Bentley to Farnham walk
Alice Holt Ancient Forest, Surrey Hills, Scotch Pine Forest, and remote heather filled heathland, Frensham Great and Little Ponds (swimming)
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.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
OS Explorer: 144 (Basingstoke, Alton & Whitchurch) and 145 (Guildford & Farnham)
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:
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.”
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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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