Location : SU 17664 16024 / SU17539 15962
Distance : 5.3 miles
Date : 23rd February 2020
Conditions : Rain at first, brighter later
(N.B. These notes are not designed as detailed instructions for the walk. If you’d like to do the walk, see my advice here)
Finally. After two weekends of the most atrocious weather, we were able to get out into the countryside without being drowned and blown away in equal measures. Mind you, the drive out started somewhat inauspiciously with rain (and rainbows!), but brightened in the end to finish as lovely late-winter afternoon.
A word before we start on the car parks, though. I’m sure there is a very good reason for it, but Godshill and Godshill Pit are, literally, about 100 metres apart. Whether one is designed as over-spill for the others, who knows. But with limited route options from this location, we didn’t really want to effectively do exactly the same walk two times in a row. So we decided that this one walk would count for both car parks. This is our game, and we play by our rules. So that’s that!
Parking in Godshill car park (plenty of room today, and obviously the nearby over-spill available if not), we followed the route we’d planned in a clockwise direction – no particular reason than it was Harriet’s preference, but in hindsight it was a good move as the walk re-trod sections we’d done previously, but doing it this way round meant we did those section in the other direction. The other thing to say about his route is that it is effectively a figure-of-8 – we didn’t do the cross-over at the intersection, but you can if you wish. So many choices!
Our route today took us back out of the car park, right along a road and track, and then through a gate into Godshill Wood, taking a narrower path to the left straight after entering. Following this path, and then turning off right just after joining a more major track, the route snakes through the mixed wood (practically deserted today), crossing a road and entering Godshill Inclosure the other side, snaking through a number of paths and tracks in there (we got a very brief glimpse of some deer), bearing left at a major intersection that forms the intersection of our figure-8, before finally exiting the Inclosure at a road.
Crossing directly over the road, we head down a footpath signposted to North Densome House, walking alongside the house (very nice!) over a stile, across a field (where we had a glimpse of a herd of deer that had clearly got into where they shouldn’t have been), over another stile and then right along a track which eventually came out onto another road on the edge of Hale Purlieu.
Crossing straight over the road (again!) we head down the hill, crossing a stream and back up the other side towards woodland (Millersford Copse). Following the path until such point as it is joined by another well-marked track to the left, we turn right along a ridge on the edge of the wood, down to cross another stream, before finally coming up next a more well made track. (It’s worth mentioning at this point that – in late winter – this is definitely a wellie-boot walk. Mud and streams abound).
Following the track until it finally emerges into the open, we bear left, and then right where it crosses another path, heading downhill to a confluence of streams that – at this time of year – requires both boots and cunning to navigate. We were headed right back up the hill, running along the edge of woodland that borders fields, before finally reaching the top of the hill by Densome Corner.
You can turn left here and walk along the edge of the woods back to the car park, but we chose to re-enter Godshill Inclosure via. the gate on the corner, following a path that leads to that figure-of-eight intersection, there bearing left to following a well-made track, finally taking a right down another track that leads back to the car park.
Despite the mixed weather (light drizzle to start with, clearing to grey, and then brightening to sunshine) and the *very* soggy conditions underfoot, this was a lovely walk, with a mixture of woodland, fields,and open heathland. Definitely recommended (but don’t forget the boots!).