A walk that links two of the most important habitats in the Valley – heathland and wild flower meadows
About the walk
Start point: Second car park off Yateley Common if approaching from the west, which is Gravel Pit Pond car park off the A30 (post code GU17 0AS), near Blackwater. SU 838594
Distance: 8 km/ 5 miles
Walk time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Terrain: relatively flat with some slopes, areas of uneven ground and steps
Rail to Trail: from Sandhurst station use the footpath along the railway line to Swan Lane. Turn right and continue along the pavement, cross over the river and join the Blackwater Valley Path immediately on the left. Start the walk half-way through point 7.
Round Yateley Common
- 1. Leave the car park by the main track and at the junction take the path to the left towards the pond. Walk past with the pond (which dries out in the summer) on the left until you see a house on your right. Take the central path between house and pond. Follow the sandy path slightly uphill to the junction with five tracks.
- 2. Take the third track from the left and immediately follow the path heading left away from the houses. Follow the track downhill to fields with a pond on the right.
- 3. Turn left to follow track along fence line. This track heads round to the right then away from the fence line, running parallel with the road. Keep to the main track which heads uphill. When the track forks head right, parallel with power lines. Then at a group of three pylons, continue with pylons on your left and take the second track on the right. Then take first turning on the left.
- 4. At the bottom of the hill turn right at the crossroads. Then keep left at the fork. The path now bears to the right and heads uphill. Take a narrow path to the left away from the Nature Trail Sign. This will take you along the side of Wyndham's Pool. Walk around three sides of the Pool then continue along track straight ahead. At fork take left track then at crossroads continue straight on to come out onto Stevens Hill.
- 5. Turn left into the lane and at the T junction, turn right. Continue following the road, keeping to the right-hand side. Cross Cobbett’s Lane and head straight, along Round Close and then Potley Hill Road, which takes you to the Reading Road.
- 6. Use the pedestrian lights to cross Reading Road. Once across the road, turn left onto Adam Brown Avenue and straight on into Clarke’s Farm Way. Turn right into Cuckoo Crescent and enter Swan Lake Park via the gate and turn right.
Along the Blackwater River
- 7. Follow the main path and turn right at the allotment car park. Cross the car park and the road. Turn left onto the Blackwater Valley Path next to the river.
- 8. On reaching a large metal bridge, cross over the river and railway line, then continue straight to a crossroads. Turn right over a wooden bridge to cross back over the river into Shepherd Meadows. Continue along the Path with river on the left.
Through Blackwater to the start
- 9. At the next crossroads turn right taking the path towards houses. Carefully cross railway line and road on the other side. Then continue along the grass strip that runs along the backs of houses to the left of Binsted Drive. Turn right along second grass strip, to emerge onto Rosemary Lane. Cross at the bollards.
- 10. Turn right and then left into Bell Lane. At end of this lane cross the road and walk through green with hall on right. Continue through bollards, cross private road to follow Green Lane past school on left to Reading Road. Cross busy road with care and enter Yateley Common. Follow the bridle path straight ahead back to the car park.