This leisurely walk has the advantages of starting and finishing at a pub and has no hills to climb! It passes through the Dogmersfield estate and past the picturesque Tundry Pond.
The starting point is the public car park opposite the Barleymow Inn, just a few yards along Sprat’s Hatch Lane, grid reference SU777538. Walk up to the Basingstoke Canal from the car park and turn right, under Sprat’s Hatch Lane and following the towpath under Stacey’s Bridge and Basely’s Bridge all the way to the Sprat’s Hatch Bridge. Cross over the bridge and follow the footpath past Sprat’s Hatch Farm.
Shortly after the path turns sharp left at the farm, look out for a footpath on the right adjacent to the big iron gates to the estate. Follow this path, fenced at either side with pigs, cows and assorted farm animals to see until it joins the main drive. Shortly afterwards a metal gate to the left leads to Tundry Pond. Walk along the bank of this lovely lake all the way to the woods at the far end. Here turn right and follow the path over the canal bridge.
Continue to follow the track to a road, cross and the footpath continues on the other side through a field. Reaching a stile, follow the enclosed path as it twists right, left, right, enters a lane, crosses a stream and turns left between trees up a gentle slope into a field. Waymarks along the way will keep you informed! Cross a stile into a short piece of field and out onto a lane heading east.
Turn left on the lane (heading for Crookham village) and then locate the next footpath on the left opposite a thatched garage. Follow this path (can be boggy) keeping close to the right boundary hedge towards Brook Meadow Farm. From the quagmire at the corner of the field nearest the farm, take the farm access road back to the Dogmersfield road. Turn briefly left past a traffic calming measure and cross the road to find a narrow footpath following a stream.
At Pilcot Farm cross the stream on the concrete bridge and then turn immediately right on another footpath heading vaguely north. This path goes left at the end of the fence to the right and shortly crosses from being on the left side of the hedge to being on the right side (watch out for waymarks). Follow the path vaguely west, tree lined for much of the time, past an adjoining path coming in from the left and past a secluded pond. The track turns slightly right and opens up to a farm track to Old Barley Mow Farm. Where the farm track turns right, the footpath continues through a quagmire of a field to the road. Take either to the road.
Turn left on the road and return to the start, or pop into the Barleymow Pub.
Fleet Pond is the largest fresh water lake in Hampshire and the nature reserve has 54.6 hectares (135 acres) of varied habitats for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors.
Explore the reserve with our three fantastic walks.