Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Walk number 7

Blackwater Valley and Runfold (10.09 miles / 16.24 km / 4.00 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 you’ll 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. 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. Proceed on the rough path. 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 sometimes flooded 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 into Tongham Community Wood. Follow the main path ignoring all turnings on the left, until you reach a T-junction in front of a barbed wire fence. Turn left to follow a straight path (the route of an old railway) to another metal gate.
  • After the garages on both right and left, turn right into Garbetts Way and at the T-junction right again onto a road with a No Through Road sign. Pass Grange Court (right) and, just before the entrance to Grange Farm (left), go hard left through a large gate. This is not obviously a public right of way until a Public Footpath sign directs you through a small gate, and straight ahead to another gate. (If this path is too overgrown with nettles you can slip through the fence on the left and proceed through the tall grasses, but this is not officially a right of way.)
  • At the end of the driveway, turn right on the road and cross to take the safe pavement 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. You have reached the half way point of the walk.
  • Carefully cross a driveway bewaring cars, and suddenly reach a road (Blighton Lane).
  • Turn left. Ignore the North Downs Way (NDW) sign on the left, continue past Farnham Golf Club’s 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 Kei’s Peking Restaurant, turn left and pass the restaurant building before turning right into St. Georges Road. After you’ve 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 opposite the Badshot Lea sign.
  • 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 car showroom to retrace your steps to The Royal Arms pub.

This route was last walked on 22 September 2017, 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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