Winchfield to Bramley -
The map above shows the whole of the route section described below. It is interactive, and can be navigated by clicking on the direction arrows. The scale can be varied by clicking on the map or on the plus/minus buttons. The route was drawn on the normal OS Landranger mapping, so use of smaller scales may be slightly misleading at the detail level.
This section links two railway stations which are connected via Basingstoke. There is also a bus service between Basingstoke and Bramley via Sherfield on Loddon. Always check the latest times at www.travelinesw.com . Parking is limited at both ends: at Winchfield weekend parking can be found at the station, at Bramley either side road parking near the railway station or west of the railway line at the recreation ground. This section of the Brenda Parker Way includes some attractive riverside scenery, particularly along the Rivers Whitewater and Loddon valleys, but also some World War Two defences and picturesque farms houses. The Explorer map 144 is required.
Winchfield to West Green
Leave Winchfield railway station from the north side and turn left along the roadside pavement, round the corner to the left onto the B3016 and past the bus stop. At the railway bridge cross the road and take the footpath which runs beside the railway, then down some steps, under the M3 and up the other side.
At the track, Old Potbridge Road, turn left and then right before the railway bridge. Follow this track, keeping the high deer fence on your left and at the gate the track turns right and passes a Second World War pill box. Follow this green lane towards the A30 and after crossing a small stream look out for a path to the right over a stile. Take this footpath to the A30, carefully cross the dual carriageway to a stile a little to your right.
Follow the path around a pumping station and along the field edge to a path junction beside another pill box. Keep straight on and the path becomes confined between fences to Thackham’s Lane. To reach bus services at Phoenix Green turn right, otherwise our route turns left here and follows the verge to a road junction at the former Gardeners Arms. Cross this road and enter the West Green Common, keeping close to the road on your left until you reach a pond. Here turn left back on to the road with the entrance to West Green House in front of you.
West Green to Rotherwick
From the road on the edge of West Green Common, take the path to the right that skirts the grounds of West Green House to the north and then follow the line of oak trees to an iron gate onto Murrell Green Road. Cross the road and take the track opposite past Damale’s Bungalow. After a hut turn left to see two more pill boxes and then after the next hedge turn right across the field to the bottom. If ploughed, follow the field edge to the bottom and turn left. Go through the gap in the hedge and over a ditch and stile to reach a footbridge across the River Whitewater.
Cross the bridge and turn left and after an attractive section beside the river bear right up a grassy track and through a gully past Stokers Farm to the B3349 Reading Road. Carefully cross the road and turn left and follow it a short way to a gap just after the corner and then inside the field parallel to the road. At the finger post follow the signed direction under power cables to the corner of the wood and a footpath junction. Go straight on through the gap south-
Turn right then left into the anglers’ car park and follow the footpath through some trees and past some ponds, cross a clearing to a five way path junction, at a byway. Take the third left exit to go northwestwards and at the next path junction fork right along a grassy track to meet the road at Rotherwick. Turn left to the Coach and Horses PH and up the main street to the church.
Rotherwick to Sherfield on Loddon
Enter Rotherwick church yard and take the path that runs to the left of the church into a field. Keep straight on to Frog Lane and take the track opposite down to the corner of Winnells Copse. Continue across the field, over the ditch and on through a belt of small trees. Follow the field edge to a footbridge and turn left onto a track to Summerstead Farm.
If the river valley is flooded, there is an alternative route by continuing north past the farm to Mill Lane and left along the road to Hays Farm. From Summerstead Farm turn right at the farm entrance, through a gap on your left and keeping the hedge on your right follow the path round to reach the footbridge under the willow trees. Cross this over the River Lyde and follow the path to another footbridge on your left. Cross this second bridge and follow the River Loddon over a stile, keeping on the right bank of the river.
The path gently turns away from the River Loddon over a stile towards a gate where there is a footbridge over the River Lyde onto Mill Lane at Hayes Farm. We turn left here, but take a minute to look at Hartley Mill on the right. Follow the road to the left to a footpath on the left. Take this path to enter the edge of Stratfield Saye Estate, the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817, and keep the hedge on your left and follow it through several fields to meet another path just west of Hartley Wood Common. Cross the stile, then go right along the field edge towards a plank bridge and another stile in the hedge. Cross this stile and resume with the hedge on your left and continue past Floods Farm to the A33 on the edge of Sherfield on Loddon. To divert to the village, carefully follow the A33 to the left and turn right at the roundabout.
Sherfield on Loddon to Bramley
Carefully cross the busy A33 and follow a track beside a stream. Ignore the ‘Private Fishing Members Only’ sign but at the next ‘Private’ sign leave the track over a stile on the right and, noting the fingerpost direction, cross the field over the left shoulder of a hill towards an oak tree next to a small pylon. From here drop down to a small footbridge in the hedge. (If that path across the field over the hill is obstructed, follow the field edge to the left.) Cross the small footbridge and turn right and shortly bear left towards the footbridge across the River Loddon.
Cross the footbridge and then go left along a track, follow this north of Lillymill Farm to Mill Lane. Turn right and first left onto a track with public access, follow this to the end and then turn left along Folly Lane to the junction with Sherfield Road at Green Farm. Cross the road and turn right past the bus stop and into Lane End or along the path on the green to the left. Keep on along Lane End past some ponds on the left and cul-
Here this section ends; to continue on the route or to reach the bus stops turn left over the level crossing.
Places of interest
There are several pillboxes along this section of the walk and are relics from the serious threat of German invasion in 1940-
West Green House was built in the early 18th century but modified in about 1750 by General Hawley. He was perhaps one of the worst army generals and became known as ‘Hangman Hawley’ as a result of brutalities after the battle of Culloden in 1746. The house and gardens were left to the National Trust in 1957 and today the garden is open on certain days in the summer. For more information click here.
The oak trees on West Green Common were planted at the same time as those at Hartley Wintney by Lady Mildmay in 1807.
The River Whitewater, probably so named as it originates as a chalk stream, unlike the River Blackwater which drains heathland, rises near Greywell and joins the River Blackwater south of its confluence with the River Loddon near Swallowfield. The Brenda Parker Way crosses the River Whitewater between West Green and Rotherwick.
the name of this village is derived from the Saxon words for cattle and enclosure. With its duck pond and 13th century church, the village is mainly on one street, along which can be found The Falcon PH and Coach and Horses PH. The nearby Tylney Hall is a late 19th century Grade II mansion set in 66 acres of gardens and woodland and is now a country hotel. The large Village Hall was built in 1933 by Mr and Mrs De Forest of Long Island, New York, in memory of their son Charles. In the 1920s the family rented Tylney Hall for two months shooting each year and they took an interest in the village and local people. In 1929 and after the family stay, their 24 year old son left for a world cruise, but died in Italy from fever. The Village Hall has been twice used in the TV series ‘Foyles War’. For more details click here; the above information is taken from this site.
The River Loddon is 28 miles long and rises at Basingstoke and joins the River Thames near Wargrave after being joined by the Blackwater and Whitewater rivers. The Brenda Parker Way follows the Loddon valley between Rotherwick and Sherfield on Loddon.
This attractive water mill near Hays Farm on the River Lyde is probably on the site of one mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The Stratfield Saye Estate was bought by the nation for £263,000 and presented to the first Duke of Wellington in 1817 in recognition of his services to the nation which had culminated in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It remains the home of his descendents today. For more on the first Duke’s connections with Hampshire click here and for information on Stratfield Saye Estate here, from which this is taken.
Sherfield on Loddon was originally part of the Manor of Odiham but the manor was purchased by the Duke of Wellington in 1838 and by the 20th century the village was centred on the main Green about a mile north of the church. In 1917 Bramley Camp opened and offered local employment. The A33 bypass was built to the east of the village in 1974. The Brenda Parker Way passes to the east along the Loddon valley.