Walking

Walking trail

South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

Walking trail

Alfred Lord Tennyson fell in love with the Black Down Hills and would stride out through the heather, wrapped in his cloak. Follow in his footsteps and walk through Black Down's beautiful woodland and heathland. The walk goes to the Temple of the Winds, named after a Bronze Age circular bank. Here you can find one of the best views of the South Downs National Park. This little-known spot has a secret feel and a charming curved stone seat to rest on.

A view south looking over the rolling downland of the South Downs from behind the stone plinth, with a charming curved inscribed stone seat in memory of WE Hunter who donated Black Down to the National Trust in memory of his beloved wife.

Map

Map showing walking route for Temple of the Winds trail at Black Down, Surrey

Start:

Tennyson's Lane main National Trust car park, OS grid ref: SU9179231186

1

Follow the track up from the car park on Tennyson’s lane and make your way through the gate onto Black Down. Following the track uphill along a well-worn track after 170m you will reach our notice board. In autumn, the steep banks on either side of the track are strewn with bilberries and blackberries.

2

Pass the notice board and continue to head uphill along a sunken track. There is a view point shortly after (140m) and a seat facing east on the left hand side as you head up the track.

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3

Shortly after you will reach a fork in the track, take the right. Continue straight past some bog ponds on your right hand side. The path then continues between two banks and heads into a small area of trees.

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4

At the next major junction called ‘5 ways’ take the left hand major track heading south and continue to follow the path out onto the heath.

5

After 300m the path arrives at a fine westerly view point. Continue heading south from the view point following the main path.

6

Do not be tempted to take the next fork to the right but continue to wind your way across the heath. After 120m there is a view point under some Pine trees on your right looking south west towards the South Downs over Cotchet valley. Continue to follow the main path heading south along the top of the slope.

7

After 240m take the left hand path at the cross roads. Head uphill past a bench on the left and continue towards the woodland ridge.

8

As you enter the woods head straight on over the cross roads following the sign for the temple of the winds. Follow the path which opens up and down slope – caution uneven path and tree roots – to Black Downs most loved view to sit in contemplation in the curved stone seat while pondering Tennyson’s verse.

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9

After admiring the view across the west Weald retrace your steps back up the slope and at the fork take the right hand path heading north and into the woods.

10

After 200m you will come to a junction next to a pond, but continue to follow the current path heading north. In 240m a path joins from the right, in 100m ignore all paths to the left and take right fork and continue on the main track.

11

This heads north through the beech hangar, one of Black Downs most seasonally photographed area. Follow this path for 560m winding your way through the woods enjoying the bird song. After 450m pass a small pool on your left and continue to follow the path for a further 100m.

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12

A path joins from the left at this point but continue to follow the path heading north. At the next junction take the right hand path at the fork and return down the sunken track back towards the car park.

End:

Tennyson's Lane main National Trust car park, OS grid ref: SU9179231186

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South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

Terrain

Can be muddy underfoot in winter. Sandy heathland paths, some small ascents and descents. Well-behaved dogs on leads welcome, livestock grazing throughout the year. Please pick up after your dog, bins provided at main car park.
South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

Contact us

South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

How to get here

Address
Black Down National Trust car park, Tennyson's Lane, Haslemere, GU27 3BJ
By train

Haslemere 2 miles (3.2km), good links with London and Portsmouth.

By road
2 miles (3.2km) from A3, Haslemere can be accessed via A286 and A287. Head out of Haslemere eastwards on B2131, turn right up Haste Hill, follow onto Tennyson's Lane and head south-west until you come to the main free NT car park (GU27 3BJ). Parking: Two free car parks on Tennyson's Lane: Main car park (SU921309) 30 spaces; lower car park (SU923306) 10 spaces. Not suitable for coaches. Other free car parks in the area.
By foot
Take B2131 eastwards out of Haslemere, right up Haste Hill and follow onto Tennyson's Lane, then head south-west until you come to the main car park (NT). Footpaths link to nearby Sussex Border Path and Greensand Way.
By bus
Bus services to Haslemere; see Surrey County Council for timetables. Tennyson's Lane is half a mile (0.8km) up hill. Take the B2131 eastward out of Haslemere, turn right up Haste Hill, follow this onto Tennyson's Lane and head south-west until you come to the main car park (NT).
By bicycle
Black Down is ideal for cycling with numerous easy-going bridleways or challenging terrain for the more bold. Head out of Haslemere eastwards on the B2131, turn right up Haste Hill, follow this onto Tennyson's Lane and head south-west until you come to the main car park (NT). Surrey Cycle Route goes through Haslemere.
 
South Downs Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

Facilities and access

  • In Haslemere, 2 miles (3.2km) away: a good selection of shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and public toilet facilities (not NT)