Doggedly Doglegging around Dogmersfield (Hampshire) (38871)
'Doggedly': little in the way of determination will actually be needed on this delectable day walk as we pass through pastureland, parkland and woodland, beside canal, lake and stream and across gently undulating terrain. 'Doglegging': our route zigzags so that we avoid the worst of the mud, see the best of the sights and reach the pub at lunchtime. Dogmersfield: at the heart of this walk is a village of handsome red-brick and timber houses, chief among them Dogmersfield Park, a deep-set, demure, dignified house of 1728 set among lawns and lakes.
Some information on places and landscapes:
Dogmersfield: A pleasant village of red-brick and timbered houses. The Queen's Head pub is named after Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, who is said to have stayed in the village with her first husband, Arthur, Prince of Wales, Henry's brother.
Dogmersfield Park: A large, plain brick house built in 1728 and since then becoming a Roman Catholic college and a hotel. The interest is mostly inside with some ornate stuccoed rooms remaining after a fire in 1981. A destroyed wing has been rebuilt in a clever copycat style but the blocks of guestrooms built since it became The Four Seasons Hotel look cheap. A formal garden is being developed and the grounds (by Eames) of sweeping lawns and pretty lakes with picturesque bridges are lovely.
Odiham Common: Wood pasture of oak, holly and birch, reminiscent of the New Forest. King John's Hunting Lodge is a cottage orné built originally as an eyecatcher for Dogmersfield Park in the early 1720s in a whimsical 'gothick' style. Its ogee windows and Dutch gables hark back to the 1620s. At its core is a hunting lodge from the 1490s (so built for Henry VII rather than John).
Winchfield: The church of St Mary the Virgin is of 1170 and is tough and solid, standing alone. Opposite is The School House, now a private dwelling, by renowned Victorian architect William Burges. Its double-height windows are impressive.
Please see the route here, but note that we'll be doing it anticlockwise.
Before lunch there's an 11km stretch. From Winchfield Station a footpath takes us parallel to the railway line before we reach another footpath which takes us parallel to the M3. Soon after these inauspicious beginnings we reach the pleasant wood pasture of Odiham Common where the density of trees will absorb the sound of the motorway. We'll soon be looking at KIng John's Hunting Lodge before we join the canal, cross it and head out to Broad Oak along a lane. A walk through Forest Park will take us to Dogmersfield Lake. Crossing the park we'll see the hotel and then the second lake: Tundry Pond. Footpaths will then take us across fields to the edge of Crookham village and then Dogmersfield for lunch at the pub.
After lunch there's an 8km stretch. Upon leaving the pub footpaths will take us across fields to the Barley Mow Bridge on the canal. Sprat's Hatch Lane will lead us to a point to cross the canal in order to reach Bagwell Lane. After a glimpse of Winchfield Church we'll continue along Bagwell Lane, designated the Three Castles Path, which will lead us back to Winchfield Station and if you can be tempted, the pub adjacent to it.
What to bring
For your comfort and safety please be prepared for the anticipated weather and the terrain of the walk - keep in mind the following:
Boots: Hiking boots that are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support, are important as soon as you encounter any mud. Cross trainers may suffice in good weather and flat routes.
Socks: Proper walking socks keep your feet dry, and help prevent blisters.
Walking Trousers: (ideally water resistant) will be more comfortable than Jeans which are heavy and cold when wet. From April to October shorts are usually a better bet.
Waterproof Over-Trousers: essential in any significant rainfall. Breathable ones are best.
Layered clothing: allows you to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature. E.g. a base layer or a cotton T-Shirt; a mid layer like a micro fleece, or a rugby type thick shirt, and in cooler weather an outer layer consisting of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece.
Waterproof Jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather. You get what you pay for with these. Breathable fabrics are advisable.
Hat: essential both in mid winter to preserve heat and in summer to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
Gloves: essential in frosty weather.
Small Rucksack: One that is comfortable to wear is essential so that you can use your arms freely. Place valuables in water proof bags inside.
Sunglassses: April- Sept: comfortable sunglasses enhance your pleasure and keep insects out of the eye
Water: even in winter one can loose a litre or more of fluid by perspiration. If you fail to make this up you'll get dehydrated which can lead to headaches and other problems. A hydration bladder is easier to use than bottled water, but higher maintenance.
Food: a packed lunch will be required unless otherwise stated. In addition carry energy bars or similar to counter 'sugar lows'.
Medicines: If you have allergies, are diabetic, or have minor ailments don't forget these!
Food & Drink
We're having lunch at The Queen's Head in Dogmersfield. Both the pub and I would like us to pre-order food (doing so saves a lot of hassle for them and time for us) so I'll be in touch two weeks before the walk to ask what you'd like to eat there.
If you'd prefer to bring your own lunch, then that's fine and I'll look out a nice place for you to sit and eat before you, I hope, rejoin the group for a drink in the pub.
The Winchfield Inn is right next to the station if you want to delay getting your train at the end of the walk.
Meeting & Times
Other Useful Information
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