A circular path from Hermitage to Hampstead Norreys along paths through the Eling estate, returning along the Eling Way which follows the route of the former railway.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Go round to the right of the village hall then, when you are parallel with the rear of the hall, turn right on the path into the wood. Go straight ahead, then turn left at the T junction just before the fence, and continue parallel to the fence (note that the fences in the wood are shown incorrectly on the map).
As you reach the motorway, the path turns right and continues just inside the wood. At the end at the next junction, turn left over a stile and go diagonally right across the field to a gate and stile. Continue to Everington Lane along the edge of the field, with the woods on your right.
(1) Turn left along the lane until you reach the track that crosses it, then take the footpath that goes diagonally right across the field (it is best to keep left of the electric fence).
Go through the gate and straight past the house, then turn left along the restricted byway to return to Everington Lane.
Turn right over the motorway.
(2) Once over the motorway, turn immediately left along the bridleway. At the bottom of the ramp, take the right fork up the hill along a grassy path, and continue along this until you reach Narrow lane.
Turn left along the lane until you have passed the entrance to Eling Farm (ignore the old sign pointing into the farm entrance).
Turn right onto to the bridleway along a gravel farm track until the junction of tracks just before the houses.
(3) Turn left onto the bridleway between two hedges. Just inside the wood, the path bends left and then immediately forks. Take the right hand fork, which is roughly 45 degrees left of the fence.
You will soon reach the track; turn right and then immediately left between small holly trees. Continue along this until you reach a 'crossroads' of two tracks - the bridleway continues as a narrow path diagonally to the left. Go straight across another cross track and then downhill to leave the wood and reach the stone access driveway to Manor Farm.
(4) Turn left along the driveway until you reach the access road to Hampstead Norreys village hall. Follow the sign pointing up and diagonally left to the start of the Eling Way.
(5) Follow the Eling Way straight ahead back to Hermitage. This is a surfaced permissive path along the route of the former railway, which is popular with families and cyclists. When you reach the road in Hermitage, turn left to return to the village hall. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 407ft - Hermitage village hall
1 : mi 0.72 - alt. 371ft - Everington Lane
2 : mi 1.44 - alt. 387ft - Everington Lane (north of motorway)
3 : mi 2.14 - alt. 433ft - Bridleway junction at Eling Farm
4 : mi 2.95 - alt. 318ft - Manor farm driveway
5 : mi 3.1 - alt. 315ft - Hampstead Norreys village hall
D/A : mi 4.95 - alt. 407ft - Hermitage village hall
Park at Hermitage village hall (or on neighbouring roads). If travelling from Newbury, go through Hermitage village and, as you leave it, turn right at the mini roundabout into Pinewood Crescent. The hall is the first turning on the left.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(D/A) The Eling Way goes along part of the route of the former railway from Southampton to Didcot. There was a brickworks close to the start of the walk, which had its own siding. See the information board in front of the village hall for details.
(4) The 'mound' marked on the map is the remains of a motte - an early form of castle from the medieval period. The information board near where the bridleway leaves the wood has an illustration of what it might have looked like.
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