Welcome to blog #13 in my series of family-friendly dog walks near Chandlers Ford.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Caroline and I am a family photographer in Chandlers Ford. I am an outside photographer, so I am always looking for new locations at which I can recommend to my families.
The idea for these blogs was started when my children were younger and I was bored of taking them on the same walks day-in day-out. So I started collecting ideas for different places, paying particular attention to details such as whether they were pushchair-friendly, whether the dog had to be on the lead for large parts and whether it was just safe to let the three of them just run free. People then started asking for suggestions where they could take their kids / dogs to and so was borne my blog series!
Now it is worth noting 3 things when reading these blogs:
1) you definitely do not need a dog to visit these locations;
2) you definitely do not need to have children to visit these locations and
3) I will try my best to source walks as close to Chandlers Ford as possible, but if I find a little gem of a walk that is further afield, then I will still share it, as then you have options!
Farley Mount- the Monument
Farley Mount is a country park nestled on the outskirts of Winchester, just near Hursley Village. It is not a country park in the usual manner, in that it does not have cafes, parks and facilities, but it is simplay a vast expanse of woodland and fields. Perfect for dog walks and letting the children run off some steam.
I have been visiting Farley Mount for as long as I can remember, whether with my own children and dog or as a young girl with my Grandparents and their dog. It is only recently, I am ashamed to admit, that I have discovered the Monument, the thing that Farley Mount is probably most famous for!
The Monument is the resting site for a brave and heroic horse whoe risked his life in 1735 by diving into a chalk pit. There are seveal plaques and information boards around that explain in more detail.
Farley Mount in general, as well as this walk, does not have smooth and bespoke pathways. So if you are planning on visiting with pushchairs or wheelchairs, just be warned that you may need to go on grass, mud and stony paths.
There are many different car parks within Farley Mount, and this walk can certainly be shortened if you park and start in the Monument car park. I have started it in a car park a bit further away purely so that I can increase the walk for my dog and children!
If you are unsure how to get to Farley Mount, drive up through Hursley from Chandlers Ford, head through Hursley and out past IBM (on your left). You then need to take the second road on the left (signposted to Sparsholt and Farley Mount). Do not be tempted to take the first turning signposted towards Farley! Go past a farm on your left and then take the left hand fork (right hand fork heads towards Sparsholt). The road will become a one-lane track (lots of places to pull in to pass oncoming track). You will feel like you are driving into the middle of noweher – do not worry – you’re on the right track. The road will take you through a dense patch of woodland and then will open out with fields on either side. As you reach the top of the hill, follow the road round to your left. The first car park on the right is Forest View. You want the scond car park on the right which is called Hawthorns. This is a big (and free) car park so you shouldn’t have problems finding a space.
As you face Farley Mount from the car park, turn left out the car park and youi will reach a gravel path. Cross over that and you will walk into some woodland and then into a field with a gate. This is a beautiful field in the summer with long grass and loads of space to run free! Cross directly over the field and you will reach another car park (I don’t know the name of this one I’m afraid!). Take the path that skirts around this and you will reach the main road. If you cross over this you will head straight into the Farley Mount car park (and your walk can start here if you want a shorter walk). From here the walk is really simple – walk through the car park, up the gravel park and then when you have the opportunity take a left hand fork. This will take you onto a steeper path from which you can see the monument at the top.
Things to enjoy at Farley Mount Monument:
Space and freedom
There’s honestly nothing quite like it! For as far as they eye can see, there’s trees and fields and that’s about it!
Once you’re on top of that hill there are 360′ view which are just spectacular!
I don’t know when I turned into my parents, but I do find a large and free car park very pleasing! Is that an age thing? Who knows!!
Things to watch out for at Farley Mount Monument
Lack of bins
Whether it’s dog waste or rubbish bins you want, there are none whatsoever! I think it is an attempt to get people to take all rubbish home with them. This does mean that some irresponsible dog owners don’t clear up after their dogs, so watch out for errant poo!
Car park safety
There are quite a lot of signs up around the different Farley Mount car parks warning you not to leave any valuables in your cars as thieves operate in the area!