Walking

Walking trail

Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

Walking trail

Take a walk from the medieval dipping well past a traditional orchard grazed by sheep, through a network of intimate meadows, streams and into the ancient woodland where a hazel coppice is still worked. From the woodland, amble through pastures lined with hedgerows, where Belted Galloways graze and hay is cut to encourage meadow flowers. Then return to the historic market town of Haslemere.

A black metal fingerpost sign posting the way to the old Haslemere well, which used ot supply the local area and charged a ha'penny per bucket

Map

Map route for Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

Start:

Well Lane Haslemere, grid ref: SU905330

1

With your back to the Georgian House Hotel, cross the road to Well Lane. Then pass the CAB on your right, before going through a small gap in the trees down a very narrow gravel track. On your left you’ll see one of Hazelmere’s old town wells. The path, flanked by our omega sign, bears to the right. Soak up the views to your left down the wooded valley while passing a Wych Elm, a large Red Oak, and several Large-leaved Limes.

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2

At the notice board and our information point a large kissing gate leads to a path adjacent to a post and rail fence, the other side of which is a restored orchard, grazed by Jacob sheep. From now on there are grazing animals throughout the fields, so please keep your dog under close control. Cross the bridge and head upwards towards a gate onto a gravel track. Turn left for 90m (98yd), passing a Southern-Counties-style laid hedge.

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3

Go left where an elegant young elm droops gracefully over a gate, the path crosses a pasture to another gate followed by a small bridge over the stream into Longmoor Woods. It can be very muddy here especially during the winter months and the summer of 2012.

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4

For a slightly longer walk head up the steps and follow the track round and up to the right, taking you around the upper part of the woods. Or else take the right-hand track after the bridge. The track passes several glades and is crossed by a small streamlet, after which you pass a large glade dominated by nectar-rich brambles and foxgloves. The alternative longer path re-joins the track from the left 20m (21yd) before a small perch. Head over the stream as it loops under a small bridge among mature beech trees.

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5

Bear up to your left, passing on your right several hazel coupes at different stages of growth in their 12-year rotation. The materials harvested here are used for charcoal making and for hedgelaying stakes and binders. Please note: The path has many roots crossing it, which can be slippery when wet. To protect the young hazel from grazing deer we put up temporary fencing. After the canopy cover has been removed the light returns to the woodland floor so flowers such as bluebells may flourish, having lain dormant for years.

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6

After 200m (218yd) a gate marks the entrance to a hay field, rich in ladies smock during the spring. Keep the sweeping boughs of the woodland edge to your left until you reach a kissing gate and descend a new series of curving steps down to and across a stream. Here you may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a beautiful demoiselle damselfly. Again, with the overhanging woodland edge to your left, continue towards another set of kissing gates through another field.

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7

Turn right at this gate along a mature hedgerow, very good for sloes in the autumn. Turn right through the cattle corral, heading diagonally across a meadow towards a gate in a young hedge over to your right, planted in 2004. Dog Rose is commonplace here, providing bees with nectar and pollen. Grazing and cutting for hay reduces nutrients in these flower-rich meadows, encouraging diversity. Orchids have returned and Bird's Foot Trefoil and clover are abundant.

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8

Turn left into a wide gateway, passing through a small, rich, damp wooded hollow. Head up through another hay field towards another large gateway on the other side of the hazel coppice, which is now to your right.

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9

The track turns right, following the woodland edge. Here brambles grow in profusion, providing early summer nectar then fruits for butterflies such as the gatekeeper (hedge brown) and ringlet to feed on. This track takes you through two marshier fields - Devil's Meadow and Balls Moor where buttercups dominate during the spring. Leaving the gates as you find them ensures that the cattle graze what we want them to target, encouraging a greater number of desirable flowering plants and grasses.

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10

Just past a large gateway, a path running from north to south bisects the track. Ignore this footpath and continue through this small strip of woodland, crossing another stream. The track runs towards a collection of farm buildings glimpsed through gaps in the tree line. Head towards a small black building (our office for the Black Down Estate) and through a gate.

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11

At this point if you look to your left you can see our new building Speckled Wood. Continue past the office onto the gravel lane (Collards Lane), past a small pond on the left, which in summer seethes with small blue Azure Damselflies and with frog spawn during early spring. At the gate to your right retrace your route back into the town, where you can enjoy a coffee in one of Haslemere’s many outlets.

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End:

Well Lane Haslemere, grid ref: SU905330

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Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

Terrain

Swan Barn Farm can be very muddy during wet weather spells and in winter. No steep inclines or ascents. Variable underfoot with roots, which pushchairs and buggies will find difficult to negotiate. Not suitable for wheelchair users with some narrow kissing gates throughout the meadows. Access to good views down the valley can be taken from Swan Barn Walk. Dogs welcome under close control as livestock graze in the meadows. No dog bins, so please take your litter home.
Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

Contact us

Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

How to get here

Address
The Georgian House Hotel, High St, Haslemere GU27 2JY
By train
Ideally situated to walk to the high street, turn left upon exiting the station and walk for 10mins, turn left onto the main high street. 
 
By road
From the A3 take the A287, then B2131 all the way to Haslemere town centre, turn left at the town hall. Parking available at 51.088280, -0.709206 (non NT). From the south join the A286 and follow until you reach your destination at Haslemere
By foot

50m from Haslemere High Street, start at the Georgian House Hotel

By bicycle

National Cycle Network near Route 22; see the Sustrans website.

Swan Barn Farm well, woodland and meadow walk

Facilities and access

  • Parking in town centre
  • Public toilets at High Street Car Park Haslemere, High Street, GU27 2HQ