Welcome to #11 in my series of family-friendly dog walks near Chandlers Ford. If you have been following my blogs, then I really hope the information has been useful and you have discovered some lovely new places to visit with the kids and/or the dogs! If you have, then I would love to know what you thought of any of the places!
If you are new to my blog series then welcome! I am a family photographer in Chandlers Ford and started writing this several years ago when people started asking if I could recommend anywhere good/different to go where they could take their children and their dogs to! I have a 7 year old son called Charlie, a 6 year old daughter called Evie and a 10 year old chocolate Labrador called Josie, so fun places to visit on a dog walk are important to us all!
I have based the walks in and around Chandlers Ford as that is where I live.
Ok, so this isn’t technically near Chandlers Ford, but it only takes 30 minutes from Chandlers Ford and is just too beautiful not to mention!
I only discovered this little piece of National Trust paradise in the past year or so when I went to take photos of my niece out on a hack with a local riding school.
If you’re not familiar witrh Stockbridge, it is a gorgeously quaint town outside Andover with the river Test running through which is world-renowned for fly fishing (apparently)!
Stockbridge Down is a heavenly stretch of countryside as far as the eye can see. I have described below a specific walk but by no means do you have to do this walk – you can spend the whole day just bimbling around if preferred!
The car park is tucked off the main road, so it is well advised not to drive too fast as it is easily missed.
So far as walks go, this one is pretty straight forward. It is all on grass or gravel paths, so it may not be advisable with wheelchairs or pushchairs, especially in wetter weather!
From the car park you head straight over the road and through the gates. Ahead of you is a hill but the walk takes you right. I am informed that you head along the ‘gallop run’ which is basically a flattened pathway in between bushes and longer grass. Head up until the bushes become too dense. and take a left, which looks like a dead end but the path takes you through some overgrown bushes. Keep heading through these and you will eventually need to turn left again, which is a steeper climb back towards the beginning, but taking in the hill. Walk through several ‘tunnels of trees’ which is so refreshing and some welcome shade if you’re walking in full sunshine. Eventually you will start up the hill, which is tough-going, but when you turn back and see the breathtaking views, is totally worth it! You literally feel on top of the world and is a great place to go if you need to clear your head!
Once you reach the top of the hill, you can see the entrance and ar park from the top. It also has a nice bench at the top which is the perfect place to crack open the flask of tea and take in the views!
The walk in total is 3.2km and took me 50 minutes to walk it, but it would be a lot slower if I went with the little people!
Things to enjoy at Stockbridge Down:
1) The views.
There’s no denying it – this is the place you come to take in the views and the local countryside. It is stunning!
2) The peace and quiet.
Because of the vastness of the area, you feel like you’re a million miles away from anyone, and although you may see the occasional dog-walker or horse rider, you can also do the whole walk without seeing a soul!
If you have an energetic dog (or child) this is the place you bring them to stretch their legs! The flat parts are great for kicking a ball about, and the hill is big enough that anybody would feel well-exercised afterwards!
4) Free parking.
Although the car park is small, it is free which is brilliant!
The perfect place to meet up with friends and family for a picnic. Over the road from the car park and enough space to spread out without getting in the way of anybody else!
Things to watch out for at Stockbridge Down:
Apart from one poo bin at the entrance to the Downs by the car park, there are no other bins around.
2) Phone signal.
Part of the beauty of feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, is because you ARE in the middle of nowhere. This results in patchy signal at times.
3) Overgrown in places.
As a result of the weather we have had lately, the route can be overgrown in some places so be careful!
There is no lighting anywhere at all, throughout the walks or on any of the roads, so watch out when dusk hits as I can only imagine that it would be blacker than black in the night.