LOCAL PLACES TO VISIT
All information correct as of 18/08/20
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Free Places to Walk
Frensham Little Pond - GU10 3BT
Lovely medieval bishop’s fish pond surrounded by heath and woodland. Aprox 1 hour walk all the way round. Open down to dusk, Café open 10-16.00. Toilets open. Small, free car park. For a walking trail click here.
Frensham Big Pond - GU10 2QB
‘Beach’ area for relaxing but no swimming as of 18/08 due to blue-green algae. Possible to walk all the way round, but some is on the road. Car park open 8.00-21.00, parking payable via RingGo app only. Can get very busy on sunny days. Café and toilets open.
Hawley Lake - GU17 9LP
Footpaths can take you all the way round the pond, through the woods. Generally fairly flat. You can park by the sailing centre for free. No toilets or café.
Yateley Common Country Park - GU46 6BB
With heathland, woodland and ponds, Yateley Common offers a variety of experiences to visitors. It covers 193 hectares of varied, wildlife-rich surroundings. Much is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. Free parking. No toilets or café.
Fleet Pond - Parking Access to the main car park is via the narrow, brick railway bridge off the Cove Road (A3012/3). There is a brown duck sign at the junction. Cross the bridge and turn right. The car park is 400 metres down a gravel track. You can also park at the bottom of roads in the Pondtail area of Fleet and walk from there.
Fleet Pond is the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire. The nature reserve has 141 acres (57ha) of varied habitats including heathland, woodland, reedbed and marsh, and is home for many species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers. There are good paths to walk around the whole pond but no toilets or café facilities.
Lily Hill Park, Bracknell - RG12 2RX, north of the park / RG12 2UJ, south west of the park.
There are 56 acres of restored heritage parkland and gardens for you to explore and enjoy, with an extensive network of restored surfaced pathways allowing easy access to all areas of the park.
Take a step back in time and enjoy the grand views and attractive features of Lily Hill Park that were experienced by Victorian ladies and gentlemen some 160 years ago.
Features include formal gardens with an Edwardian water garden and England’s longest picnic bench (carved from a single piece of wood) – great for social distancing!
Virginia Water - GU25 4QF / South SL5 7SB
The woodland shores of this magnificent lake are hugely popular amongst people who love to take part in the wide range of activities that are possible here - from walking the perimeter, to simply relaxing and enjoying the view. This area is steeped in a rich history that spans centuries - from ancient monuments, to cascading waterfalls and stunning vistas.
Virginia Water is very popular all year round, with its glittering waters and abundance of wildlife. The ornamental Cascade waterfall is always a favourite feature - while children love the towering 100 foot Totem Pole, being fascinated by the ten mystical totem characters.
Open dawn until dusk, car parks are payable by card only. Toilet and refreshment facilities available at various places
Southwood Country Park - GU14 0LL (at the end of Kennels Lane)
A 57-hectare area of natural green open space in Farnborough.
The first phase of the country park (western side) opened in September 2019. Covering more than 30 hectares, it offers a network of formal and informal paths, with a 2.4 kilometre circular walking route, starting from the 31-space Kennels Lane car park. There is dog-proof fencing along the boundaries of Ively Road.
The second phase, which includes the former golf club car park at Ively Road, opened in December 2019 and offers access to a further 27 hectares of natural land opened up on the eastern side of the country park.
Edenbrook Nature Reserve, Fleet - free car park off Emerald Avenue, Fleet, nearest postcode GU51 5DW
Situated on the western edge of Fleet, Edenbrook Country Park boasts around 82 acres of distinctive meadowlands, wetlands and woodland areas, all connected via a network of footpaths and cycleways. Beautiful ponds and waterways featuring dipping platforms offer the perfect place to relax. No toilets or café.
Elvetham Heath Nature Reserve, Fleet - Saint Swithins Road, nearest postcode GU51 1GJ
The site covers approximately 26 hectares of public open space, consisting of heathland and woodland. Other attractions include a children’s play area, duck pond with picnic tables and an informal recreation ground with pine woodland.
The reserve has excellent pathways and board walks over the wet areas making access easy. All gates are suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and bicycles.
No toilets or café but Morrisons on Elevetham Heath has both.
Alice Holt Forest - GU10 4LS
Alice Holt Forest is one of the largest surviving ancient woodlands in the South of England. Managed by Forestry England it offers a wide range of ways for people to enjoy the great outdoors. It has good paths for walking or cycling in the woods. Currently the children’s play areas ore closed but the toilets are open and the cafe is open for takeaway snacks and drinks.
Parking is payable by card at a machine
Farnham Park - GU9 0AU – park at the Ranger’s House little car park on Folly Hill or the Golf Club car park further down the hill. Both are free parking and both can get very buy so try and go early on weekends.
Farnham Park is a 131-hectare Local Nature Reserve in Farnham in Surrey. It is owned and managed by Waverley Borough Council. This medieval deer park has an avenue of mature trees which is over a kilometer long. There is grassland, woodland, ponds and streams. Golf course Café is open and has toilets. Click here.
Lightwater Country Park - GU18 5RG
Lightwater Country Park is situated on the edge of Lightwater Village and extends to 59 hectares. The Country Park is predominately heathland habitat, but there are also ponds, woodland, meadows and areas of scrub. These habitats offer the opportunity to observe a wide variety of wildlife, birds, mammals, plants and insects.
For details of an easy access walking trail, click here.
The café is open for takeaway from 10am – 4pm. I presume the public toilets and café toilets are open but am not 100% sure.
Rowhill nature Reserve - GU11 3BD car park nearby on Cranmore Lane
Rowhill Nature Reserve covers 55 acres on the Aldershot-Farnham border and was once part of a private estate that produced timber and bricks. Signs of both of these old industries are still in evidence. It has mostly mixed deciduous woodland and working coppice and is also the source of the River Blackwater.
Paid Entry Outdoor Places to Visit
Kew Gardens – car park TW9 3AF, train to Kew Bridge Station
These wonderful gardens are open again, as are their incredible glasshouses. Restaurants are open as well as some outdoor food facilities and shops. Toilets are open as usual.
If you are not a Friend of Kew member it costs £17.50 per adult. You will need to book in advance: click here
RHS Wisley – GU23 6QB
Wisley is a fantastic place to visit in all seasons! Although the glasshouse remains closed the cafes are serving a selection of food and hot and cold drinks outside. Toilets are open as usual. Entry is free to RHS members otherwise it is £14.95 per adult.
Booking in advance is essential – click here
West Green House Gardens – Hartley Wintney, RG27 8JB
“West Green House Gardens combines neo-classical design with contemporary design”. It has various distinct areas including a walled garden, potager, lake, Paradise Water Gardens and the contemporary Garden of the Five Bridges.
Entry is free to National Trust members, otherwise £9 per adult plus £4 parking. The café is open for take-out food and drink and there is outside seating available. Toilets are open.
To book a time to visit click here
Painshill Park, Cobham, KT11 1BE
Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden where you are invited to walk around a work of art. Winding paths will take you on a journey to discover a living canvas with simply stunning views and beautiful garden buildings. Stroll around the Serpentine Lake, wander through woodland and promenade past follies, including the Ruined Abbey, Gothic Temple and Turkish Tent.
There is a takeaway service at the café and plenty of outdoor seating. Toilets are available by the café. Accessible routes cover part of the gardens for wheelchair users. Dogs are welcome on a short lead. Entry is £9 / £8 for age 60+ and it is open from 10am -6pm - Click Here
Waverley Abbey, Farnham, GU9 8EP
Waverley Abbey was the very first monastery founded in Britain by the reforming Cistercian religious order. A small group of monks from France settled in this quiet spot by the River Wey in 1128, and Waverley soon became the springboard for Cistercian settlement in southern England. The impressive remains include the fine 13th century vaulted refectory or dining hall for the lay brothers, the Cistercian’s labour force.
The ruins are approximately 350 metres from the car park across an field with uneven turf and through a kissing gate. Please be aware that there may be cattle grazing in the field. Adders may also be present in the long grass areas so please keep to footpaths/short grass areas. Entry is free. Dogs are allowed. It is open within daylight houses. Although is doesn’t have toilets or a café Farnham town centre is just a few minutes drive away and has plenty of cafes to choose from.
The Sculpture Park, Churt, GU10 2LH
The most atmospheric sculpture exhibition in Britain. More than 500 renowned sculptors exhibiting over 800 sculptures for sale set within ten acres of beautiful arboretum and wildlife inhabited water gardens.
The sculpture park is not flat and all of the trails, including the step-free route are rough woodland tracks with a loose gravel surface.
Open Monday – Sunday 10am-5pm. Dogs allowed on leads. Toilets on site but no café. Adults £10, over 65’s £5 - Click Here
National Trust Gardens near here -
For gardens in Surrey, click here
For gardens in Hampshire, click here
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