... DORSET ...
VERWOOD - Circular route from Verwood Campus via Horton Common
|Distance|| - ||About 5 miles|
|Start point|| - ||Entrance to Verwood Campus (OS Ref. SU082082)|
|Date walked|| - ||Thursday 31 August 2000|
|Weather|| - ||Overcast but warm with a brisk easterly wind.|
- The walk starts at the mini-roundabout at the junction of Margards Lane, Howe Lane and the entrance to Verwood Campus. Head west along Margards Lane with Emanuel School to the left. Just past the entrance to Haywards Farm Close on the right, the road ceases to be made-up but continues level on a gravel surface.
- Pass Forge Lane on the left then turn left into Horton Way which is an unmade road starting off level. It then rises very slightly before gently falling away down to a brick arch which carries the former railway over the road. Pass Bridge Farm on the left then cross the river Crane over a small brick arch after which the road starts to gently rise again.
- Where the road sweeps round to the right, bear left through the metal gate and follow the track beyond which is a bridleway. Ignore the bridleway which leaves to the extreme left. Pass under some overhead electric cables and follow the track which runs up between banks on each side.
- As the upward gradient starts to ease off, the track opens out into fields then steepens again past a birch copse on the left and a small lake on the right. The ground then levels off with a track entering from the left. There are now a few pine trees dotted around in the fields as another track comes in from the left neatr the top of Redman's Hill. Panoramic views then open up ahead and continue round to the extreme left.
- On meeting another broad gravel track, turn left and follow it on the level thus maintaining the panoramic views to the left, which is eastwards. At the point at which the track becomes tarmac and the first houses appear on the left, turn left and follow the bridleway sign which puts you onto a dirt path with post and wire fences.
- A line of electricity pylons is visible ahead and there are open meadows each side. Pick up with a belt of birch trees on the right of the path at the point where two lines of overhead electric wires cross then enter a birch copse on the level.
- At the cottage "Oldbury", the track crosses the former railway line cross the line into the lane ahead which is Sandy Lane, ignoring the bridleway to the left. The lane is level and straight and passes between fields on each side. After 100 yds or so, take the footpath to the left which crosses a ditch by means of a concrete plank, beyond which is a style to a field.
- Bear half-right across the field to generally follow the line of the electric pylons to the right. Pass through a gate and bear right to pass between post and wire fences following the line of overhead electric cables. The buildings of Horton Farm come into view ahead.
- Pass round to the right of the farm buildings then cross straight over through a gate and bear left into Crab Orchard Lane. The lane turns immediately right around Rushmoor Farm then proceeds level and straight, passing underneath the pylons. Just round the first bend, take the footpath on the left which leads through a metal gate onto a dirt track with a pylon directly ahead. The track is level and passes between fields.
- On reaching another track at a pair of metal gates, turn right onto a tarmac farm track which takes a rightangle left turn after 50 yds.
- Pass between the cattle sheds of Verwood Manor Farm then bear right and left around the brick building to join St Michaels Road. Follow the road passing an old grain store on staddle stones on the right. Pass Brook House on the left then cross the river Crane. At this point there are fishing lakes on the right.
- Opposite house number 9, turn left into Howe Lane which rises gently then levels off as the gravel surface is replaced by tarmac. Cross straight over at the roundabout, passing the entrance to Summerfields on the left, after which the road is fully made-up with kerbs and footpaths. The gradient descends gently down to the roundabout at the junction with Margards Lane at Verwood Campus.
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