Hamstead including Ningwood, Cranmore, Bouldnor Copse & Wellow
Walks from a Pub – A circular walk starting at The Horse & Groom, Ningwood walking along the Hamstead Trail & Coastal Path through Bouldnor Copse and cutting inland to Wellow to re-join the Hamstead Trail back to Ningwood
Distance: 9 miles approx
Time: 3 1/2 hours
Suitable for: Reasonably fit walkers
Parking: Park next to The Horse & Groom (GR: SZ401892)
Nearest Town: Yarmouth
Refreshments: The Horse & Groom
Toilets: No public toilets
Other Walks: IWCAM – Walks in the West Wight
Maps: Outdoor Leisure No. 29
1. The Horse & Groom, Ningwood
Cross the stile in the left hand corner of the ‘pull in’ by The Horse & Groom car park and walk across the field keeping the hedge to the left. Cross the stile and walk through a short section of Nunneys Wood and over the bridge crossing another stile. Turn right and follow the edge of Ningwood Lake and cross another stile bearing first left, then right. Continue straight on keeping the river to the right to reach the Coastal Path to the left of the bridge over Ningwood Lake. The correct line of the path should to turn left shortly after crossing the last stile but suffice it to say, I saw no evidence of a path by the river or emergence of a path joining the track further up. Continue along the gravel track passing Pigeon Coo Farm on the left, & continue straight on ignoring the gravel track which is signposted Hamstead Trail. Turn right at the next junction and follow the gravel track, for approximately 1 mile, passing Creek Farm on the right, to reach Lower Hamstead.
2. Lower Hamstead
Turn left crossing the stile and follow the narrow path between a fence on the left & hedge on the right and cross the stile to reach the creek.Â Bear left and follow the path to the boardwalk
and continue around the creek bearing right over the bridge & stile. Bear left crossing a field keeping the hedge to the left & cross a stile in the hedge. Bear slightly right and walk across the field reaching a stile. Cross the stile and walk along the long bridge and follow the enclosed path leading to a flight of steps to reach the shore at Newtown Bay. Turn left and follow the turf path behind the beach passing the memorial to three young men who lost their lives off Hamstead Ledge, Horace Cox aged 22 & William Pollock aged 22 on 27 Nov 1032 and Robin Murray-Cox aged 21 on 2 June 1934. Bear left, away from the coast, follow the Coastal Path along the gravel track for approximately 1/2 mile to reach Hamstead Farm. Walk through the farm bearing left and cross the stile on the right into a field. Continue across the field and over the next stile bearing left to cross another field keeping the fence to the left. Go through the gate and continue through the next field ignoring the signposted path on the right. Cross the stile and bear left, then right walking around West Hamstead Farm. Continue along the path by the farm ignoring the gravel track on the left. Cross the stile and continue along the path between fences, through a gate and onto a gravel track. Continue along the track passing Cliff Cottage the right and turn left at the junction. Continue along the track for approximately 300 yards and continue straight, ignoring Solent Road on the left leading to Cranmore.
Turn right at the next junction and continue along the track for approximately 200 yards turning left at the entrance to Greenacres, as signposted, and right to cross a small field to enter Bouldnor Copse over a stile. Continue through the copse along a fairly well defined path although it’s position varies with cliff falls that predominate this stretch of coastline. Continue past the broad track on the left and then past a minor track on the left for approximately 3/4 mile to a point where there is a signpost pointing to a coastal path diversion. Turn left and follow the track uphill towards a timber property. Walk around the right hand side to reach a concrete road in the midst of ‘The Experience’ which I presume to be an outdoor adventure park. Turn right and follow the road downhill past a property on the right and ‘pill box’ on the left bearing right, then left to reach the main Yarmouth road after approximately 1/2 mile. Turn left and follow the main busy road for approximately 1/4 mile passing Lucketts on the left. Turn right over the stile and cross the field keeping the hedge to the right. Cross the stile and continue through the next field, keeping the hedge to the right, through the gap in the hedge and through the next field keeping the copse on the right. Turn left and then right after approximately 100 yards and continue through the filed keeping the hedge to the right. Cross the stile into a copse and continue through the copse crossing a stile onto the disused Freshwater railway line. Turn right and follow the track for approximately 200 yards and turn left over a stile and through a field keeping the hedge on the left. Cross the stile and continue across the next field, over another stile and bear slightly right to cross the next field. Cross the double stile separated by a footbridge and continue to walk across the field bearing slightly to the right. Cross the stile to reach the road through Wellow.
Turn left and follow the road for approximately 1/4 mile passing Mattingley Farm on the left and former Sun Inn on the right. Turn left down the track opposite Brook Cottage & Miss Tiggy Winkles Cottage. Continue along the track passing the vineyard on the right and through a field keeping the hedge on the left. Cross the stile and continue through the next field keeping the hedge on the left. Cross the stile on left and continue through the copse following the obvious path across 3 stiles to reach a field. Cross the stile and bearing slightly right, walk diagonally across the the field crossing two stiles to reach the Yarmouth road. Turn right and then left crossing the road to enter Hamstead Road. Walk along the unmade road for approximately 1/2 mile and just as the road bears left turn right to follow the path through a small copse around the edge of a property on the left. Cross the stile and follow the fence on the left through a field. Cross a stile and continue to reach the footbridge back over Ningwood Lake. Go through the copse and through the field to return to the starting point.