1 Ampfield to Hursley
Stage 1 Ampfield to Hursley
Starting Point: The White Horse, Ampfield
Grid reference: 401232
Bus route: 66
This stage takes the walker through Chapel Wood, Knapp, into Ampfield Wood and across the fields to Hursley
From the White Horse, Ampfield, cross over the busy A3090 and walk in an easterly direction, with the A3090 on your right-hand side. Proceed for about 1/4 mile until you reach the junction with Knapp Lane where you turn left, passing the War Memorial and Ampfield village school on your right.
Pass by the site of the Old Post Office, now a private cottage, on the right and the old police house, now called 'Constables', on the left. When you come to the junction with Chapel Hill, turn right. Follow the road towards the junction with the A3090. At the junction descend the footpath to the left, where, at the bottom on the left-hand side, there is an entrance into the grounds of St. Mark's Church, marked by an attractive stone monument.
On the right-hand side of the monument, there is a gravel path that will take you up into the churchyard. Go behind the church and through a gap in the hedge into an open glade area. You are now in Chapel Wood. Walk diagonally to your left until you reach a footpath which, if you turn left, takes you through a narrow gap between two houses. Exiting onto Knapp Lane turn right. Keep walking straight ahead, at the end of the Lane where a gate on your left marks the entrance to 'Hursley Forest'.
Walk past this gate, up an incline with houses on your right. The path splits at this point. Take the left-hand track through a gate and continue through pleasant woodland for about 200 yards when you will meet on your right a wide track. This track is the course of the 'Park Pale' of Hursley Park. Take the park pale track for 100 yards when you will find on the left a small, easily missed, footpath leading off into the wood. Take this footpath into the evergreen darkness and descend with it. Emerge from the evergreens and the scenery and the woodland change dramatically to a mixture of beech and birch trees, laurel, holly and rhododendron bushes, with many interesting plants.
When you meet a broad track (the park pale once again), maintain your direction across it, into the trees on the other side. Once out of the trees and over a stile, the path to Hursley is the straightest of ways, though always narrow, across three fields towards the John Keble Memorial School in the distance, the footpath as straight as an arrow.
Once out of the wood, you will see to your left Keepers Lodge, followed by the headquarters of Hursley Park Cricket Club, known as the 'Quarters. Hursley House might also be seen.
Leave the fields behind you by a stile into the grounds of the John Keble Memorial School. over the stile turn left down the drive of the school and when you emerge onto a tarmacadam road turn right. Once over the sleeping policeman in the roadway, you will come upon a pleasant cedar tree encircled by a stone seat, where you may rest. You are now in Hursley!