... HAMPSHIRE ...
RINGWOOD - Circular route from Poulner via Hangersley
|Distance|| - ||About 4 miles|
|Start point|| - ||The White Hart public house / Poulner post office (OS Ref. SU162059)|
|Date walked|| - ||Thursday 24 February 2000|
|Weather|| - ||Bright but overcast after previous rain. Gentle SW wind. Temp about 10° C|
|Conditions|| - ||Quite wet in fields and muddy in woodland.|
|Notes|| - ||A walk covering part of the same route is described in the Ordnance Survey Pathfinder Guide Dorset Walks|
| - ||I have listed some of the flora and fauna seen on this walk.|
- From the White Hart, walk east to the A31 slip road, and at the second mini-roundabout, turn left into Narrow Lane
- After about 100 metres, take the right hand path up a tarmac track as indicated by the footpath sign.
- Pass the entrance to Foxfield House on the right and continue along the track, which becomes gravel at this point, as it bears to the left passing between fields and with a view down to Ringwood on your left.
- Leave the track as signposted between the entrances to "Fairfields" and "Yed Hill" and follow the footpath sign to the right onto a dirt foorpath that skirts round a tennis court.
- The path has a holly hedge on the right hand side and passes between fields, down through a gulley then back up, and into a little holly grove with oak trees.
- The path comes out on a track which offers two alternative routes. Take the option to the left, through a gate to "Fieldings" and follow the driveway to a point where a laurel hedge starts on the right hand side. Follow the footpath sign off to the left onto a dirt path which then skirts round a steep drop to the left.
- There is a stile at the bottom of the footpath which exits onto the road opposite the junction with Linford Road which is signposted to Poulner Chapel.
- Turn right and follow the road uphill to a junction with a signpost marker 'Hangersley'.
- Turn left and after 150 metres, turn right into Burcombe Lane which is an unmade road. The lane becomes made up and is flanked on each side with holly trees and fields behind. Next to a large house, the lane bears left onto a short gravel track.
- Turn right at the entrance gates of a house called "Burcombe" onto a footpath and pass between a rhododendron hedge on the left and a wooden fence to a field on the right. Ahead are the first views of the forest.
- After 100 metres there is a stile over which is an open field. Proceed downhill with the fence on the left. At the bottom of the field is another wooden stile.
- Over the stile, cross a field bordered by oak trees, bearing slightly left to pick up the fence line on the right hand side.
- In the corner of the field there is a cattle trough on the right then a stile straight ahead leading onto a small footbridge with handrail over a stream.
- On the far side of the bridge there is a lifting bar giving access into the field which has alternative footpaths left and right. To the right takes you back via Shobley Farm.
- Turn left and follow the stream. After about 50 metres there is ditch joining the stream over which there is a small footbridge with handrail. Next to the bridge is a short drop down and up to another style into more pasture.
- Continue following the stream on the left to the far side of the field. Cross another stile with a very short footbridge having a lifting bar at this end and a pinch style at the other. Continue, as before, straight ahead with the stream the left.
- Exit from the corner of the field over a wooden stile next to a tall fir tree.
- Turn right down a gravel drive with the stream now running on the right hand side.
- Join the road where you turn to your left to pass in front of "Brookside". This is where the stream runs into Lin Brook.
- Follow the road, passing a couple and haybarns on the right then crossing a cattle grid. Climb upwards and take in a nice view of fields with oak trees below on the right.
- At the top of the hill are cross roads, the road to the left going back to Hangersley.
- Before entering Cowpitts Lane to the right, take a look at Poulner Chapel (1840) on the corner.
- Cowpitts Lane drops downhill. Pass the WI hall on the right before reaching a house called "Linley Croft".
- Take the bridleway to the left along a level unmade road.
- Continue along the bridleway, ignoring three footpaths leaving to the left. The track makes a left and right jink past a driveway to a house on the right before becoming more of a dirt road.
- Pass on the right a house with two cart wheels in the fence. Continue straight over the driveway and follow the bridleway sign into a holly grove which quickly drops away downhill.
- At the bottom of the hill, enter a dirt lane and turn right to join Linford Road opposite Narrow Lane.
- Cross Linford Road and go up Narrow Lane which starts as a gravel track. Past the first few houses the bridleway diminishes to an earth path running initially up hill then levelling off for a while.
- After the last house, ignore the stiles off to the right which lead to The Mount. The path now descends steadily and the surface becomes more firm as it approaches more houses.
- The bridleway joins a tarmac drive beside Oakmount Rest Home. Follow the driveway, which is faily level, down to the end of Narrow Lane adjacent to the A31 road.
- The White Hart public house is now along the road to the right.
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