walk starts at the village green we will head towards St Lucy’s Convent to cross the fields to Bentworth and Tinkers Lane. There are three stiles in Bentworth and one is a slight challenge, being old and rickety. We shall then rise slightly to Bentworth Village and go through the village passing picturesque houses and a duck pond. We shall then enter Mucklands Lane which may well be muddy and proceed to Gaston Wood. We shall then return on Jennie Green Lane and return over the fields to the Village Green. There are some bridle ways, some fields very little road. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
5.5 miles / 2 hours

Start time
9:30am

Meeting point:
Medstead Village Green GU34 5LG

Parking instructions;

- Use the parking layby between the 2 greens (on Roe Downs Road)

- Further parking is available along the roadside by the school and towards the Tennis Club

- DO NOT park in the Village Hall car park

- DO NOT park in the Tennis Club car park

To book please click here.

WALK 3
Alton, Froyle, Bentley, Binsted, Wyck and return to Alton

Ian Fleming’s
walk starts at Anstey Park and goes east on St Swithun`s Way to Upper Froyle, continuing via Pax Hill to Bentley and then turning south and crossing the A31, the River Wey and then the railway at Bentley station. The walk continues through Redcap Copse and across the Binsted plateau, with a good view of Telegraph House, passing the centre of Binsted village and continuing to Holy Cross Church. We walk past Montgomery`s grave and continue via Forty Acres, climbing and then walking along the top of the hanger to reach the attractive hamlet of Wyck.

Leaving Wyck, the route is past Clays Farm and Monkwood, climbing a shoulder of Neatham Down and descending to cross the A31 at the roundabout at the eastern end of Alton bypass. The final part of the walk takes the path on the south side of the River Wey, emerging in the industrial estate, from where we have a short walk back to Anstey Park. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Distance and duration:
13.5 miles / 6-7 hours

Start time:
10:00am

Meeting point:
Alton Rugby Club, Anstey Park

Meet at the car park on the west side of the Rugby Club building at Anstey Park

To book please click here.

Difficulty Level:

Footprints EASY  – Walking experience isn’t necessary for these as distances are relatively short and paths and gradients generally easy. These walks will be taken at a relaxed pace, often stopping briefly at time at places of interest, and may be suitable for family groups.


Footprints MODERATE – These walks follow well defined paths and tracks, though they may be steep in places. They should be suitable for most people of average fitness.


Footprints HARDER – These walks are more demanding and there will be some steep climbs and/or sustained ascent and descent and rough terrain. These walks are more suitable for those with a good level of fitness and stamina.


FootprintsSTRENUOUS – These walks are much longer and more strenuous and there may be some steep climbs and/or sustained ascent and descent. These walks will suit those with a good level of fitness and stamina.


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