Hale Purlieu figure of eight walk
A figure of eight walk through Hale Purlieu, crossing streams and taking in great views across the Common’s valleys and mires. Look out for butterflies and dragonflies as you explore. Stonechats and dartford warblers can also be seen flying between the gorse bushes.
The route crosses water at several points, so sturdy, waterproof boots or wellies are advised. Dogs need to be kept on a short lead or under close control during ground nesting bird season (March – July). Livestock may be present: take care, keep your distance and avoid getting between animals and their young.
Head north east onto the common from the car park, picking up a gravel path through the gorse bushes that heads gently downhill towards the valley bottom, keeping left if the path forks.
Reach the valley bottom and cross directly over the stream, which now has a new name - "Beetles Bottom" - thought up by the Beetles class of Hale Primary School 2017. Continue to pass under the large ornate pine tree and carry on slightly-right uphill towards a small patch of woodland.
The stream can get full during autumn and winter, so take care when crossing, ensure you pack waterproof boots or wellies.
When the ground levels out you will reach a cross roads. Head straight on to follow a path that hugs the edge of the Purlieu, heading north east, eventually passing under the powerlines.
Look right here for good views across the valley of Millersford Plantation. Keep a look out for grayling butterflies to the sides of the path.
You will meet another crossroads with a gravel cairn. Again, carry straight on, ignoring another crossroads soon afterwards. Before you reach the northern edge of the Purlieu, marked by a thick tree line, you will meet a third crossroads. Turn left here to again hug the edge of the Common.
Look out for large pond on your right after 200 metres, great for spotting dragonflies.
The ground will really flatten out and can become wet here. Turn left when you reach the edge of the Common. Turn left on wide grass track. Fork left just past a seat near the edge of the common, heading south and downhill towards a ford.
Cross over the ford by any means possible, it can get very wet. Head straight on uphill towards a distant clump of trees as the ground levels out. Head under the powerlines once more.
Look out for stonechats and dartford warblers flying between the gorse bushes. The stream can get very full during autumn and winter, please take care when crossing and ensure you wear waterproof boots / wellies.
About 150m past the powerlines, as you reach some birch trees, you come to a crossroads. You have been here before - this marks the centre of the figure of eight. Carry straight on at the crossroads heading south, keeping right as you hug the edge of the common.
Look to your right for great views across Hale Purlieu’s valleys and mires.
Cross over the ford at the bottom of the valley and head back uphill. Bear right back up towards the car park across the Common to finish the walk. It can get wet towards the top so pick your way carefully.
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