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All our previous walks - we've seen off a lot of shoe-leather!!

WALK No 169
Co-ordinator: Duggie Fairbairn (020 8979 8305)

(The Royal Oak)
Tuesday 9 May 2006
The Royal Oak, Pirbright, 10.30am

The Royal Oak

approx 3½ miles
Norman Andrews

Join M3, as convenient, at Sunbury and leave at Junction 3, Lightwater to take the A322 south through West End & Bisley, pass under the railway bridge by Brookwood Cemetry, and turn right into Cemetry Pales. Continue and with Pirbright Green on your right, pass the White Hart on your left to join the A324 , Guildford Road, continue to Aldershot Road. The Royal Oak is then some distance on your left, opposite Stream Farm Boarding Kennels.

The walk is approximately 3½ miles. There are no hills or stiles and only one somewhat dilapidated kissing gate. Towards the end there is a fair amount of wet marshy ground but it is not impassable. Nevertheless stout shoes or ankle boots are recommended.

From the pub cross the road slightly left to a bridleway beside Stream Farm Boarding Kennels. Keep ahead through woodland to join a driveway by the entrance to Bourne House. Keep forward to a road and turn right. Just before the entrance to a MOD area turn left and go ahead over a footbridge.

Bear left up the bank on a small path through rhododendrons, past a sign, 'Aldershot Garrison Angling Club', and a horse barrier, to skirt Henleypark Lake . Henley Park was a royal manor house until Charles I's time and the home of Lord Pirbright at the beginning of the century where he was visited by Edward VII. It stood across the A324 from the lake, behind what was once Yokes works.

Cross a bridge over the sluice to join a broad track. Turn right on this and soon fork right again to reach a junction of five tracks, bear left on gently rising ground out to a road, ignoring side paths. Near the road go left, parallel with the road for about 100 yds. Cross by a marker post opposite the second black and white barrier.

Walk alongside the one time drive of Vokes car park, now awaiting re-development, then keep ahead over a footbridge and up a field alongside newly planted woodland on the left. At the top turn left by a yellow marker along a broad path. Ignore a smaller path off right and later turnings left, going through mixed woodland with views right to the Hog's Back, on a clear day. Keep forward across a drive and alongside a beech hedge to a kissing gate and a road.

Cross to a driveway by Mercury Lodge, bearing right alongside a golf course. On reaching a house, Cobbett Hill Cottage, turn left in front of this by a marker arrow, keeping alongside the garden where the path forks. A small but distinct path winds through wet heathland, a diminishing habitat, and meets a broad track. Turn right, crossing a stream and bearing left out to a road. Turn left along the verge and soon reach a road junction by Stanford Farm Cottage. The Royal Oak is now shortly on the left.