Frankenbury Hill Fort
This walk takes you along quiet field and woodland paths to the site of an Iron Age hill fort
It then continues to a stream-side hamlet on the edge of Castle Hill. There are views across the beautiful Avon Valley with its wildlife-rich water meadows and pasture and an optional detour to Castle Hill fort before returning along field and woodland paths to Godshill.
Frankenbury is the site of an Iron Age hill fort that strategically overlooks the Avon Valley. The steep natural slopes on your left form the western and southern side defences of the fort. The north east sides were defended by simple a bank and ditch. The fort encloses eleven acres and various artefacts have been found including Iron Age and Roman pottery and coins.
- Start/finish: Bus stop outside Fighting Cocks, pub, Godshill. Grid ref. SU 175 149, Postcode SP6 2LL
- Ordnance Survey map: Explorer OL 22 New Forest
- Getting there: New Forest Tour red route (seasonal open top service).
- Distance: 2.6 miles (4.2 km), 3.6 miles (5.8 km) with detour
- Duration: 1-2 hours
- Local facilities: Fighting Cocks pub. Parking is available for pub users. There is a Forestry Commission car park at Godshill cricket pitch about 400m east along Roger Penny Way.
- Accessibility: Mostly easy walking with gentle gradients. Gates, two stiles and a footbridge. Woodland tracks can be muddy.
1. Kissing gate
Starting at the Godshill cricket club, head left alongside the road down to the Fighting Cocks pub. At the junction turn right and head downhill past the village hall. Turn left at the waymarker and through a kissing gate into a field, following the hedge on your left (1). Keep following the hedge until you reach a stile. Go over the stile and keep following the which continues on between two hedgerows.
2. Left to Sandy Balls
Go on for two hundred metres or so and look out for a stile on your left, it can get a bit overgrown sometimes(!) Go over the stile across some large fields heading towards Sandy Balls Holiday Park. Keep left following the hedgerows in the field until you reach another stile. Hope over the stile and head right, away from the holiday park, pass utility works on your left. Follow the path through an old beech wood and along the edge of Frankenbury Fort.
3. Metal gate
Follow the path as it bends left downhill and turn right off the path through a waymarked metal gate into a wood. In spring see if you can spot primroses, bluebells, wood anemone and creeping buttercups. Go through another gate. Please keep dogs under close control to reduce disturbance to wildlife and livestock grazing on the pastures.
4. Folds Farm
As you emerge from the woodland turn left onto a gravel track towards Folds Farm. At the track junction turn right to join the Avon Valley Path for a short section. Continue straight ahead through the farm and over a stream. At the waymarker, cross over a cattle grid and follow the gravel track straight ahead to join the road.
5. Bridge across a stream
Turn right and follow the road for 80m and take your first right down a gravel track alongside houses. Continue following this lower track, which becomes an enclosed grassy track past a cottage. Ahead is a wooden bridge with a stile across a stream flowing alongside a meadow.
6. Track junction
Cross over and follow the path alongside the stream and over a stile into the next field. Go straight on across two more fields with gates. At the third waymarked gate turn right onto a gravel track and through a wide gate uphill to the track junction. At the waymarker go straight ahead uphill through a wood. Turn right at the field gate and retrace your steps alongside the hedge to the first waymarker. Turn right through the gate to re-join the road and back uphill to the Fighting Cocks pub.
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