Saturday, 27 June 2015

Clayton Court to Henley (Serpent Way 4)

A trail in Tullecombe Woods

We are back on the Serpent Trail with Viv and Giles and the name is starting to make sense. We started in Haslemere, headed south to Black Down and then west to reach Rake. Resuming just south of Rake, we are now heading east to Henley, more or less parallel with the path we trod in May. After Henley the path heads south east to Petworth then west again through Midhurst to Petersfield where it finishes.

We walked up the road from where we had parked on the edge of Durford Wood and quickly turned into a valley path towards Tullecombe Woods. Just as before we reached the main part of the woods, we were entertained by a group of bike riders hurling themselves down steep winding tracks through trees.

A winding path led through deep woodland and up this lovely sunken lane to emerge on a road.

 We skirted the Fyning Hill estate to walk through more woodland (Rondel Wood) and emerge onto a hillside track which offered some nice open views to the north. This was very welcome as we had found the previous leg to be quite claustrophobic

This brought us to the hamlet of Borden and after two further wooded sections we found a wonderful wide open buttercup meadow where we enjoyed a picnic in the midst of many Meadow Brown butterflies. More open fields followed until we reached  a pretty cottage at the entertainingly named Titty Hill.

We set off across Stedham Marsh ...

... and then crossed a road and made quite a steep climb up to Woolbeding Hill. We followed the ridge round to the viewpoint, passing a group of lads who had chosen that spot for a barbecue. The views southwards were wonderful.

We continued into some trees and were struck by the beauty of this grass in the dappled sunlight. The photo doesn't really do it justice.

A track led to Scotland Farm, with a rather splendid barn.

Then we walked across a field and then through more woodland, crossing the busy A287 (mad drivers apparently on the way home from Goodwood) and finishing with quite stiff climb to the Duke of Cumberland at Henley (at about 139m) where we slaked what was now a very well-developed thirst.

Conditions: warm and sunny.

Distance: 8.4 miles. Distance now covered 24.1 miles.

Map: Explorer 133 (Haslemere and Petersfield).

Rating: four stars.

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