Bentley to Farnham walk

Alice Holt Ancient Forest, Surrey Hills, Scotch Pine Forest, and remote heather filled heathland, Frensham Great and Little Ponds (swimming)

Frensham Great Pond SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

Frensham Great Pond

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

14-Jun-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Alice Holt Forest SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

Alice Holt Forest

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

14-Jun-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk184 walkicon 50015748036

Beach at Frensham Great Pond, during Covid Lockdown SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

Beach at Frensham Great Pond, during Covid Lockdown

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

14-Jun-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk184 walkicon 50015147173

View across The Flashes from Stony Jump SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

View across The Flashes from Stony Jump

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

14-Jun-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk184 walkicon 50015636126

Stockbridge Pond (Private Fishing) SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

Stockbridge Pond (Private Fishing)

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham

14-Jun-20 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk184 walkicon 50015880047

IMG-20140623-00384 1.7 path

IMG-20140623-00384

1.7 path

23-Jun-14 • helen_tristam on Flickr

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IMG-20140623-00385 1.7 oak on path

IMG-20140623-00385

1.7 oak on path

23-Jun-14 • helen_tristam on Flickr

walk free 184 swcwalks 14469120256

Length

26.0 km (16.2 mi), with 416/429m ascent/descent. For a shorter walk or for circular options see below Walk Options.

Toughness 6 out of 10, with 6 hours walking time. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.
Walk Notes

This is a varied walk on the Hampshire/Surrey border, incorporating ancient forests (Alice Holt Forest, Farnham Heath and Bourne Wood), some large and popular heathlands on Frensham Common (with several large ponds, one of which has dedicated swimming areas, and the Devil's Jumps) and the more remote Hankley Common, a large Scots Pine and heather-covered area including the heathland ridges of Kettlebury Hill and Yagden Hill, which make for some very scenic views.
On Hankley Common you have an opportunity to explore a D-Day training site with a replica section of The Atlantic Wall and assorted other defensive structures. From the picturesque village of Tilford, north of Hankley Common, with its pub and cricket pitch on the green you follow quiet woodland paths and lanes (with the occasional steep ascent) to Farnham.

A Shortcut from Frensham Little Pond to Tilford cuts out the Flashes area of Frensham Common with the fascinating Devil’s Jumps and all of Hankley Common.
An Alternative Ending from Tilford cuts some steep ascents.
A bus stop and a car park at Frensham Great Pond enable Circular or Lasso-style routes.

Before embarking on this walk, please read below section on Managed Access on Hankley Common.

Dog Owners: On the Commons, dogs must be kept on a lead during ground nesting season (01 March to 31 July) and under close control at all other times.

Walk Options

Bus 19 (Haslemere to Aldershot via Farnham, hourly Mon-Sat) to/from Great Pond Car Park (after 9.1 km of walking) enables a very short walk or a late start or a circular or a ‘Lasso’-style route.
A Shortcut from Frensham Common to Tilford cuts 6.8 km/4.2 mi and 136m ascent, rated 4/10.
An Alternative Ending from Tilford leads along the Greensand Way and the River Wey. This adds 600m but cuts some steep ascents (although the total ascent saved is only 23m). Waverley Abbey can be reached via an optional 1.5 km out-and-back. Bus 46 (Guildford to Farnham, roughly hourly Mon-Sat) from Waverley Abbey cuts the last 4 km of this Alternative Ending.
Circular Walks or ‘Lasso’-style routes are possible by following the main walk route either from Bentley or from Alice Holt Forest or from Frensham Great Pond Car Park/Bus Stop to Tilford and reverse-walking a slight variation of the shortcut route back to Frensham Great Pond (16.5 km/10.2 mi for the Frensham Great Pond Circular, fully written up) or on to Alice Holt Forest (add 5.3 km each way, map-led to Alice Holt) or Bentley (add 8.3 km each way, map-led to Bentley).

Maps

OS Explorer: 144 (Basingstoke, Alton & Whitchurch) and 145 (Guildford & Farnham)
OS Landranger: 186 (Aldershot & Guildford)

Travel

Bentley (Hampshire) Station, map reference SU 792 430, is 63 km south west of Charing Cross, 89m above sea level and in East Hampshire. Farnham Station, map reference SU 844 465, is 6 km north east of Bentley, 76m above sea level and in Surrey. Bentley station is on the Alton Line from Woking via Aldershot, a branch of the South Western Main Line that used to continue to Winchester. Bentley has an hourly service (journey time from Waterloo 62 mins Monday to Saturday, if changing at Woking, and from 73 mins Sunday). Farnham is one stop closer to Woking, with a half-hourly service (journey time from 56 minutes, if changing at Woking). Buy a Bentley return.

Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take the train closest to 9.00 hours.

Car Drivers: The roads around Frensham Great and Little Ponds are "no parking/no stopping". The car park is free for NT-members and on weekdays.

Lunch and Tea

Several cafés and pubs en route and at the end of the various walk options (see the pdf for details) plus these two principal lunch pubs:
Bel and the Dragon Jumps Road, Churt Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2LD (01428 605 799). The Bel and the Dragon is one of six Country Inns in the south of England under the same name and is located 13.7 km (8.5 mi) into the walk.
The Barley Mow Tilford Green, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey GU10 2BU (01252 792 205). The Barley Mow is located 19.4 km (12.0 mi) into the full walk and 12.6 km (7.8 mi) into the short walk.

Hankley Common

The current status of access rights on the MOD land of Hankley Common can be checked at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-access-to-military-areas#contents [under ‘Locations in South East England – Hankley and Elstead Commons’]. The current rules are:

“The training area is used for logistics and minor infantry manoeuvre exercises.” … “Public access is permitted along public rights of way across both Commons at all times. […] In addition, open access on foot is available in those areas delineated by the managed access symbol on [OS] Explorer maps. When walking in the training area you are requested not to interrupt military training and to observe the Byelaws.”
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Start GU10 5JZ Map Directions Return to the start:

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Help

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Nov-21 Andrew John Lane Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk