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Ramalley Woods in Dog Walks near Chandlers Ford blog series

Welcome to blog #14 in my series of family-friendly dog walks near Chandlers Ford which today focuses on Ramalley Woods

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 on the lookout for new locations.

The idea for these blogs was started when my children were younger and I was bored of taking them on the same walks. 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 and whether it was just safe to let 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 do not need a dog to visit these locations;

2) you 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!

Today’s walk is right in the middle of Chandlers Ford though, off Valley Park in Ramalley Woods.

the field and park next to Ramalley Woods
the bridge leading from Valley Park to Ramalley Woods
walking through the trees in Ramalley Woods
walking through Ramalley Woods

The Walk

I would advise that the best place to park for the Ramalley Woods walk is the car park at the end of Glendowan Road, off Katrine Crescent in Valley Park.

From the car park follow the path down towards the river (keep the park and field on your right). When you get to the bottom, turn left then immediately right over a little bridge that crosses the river. Veer round towards the left and follow a mud path through the trees. It’s quite stony and full of tree roots so not particularly pushchair or wheelchair-friendly.

Keep walking through the trees until you reach a clearing. The path becomes very narrow but follow it round to the right and you will find yourself at the bottom of a set of wooden steps. There are narrow flattened mud paths either side of the steps but again, thse would not be easy to manage with a pushchair or wheelchair.

The steps will curve round to the right and then lead you onto a muddy and slightly bumpy track with more steps to negotiate. Keep following this until it opens out and turn left to go over the railway bridge. Unfortunately it is high and overgrown long it so not the easist place for people to watch the trains from!

When you get over the bridge take the left hand fork of the path and follow. This is a much wider path so far easier for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

You will walk towards a gate (leading into North Millars Dale) but you want to turn right onto a path before you get to it. This path runs parallel to the houses which back onto it.

Keep on the path for several minutes and eventually it will significantly narrow (once you get to a kissing gate on the left). Keep on the narrow path and you’ll start walking alongside the back of an industrial building on your left. You will then come to a big open dip on the right hand side where the kids can be entertained for ages. There are big tree roots to clamber all over, dens to make and a rope swing which kept mine entertained for hours!

When you’ve finished, head back to the path and eventually you’ll end up in front of Ramalley Scout Hut. Keep this on your left as you walk past Ramalley Cemetry and along the back of another set of houses. Keep walking for several minutes until eventually you end up back at the railway bridge. Turn left across it and then insead of turning left at the end (to go back the way you initially walked from), go straight ahead and down some steps. These go down quite a steep bank with flat tracks either side (although I suspect they won’t be flat after lots of rain). The path will then start to narrow and widen as you walk along. Be careful in the narrow parts as it can be very overgrown with lots of nettles and stingers.

At the bottom of the path turn right to walk alongside the river. This is the perfect place fr dogs and children alike to have a splash as it is shallow and safe. Indeed my daughter spent most of lockdown 1 sitting in this part of the river!

Keep following the path alongside the river and you will eventually reach the little brideg again. From there it’s just back across the bridge to the field.

Things to enjoy at Ramalley Woods:

The river.

As I mentioned above, it’s shallow, it’s safe and there’s loads of easy-access points to get in and out.

The rope swing.

I mean – what else is there to say? Who doesn’t love a rope swing? It’s fitted with a baby seat so isn’t the largest of seats but that didn’t stop my 9 year old!

The distance.

You can see from my stats that it took me 40 minutes. Admittedly I didn’t have any children with me but I did have a very old and slow dog who wanted to stop and sniff every single leaf. I think it’s a decent enough walk that little legs could manage it!

Free car park.

It’s free and it’s a good size so you shouldn’t have any problems parking. Having said that, I would avoid school run times as it gets rammed with school parents parking up.

Poo bins.

Based by the car park so great if your dog goes straight away, but not great if your dog goes on the walk. There is another one when you’re up by the Ramalley Scout Hut and Cemetary.

Park and field.

At the start/end of the walk there’s a decent-sized field, park and basketball pitch for the kids to enjoy.

It’s free!

This has to be the best bit! Whether you’re looking to do this walk on a weekend or summer holiday, it is all free and lots of fun so kids, dogs and adults alike should be happy!

playing on a rope swing in Ramalley Woods
dens and ropes swings to play with in Ramalley Woods
playing on a rope swing in Ramalley Woods

Things to watch out for at Ramalley Woods:

Roots and uneven ground.

Unfortunately this walk can be quite inaccessible in places for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs. It’s only for small periods and you may choose to power through, but it’s certainly not even!

Undergrowth.

As this walk is literally through the woods, it is only expected that it can be very overgrown in places. There are also a lot of brambles and stingers around so watch out for legs!

Something else you may be interested in…