Hambledon: the Birthplace of Cricket

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This circular walk is a must for those who are interested in cricket, lovers of good food and beer in idyllic country pubs, or those who just like a cracking good walk in our beautiful, gentle Hampshire countryside. The walk starts from The Vine in Hambledon (see Additional Information).

The route takes you along Windmill Down with far-reaching views over Hampshire countryside and then past the current cricket ground at Ridge Meadow. Then walking through a mixture of woodland and fields, you arrive at The Bat and Ball Inn, which is known as the first headquarters of English cricket. The pub is open every day and boasts three real ales, draught Guinness and a good menu. Children are welcome and dogs are allowed in the bar area. There is a patio area where you may sit outside with your dog. The original Hambledon cricket ground is on Broadhalfpenny Down and opposite the pub.

The return route takes you along well-defined tracks and through farmland, with some super views as far as the Isle of Wight on a clear day. There is a steep descent along a quiet lane back to Hambledon's West Street and The Vine.

For those who would like to enjoy Lott's Tea Room, carry on along West Street until you reach the junction with Cams Hill and you will find the tea room on this corner. They serve delicious home-made cakes as well as cooked meals and are open every day.

Dog-owners may find it useful to know that my dog, a slim, fit Labrador who cannot jump, managed to get through all the stiles and fences.

England - South England - Hampshire - South Downs

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Wildlife, Woodland
27/12/2015 - Anne England

This is a good walk with the potential for some great views, but I do have a couple of notes. The lane at Waymark 1/2 is no longer marked 'Unsuitable for HGVs' (although it clearly is!). However, it's easy to spot as it comes directly after Walnut Tree Cottages. We completed this walk on December 27, 2015, after a few weeks of on-off rain, and it was pretty muddy although passable. At Scotland Cottage (WM25) and again at WM27/28 (the manure heap) it was heavy going. At the WM30 farmyard (just after the smelly pond) it was dire - an unpleasant ankle-deep quagmire of slurry and mud churned by hooves and wheels. We negotiated our way with difficulty around the right of the farm buildings. We'd recommend trying this walk in summer, after a long dry spell!

21/12/2014 - Ann Ellis

At point 20 where there is mention of a stile ahead and a right turn following a fence, point 21, there is no longer a stile or a fence so just turn right at the end of the woodland to your left after the entrance to the field at the metal gate to keep you on track up to the road and The Bat and Ball pub which you will see in the distance ahead. Also walk distance is rather overrated, we walked this in less than 2 hours and our measurer reckoned no more than 6 miles.

08/04/2014 - James Wallington-Smith

Another great walk from Sylvia. Started from the Bat and Ball (plenty of parking on the road) and stopped in for a beer at The Vine. Made a detour out through Chidden to avoid walking along Brook Lane with the dog.

05/07/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Sylvia Saunders for her updates for this walk. July 2012. Adrian (Admin)

29/06/2012 - Peter Harper

An excellent walk with some beautiful scenery. The manure heap is back at waypoint 28! I found the route easy to follow from Sylvia's excellent instructions and pictures. The Vine is still closed but I had a good lunch and Fuller's beer at the Bat and Ball.

27/06/2012 - Caroline Altham

A beautiful walk.

08/06/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Sylvia Saunders for her updates for this walk. Jun 2011. Adrian (Admin)

25/04/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Sylvia Saunders for her updates for this walk. April 2011. Adrian (Admin)

19/08/2010 - Pete Steele

Another superb, wonderful and glorious walk to be had. My only concern would be the road at way mark, 11. 22. 23. Please be careful as drivers don't seem to care about walkers and their dogs. That said, a small price to pay for such a beautiful day out. Well worth the visit.

10/09/2009 - Sherridan Thomas

A lovely sunny autumn walk (Sep 09) - well way-marked as with all "Black Dog" walks (we'd love to meet him/her!). As cricket fans it was great to see both cricket grounds - and so well tended. At Waymark 21 we found a herd of (very) long (and pointed) horned cattle with their calves. We decided that discretion should rule and remained in the first field keeping close to the fence and found that when we got to the end of the field it was possible to go through the gate to get to the stile. Waymark 22 - This stile is in a very poor state of repair and had barbed wire running through it and over the top. Quite a difficult climb. Waymark 25 - Another stile in a very poor state of repair. We had a drink at the Bat and Ball and the food looked good. We were not so taken with the tea shop at the end of the walk.

15/10/2006 - Sylvia Saunders

Walk updated October 2006. Although the fingerpost at waymark 25 has been replaced, it has been broken down once more. I have reported it so hopefully it will soon be replaced once again.

11/01/2006 - Sylvia Saunders

Thank you for reporting that the fingerpost at Waymark 26 is missing. I found it in the undergrowth and have propped it up as a temporary measure. I have written to the Rights of Way Officer who is always very good, but I'm sure that it will be a few months before there is a new fingerpost. In the meantime I have updated the walk at this Waymark. I believe that the map is spot on. It is quite hard to see where the track ends and the metalled bit starts as the long distance path diamonds are in the way and especially difficult if you are outdoors! But if you enlarge the map on www.streetmap.co.uk you can see that it is correct. We are in total agreement about the Vine though! They do an excellent 2 course lunch for £8.95, but it is only served between 12 and 1pm.

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