Shalden from Alton

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Alton Market Square © Colin Smith
Row Wood © Hugh Chevallier
Holybourne from Holybourne Down © Hugh Chevallier

Shalden is a small village, reached by pleasant footpaths across the fields from Alton. This circular walk starts from Anstey Park on the edge of Alton. It climbs steadily up towards Row Wood from where there are superb views across South Hampshire. Take time to explore Shaldon village and its nineteenth century, built of flint with Bath stone dressing in the Early English style. On your return to Alton reward yourself with a pint of beer in one of the many pubs of this friendly market town.

1. Start at the Anstey Park car park reached from Anstey Lane. Pass the fitness club and cross the top of Anstey Park keeping to the hedge row that borders the grounds of Alton Convent school.

2. Turn left up a tree lined footpath that passes at the back of the Convent. The path opens up onto farmland. Keep to the right of the hedge row, climbing steadily up the hill. As you approach the summit take time to look back and appreciate the wonderful far reaching views towards the south, east and west of Hampshire.

3. At the crest of the hill you enter Row Wood. Continue straight on through the woods until you reach a farm track. Turn left along the track passing between a small farm and a house.

4. When you reach the Old Odiham Road turn right, after 50 metres turn left onto a track that leads down the hill through woods. On your left through the trees is Alton Golf Club. After 150 metres the track divides into two. Do not continue straight on through the golf course but instead turn right up an embankment into the woods. At the top of the embankment the track turns left and continues down the hill to the New Odiham Road.

5. Cross straight over the road, be careful as vehicles travel fast on this section, and continue up Stancombe Lane. At first the lane threads its way through Shalden Park Wood but eventually it opens up onto farmland. The lane climbs steadily. After passing Holme Farm the lane ends at Southwood Road in Shalden.

6. Turn right and then left at the red telephone box down a lane between two houses. The house on the right is called Beechcroft. Climb over a small stile. After 100 metres you will find a stile on your left at the point where the path swings right. Climb over the stile entering an open field.

7. Keep to the right of the field. As you reach the corner of the field you will find two stiles separated by a gate. Take the stile on the left crossing the field before the path swings left up the hill.

8. At the top of the hill you will find a stile. Climb over the stile and cross back over Southwood Road. The path leads through a small wood before opening up onto farm land on the crest of the hill. To your left you have wonderful views across to Amery Wood and Alton Golf Club. The path descends down the hill across an open field until it reaches the New Odiham Road.

9. Cross New Odiham Road and follow the footpath sign towards Alton. The path passes Greenmount Farm on your left before climbing a hill that gives wonderful views across Alton and Hampshire to the south. At the crest of the hill, just before the path descends into Alton, turn left through a kissing gate, traversing the crest of the hill. Avoid taking any of the paths to your right but keep to the hill top until the path ends at the Hawthorns cul-de-sac.

10. Turn left onto the main road that climbs before swinging to the right. Cross the Old Odiham Road and walk down Gilbert White Way. Follow the road down until you reach Anstey Lane. Turn right into Anstey Lane and continue back to the car park.

Shalden

Shalden is a small village, reached by pleasant footpaths across the fields from Alton three miles away to the South East. Its old Saxon church has gone and the present one dates from the nineteenth century, built of flint with Bath stone dressing in the Early English style. It also possesses a fifteenth century font of considerable merit.

Trail Location

Alton is on the A31 between Farnham and Winchester. There is a regular train service between Alton and London Waterloo with connecting stations at Aldershot and Woking. Bus services connect Alton with Guildford, Farnham, Winchester and Basingstoke. Anstey Park is on the east side of town, a 10 minute walk from the train station and the town centre. There is no charge for parking.

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