Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Walk number 7

Blackwater Valley and Runfold (10.24 miles / 16.47 km / 3.75 hours):

Hogs Back Brewery The Royal Arms Runfold Pool
Photos copyright © Graham Pearcey 2011

Please click here for a map of the route.

  • Park at The Royal Arms, 172 Farnborough Road, Heath End, GU9 9AX. Food is served until 2:00 PM and again from 5:00 PM Mon-Sun, and usually all afternoon as well.
  • With your back to the pub car park, turn right into Upper Weybourne Lane and right again into Farnborough Road. Ignore a residential road and a public footpath, proceeding onto the elevated pavement alongside Farnborough Road. At the roundabout turn right into Cranmore Lane and right again into the Rowhill Nature Reserve car park, at the far end of which youíll find the Blackwater Valley Footpath. Follow the Blackwater Valley Path (BVP), avoiding all turnings uphill (right) or downhill (left) and note an information board (left) about the Source of the River Blackwater. Fork left (downhill) just after the pond. Continue to go straight ahead at all junctions, except that you need to fork right (marked BVP) before reaching a green field in order to follow the right hand edge of this field. Subsequently proceed on the right hand (rough) path to eventually emerge on a residential road called Parkland Grove, and at the T-junction turn left. Remain on the left hand pavement of Weybourne Road noting The Duke of York pub (left) and admiring The Old Cottages (opposite). After going under a railway arch, immediately turn right onto the recently upgraded footpath parallel to the railway line.
  • At the end of this footpath turn left into Lower Weybourne Lane, but as the road bears right continue on the streamside BVP. Ignore roads or bridges off this path until you reach Badshot Lea Road. Turn left and immediately after the small red-brick bridge over a stream, right onto the surfaced BVP which follows the stream and after 10-12 minutes turns into a broad track that continues via a squeeze stile. When you reach a small fenced bridge, proceed straight ahead with Aldershot Park on your left. At the far right hand corner of the park, continue to follow the streamside path until you emerge at the edge of a housing estate. Leaving the BVP behind, turn right and go under a road bridge, then immediately right again through a metal gate (which may appear padlocked, but isnít) into Tongham Community Wood. Follow the main path ignoring all turnings on the left, until you bear left to follow a straight path (in line with telegraph poles) to another metal gate (also unlocked) by two rows of garages.
  • Beyond the garages, turn right into Garbetts Way and at the T-junction left into Grange Road. Pass The White Hartís car park and then the pubís frontage to turn hard right into The Street. Immediately cross to take the safe pavement, which goes past the Hogs Back Brewery, under the A31, under a second road bridge (Thundery Hill Bridge) and then left as the pavement zigzags downhill to emerge on a country lane (Thundery Hill). After passing houses, reach a crossroads and take the footpath diagonally right in front of you signed No Horses. Carefully cross a driveway bewaring cars, and suddenly reach a road (Blighton Lane). You have reached the half way point of the walk.
  • Turn left. Ignore the North Downs Way (NDW) sign on the left, continue past Farnham Golf Clubís course (left) and clubhouse (right), to a T-junction where you turn right and follow Sands Road.
  • After some time, as a road junction comes into view ahead, look for house number 5, Swiss Cottage (right), and here take the NDW left to another road. Turn left, then immediately right, following the NDW into woodland.
  • When you come to the end of houses (right) and bungalows (left), turn right onto a wide bridleway. In about 100 metres, do NOT follow the NDW left up steps; instead, continue straight ahead to a road, then turn right. As the road bends left, cross to a safe pavement, and then as the road bends sharply right turn left onto a signed Public Footpath. Emerge by Keiís Peking Restaurant, turn left and pass the restaurant building before turning right into St. Georges Road. After youíve crossed the A31 by means of a road bridge, turn right (also signed St. Georges Road), then descend via steps (often slippery) to your right and proceed along a lane. Ignore side turnings and continue straight ahead at Oak Tree View, to emerge further along St. Georges Road.
  • Turn right and cross to take the safe pavement towards the village. Then take the first road on the right (Low Lane), eventually reaching a main road. Turn right and immediately cross to the left hand pavement, taking the signed footpath just beyond the Badshot Lea Business Centre to retrace your steps to The Royal Arms pub via Lower Weybourne Lane, the footpath parallel to the railway line, the railway arch, Weybourne Road, Parkland Grove, Rowhill Nature Reserve and Farnborough Road.

This route was last walked on 12 June 2019, and the directions were accurate then. Please e-mail me if you find any errors, if you would like a copy in Word format, or if you would prefer a version that starts and ends at Aldershot station (add 2.5 miles/ 1.0 hours).

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