Hale and Woodgreen
Follows a section of the Avon Valley Path through fields and woods to the charming village of Hatchet Green
You then pass Hale House and St Mary’s Church before walking alongside the peaceful River Avon. At Woodgreen you can explore a rural community with a strong village identity. The walk returns via shady tracks and woods to Hatchett Green and back to Woodfalls.
Hale is a scattered Forest community and at the centre of the village is Hatchet Green, surrounded by characterful thatched cottages. The earliest cottages where built using cob in the late 18th century and are still traditionally thatched in the simple long straw style without the elaborately patterned block ridges common since the 1960s. The green itself is used by the local primary school and is also the local cricket pitch. It’s also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its rare plants and wildlife.
- Start/finish: Woodfalls bus stop, near Woodfalls Inn, Grid ref. SU 198 198, Postcode SP5 2NN
- Ordnance Survey map: Explorer OL 22 New Forest
- Getting there: Wiltshire route 44 bus service from Salisbury to Woodfalls. Regular service.
- Distance: 5.7 miles (9 km)
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Local facilities: Woodlands Inn, Woodgreen Community Shop and Post Office, Horse and Groom pub.
- Accessibility: Moderate walking with a few short steep gradients. Gates, footbridge and 12 stiles. Woodland, field and bridleway tracks can be muddy.
1. Redlynch Sports and Social Club
From the bus stop pass Woodfalls Inn and turn right at a waymarker onto Lodge Drove, opposite Redlynch Sports and Social Club. Continue ahead past houses and go straight on when the road become a gravel track, ignoring a waymarker on your left which will be your return route. The track bends to your right through a wide metal gate and into a field. Keep right following the old drove road amongst the trees. At the bottom of the drove road by the gate turn left and follow a small trail heading back up the hill.
2. National Park boundary marker
Turn right at the National Park boundary marker through a kissing gate then downhill across a field and through a short section of woodland. Go straight on into a meadow with a large wildlife pond on the left. This pond is filled with mayfly and dragonfly during the summer months.
Follow the path back into a wood and uphill past a signpost for the Avon Valley Path (AVP). Cross over two stiles before following a field path to Hatchett Gate Farm. Go through the farm and over a stile, following the track to a wide metal gate and road.
3. Right onto Hale Lane
Turn right onto Hale Lane and over a cattle grid to continue on the route for AVP.
4. White gate
When the road bends left at Home Farm, go left around the corner for 50m then turn right through a white gate towards St Mary’s Church, still following the AVP.
The path does not go on the drive to Hale House, but runs in the same direction 10m to the north on the footpath. Keep following the fence on your right as the path narrows and heads downhill, through laurel bushes, past St Mary’s Church to join Moot Lane.
5. Farm drive
Turn left to follow the AVP along the lane, with glimpses of the River Avon through the trees. Turn right at the road junction towards Woodgreen for 25m, then turn left at the waymarker up a farm drive.
6. Waymarked junction
Just ahead on your right, cross the stile by a wide gate and follow the field edge on your right with views across the Avon valley. Continue ahead across three field stiles to join a gravel track downhill. The track then climbs uphill and bends to your right to a waymarked junction.
Short detour to village
At this point you can continue straight ahead to Woodgreen Common. Turn right onto the road and downhill to join a permissive path on your right to Woodgreen Village Hall, Horse and Groom pub and the local shop, which is owned and managed by the village community. Return to the waymarked junction to continue on the route.
7. Over a stile
Turn sharp left at the waymaker (leaving the AVP route), bear right and then turn left over a stile between two houses. The path drops downhill through a pretty wood, over a plank bridge and then uphill to a kissing gate. Go across an open field keeping to the left. Cross a stile on your left and walk across the field diagonally to the next field stile and then over another stile close to a farm entrance.
8. Stricklands Plantation
Turn left onto the track and then immediately right along a tree-shaded byway. Go down the byway and then turn left at a waymarker pointing down a wide gravel track and into a wood. Turn right at the next waymarker and follow the rhododendron-lined bridleway uphill through Stricklands Plantation.
9. Hatchet Green
At the track junction and four-way post turn left, following the byway downhill to a track junction. Go straight ahead to join a footpath which turns right and uphill to Hale Farm. Cross a field through two gates to a large wooden hut. Continue ahead through the farm and a gate, following a shady path alongside a fenced field, with views of the tree avenue which extend across Hale Park to Hatchett Lodge. At the next two track junctions turn left to continue following the gravel track to a wide metal gate by a thatched cottage and onto Hatchet Green.
10. Right through the meadow
Turn right through the meadow at the AVP sign post near the woodland edge. Turn left off the path to a small woodland and continue uphill through the gate and on to follow a track uphill past small cottages to a track junction. Turn right and retrace your steps back along Lodge Drove to Woodfalls.
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