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Avenue of limes leading to Hale House
Avenue of limes leading to Hale House

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Route No.228 Wednesday - 3 October 2007
Hale & Woodgreen circuit - 6 km
The New Forest
Hampshire . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL22 New Forest at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base map from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth

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This morning we had a sightseeing trip to Salisbury and Stone Henge. It was quite interesting, but I prefer the walks in the New Forest!

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

Stone Henge is most impressive, but it's a shame about the visitor facilities. They must give an appalling impression the the many foreign visitors that come to this "World Heritage Site".

Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
Stone Henge
Stone Henge

Path through the rhododendrons heading for Hatchet Green
Path through the rhododendrons heading for Hatchet Green

From the car park we walked northwards along the road for about 300m and turned left along a track through the rhododendrons at map ref. SU190180.

When we got back to our holiday cottage I just had to have an evening walk in the woods, so we drove a couple of miles to the car park near Hale at map ref. SU189177.

Path through the rhododendrons heading for Hatchet Green
Path through the rhododendrons heading for Hatchet Green

Millennium sculpture at Hatchet Green
Millennium sculpture at Hatchet Green

On the village green is one of the many millennium sculptures that sprang up to celebrate that year. This one is in the form of a seat and is alleged to represent the rear end of a couple of forest ponies - I kid you not!

We followed the path for about 1 km to the road at map ref. SU194189. At the road we turned left for about 100m and then took the path on our left which led us up to the village green at map ref. SU193191.

Path from Hatchet Green towards Hale Park
Path from Hatchet Green towards Hale Park

Diana's Barn at Hale Farm
Diana's Barn at Hale Farm

We followed the road to the very impressive avenue of limes that leads to Hale House. At the main drive to the house there is a public footpath just to the side of the lime tree avenue.

From the village green we took the path to Hale Farm, about 600m away. The path by-passed the farm and took us to the road at map ref. SU187186

Path down to the road near Hale Farm
Path down to the road near Hale Farm

Avenue of limes leading to Hale House
Avenue of limes leading to Hale House

We took this path towards the house. On our right we passed an ancient oak tree that seemed to me to be the same pollarded form and just as old as the Knightwood Oak that we saw yesterday.

Ancient oak in the grounds of Hale House
Ancient oak in the grounds of Hale House

Hale House
Hale House

Impressive cedar in the grounds of Hale House
Impressive cedar in the grounds of Hale House

Church in the grounds of Hale House
Church in the grounds of Hale House

Swans on the River Avon
Swans on the River Avon

We passed the church and dropped down to the river. We stood on the footbridge over the river foe a while watching the swans and admiring the autumn colours in the trees.

The path led us to the right of Hale House and down to the church in the grounds of the house, just above the River Avon.

Swans on the River Avon
Swans on the River Avon

Ponies on the lane at Woodgreen
Ponies on the lane at Woodgreen

We followed this route for about 600m to the edge of Woodgreen and at map ref. SU175176 we turned left to take a path across the fields to Higherend Farm.

We continued around the road for about 400m and took the path on the right, part of the "Avon Valley Path", at map ref. SU175182.

Ponies on the lane at Woodgreen
Ponies on the lane at Woodgreen

Distant fallow deer as we climbed up Higherend Farm
Distant fallow deer as we climbed up from Higherend Farm

From the farm we walked up the lane to the road at map ref. SU187174 and we were lucky enough to see some fallow deer (again first spotted by my wife - she insisted on an acknowledgement) a few fields away to our left. At the road we turned left and walked the remaining 250m back to the car park. It had been a very pleasant 6km walk in the evening sunshine.

Near the stile out of one field lay the remains of a Roe deer. The head was completely in tact and undamaged. The spine was complete and attached to the head and one side of the rib cage was attached to the spine. All the bones had been picked clean except for the bloodstains that were still red. There was no sign of the rest of the carcass. I have no idea what happened to the deer, whether it was killed and eaten by a predator or whether it simply died and was cleaned up by a series of scavengers.

The path up from Woodgreen
The path up from Woodgreen

Evening sunlight through the trees as we returned to the car park
Evening sunlight through the trees as we returned to the car park

This walk was taken from a leaflet we obtained from the Tourist Information Office in Ringwood. It is one of a series published by Ringwood & Fordingbridge Footpath Society. It is Walk 10 Hale & Woodgreen and costs 20p.