Circular walk 11 – walk with the water babies of Eversley

An opportunity to see some of the more rural parts of the Blackwater Valley, as you travel along field edges and through Bramshill Forest.

About the walk

Start point: Small parking area off Bramshill Road. SU 760613
Distance: 9 km / 5.5 miles
Walk time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Terrain: The route is relatively flat with uneven ground which can get very muddy and wet in parts, particularly during winter.

Getting there

Rail to Trail: there is no train station nearby.

Bramshill to New Mill

The name Bramshill comes from 'broom covered hill' and the hill is topped with Bramshill House which is now the Police Staff College. In its heyday it was a beautiful example of Jacobean architecture, built by Lord Zouche during the early part of the 1600s; it is said to be haunted. Bramshill Forest is managed as a working plantation. The wood is harvested and sold for the production of paper. However, the site also provides areas of important heathland and wetland habitat for a variety of wildlife. In particular look out for dragonflies, damselflies and birds, if you are lucky you may even see a herd of deer passing through the site. Please keep dogs under control as they may disturb the wildlife
  • 1. Take the signed footpath out of the car park heading away from the road. The path runs alongside the school playing fields and heads straight. This wide track now runs under the power lines through Bramshill with a bridleway along the left. Turn right to go straight ahead past the metal gate past houses to meet the surfaced road, continue along the bridleway Just before the last visible pylon, there is a small crossroads, turn right, pass through the kissing gate Follow the track to meet the surfaced road, New Mill Lane.
The Mills, now known as New Mill, can be traced back to the days of William I and the Domesday Book which records two mills in this vicinity. Parts of the buildings are believed to have been built in 1577 when a new mill replaced the original, after a fire, hence the name 'New'. The waterwheel and corn grinding equipment are still in working order.
  • 2. Turn left onto New Mill Lane and continue. After passing the riding school, continue past the sharp bend in the road, then shortly after the road junction, turn right. A small bridge takes you over a ditch and through a gate onto the Blackwater Valley Path. The route now follows the Path. Cross this field and the next, which are joined by metal gates. Follow the Path around a horse riding area to the right then turn left onto track, which heads through trees. Continue through kissing gate straight to a metal gate then turn left and cross field. Once at the corner of the field turn right and head through gate. Keep to the left of the field to the next gate. The Path now runs straight between fields and a hedge line. At drive, cross and continue straight. After passing through a gate the Path runs between a walled garden and hedge line. Continue to Eversley Street. The route now leaves the Blackwater Valley Path.


  • 3. Turn right and proceed along the pavement past The White Hart pub. Cross Warbrook Lane and continue past Warbrook House and Grange, taking care when the pavement becomes very narrow. Take the signed footpath on the right, just after the pavement runs out. The path leads away from the road into a wooded area. Follow the path past the remains of The Grange wall to the right and football field to the left. Continue straight along a tree-lined path, past the side of a house, though barrier to Bramshill Road.
  • 4. Cross the road and continue along footpath to the right signed as Lyndride Drive. Follow the surfaced path past a house and stables. At the junction continue straight past pond on the right. Where the path bends around to the right up to house, follow the footpath straight along fence line. At the T-junction turn left over small bridge into field. Continue along field edge with hedge on the right. In the far corner of the field proceed through a kissing gate then over a small bridge towards the church. Go through a metal gate and walk around the church, to leave through a wooden gate at the main entrance.
St. Mary's Church has been a place of Christian worship for over 900 years. There is evidence that it may have been a significant pagan site long before the advent of Christianity. The church building, which dates mainly from the 18th Century, lies off a quiet country lane. It is surrounded by fields and trees, much as it would have been years ago. A notable figure in the history of St. Mary's is the 19th Century preacher, author, naturalist and social reformer Charles Kingsley. He was Rector of Eversley for 31 years and founded the village school, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. However, it is possibly the children's novel The Water Babies for which he is most remembered. Kingsley wrote this, his most famous book, during his time in Eversley. The tale touches upon many of his favourite themes: the working conditions of the poor, public health, pollution of rivers and streams and the theory of evolution.

Bramshill Forest

  • 5. Turn right and follow the lane uphill. At the house in front of you, take the signed footpath to the left. The path leads uphill into Bramshill. Follow the footpath waymarkers which take you off to the left. Keep right as the path splits and you will emerge onto a large clearing were five paths meet.
The Three Castles Path is a long distance route of 96 km from Windsor to Winchester. It is based upon the 13th Century journeys taken by King John at the time of Magna Carta. While many aspects of the countryside have altered dramatically in the 800 years since John's time, the contours are unchanged and it is still possible to follow some of the old ways through parkland and forest, across heath land and along streams.
  • 6. Turn right and take the fourth exit, which is a bridleway know as Welsh Drive. Follow waymarkers to take you across the site straight over two crossroads, then keep left at three forks. When the path emerges onto a third crossroads turn right to take the path running parallel with the power lines. Still on the bridleway the path runs down to a metal gate. Walk around the gate passing the works on the right and continue on surfaced path to the road. Cross the road and enter car park.
The Welsh Drive is the historic route of the Drovers road from Wales to the cattle markets in London. It passes close by a Bronze Age bowl barrow called Cudbury Clump.