The Serpents Trail

serpent_01.jpg

The Serpent Trail is a long distance footpath which runs from Haslemere to Petersfield, winding its way through the rare heathlands of the South Downs National Park. The starting and finishing point of the 64 mile walk are just 11 miles apart in a straight line, the extended distance is achieved by a snaking trail which is designed to join up the many heathland areas on greensand in the western Weald.

The walk will take you through beautiful and internationally rare lowland heath habitat, 80% of which has been lost since the early 1800s, passing through purple heather, green woods and golden valleys of the Sussex greensand hills. The path takes its name both from its serpentine shape and from passing through habitat of all three British species of snake (Adder, Grass Snake and Smooth Snake).

the route

Significant places on the route starting in Haslemere are Black Down, Marley Common, Stanley Common, Chapel Common, Rake, Combe Hill, Woolbeding Common, Bexleyhill Common, Uppington Common, Tillington, Petworth, Flexham ark, Fittleworth, Hesworth Common, Sutton Common, Collumn Hill, Chingford Pond, Burton Park, Duncton Common, Lavington Common, Gallows Hill, Graffham Common, Ambersham Common, Heyshott Common, Dunford House, Cocking Causeway, Midhurst, Stedham Common, Trotton Common, Nyewood and West Heath Common before finishing in Petersfield.

heaths on trail.jpg
The dark patches are the areas of Heathland overlaid by the Serpent’s Trail

Start/finish

  • Haslemere High Street – Grid ref: SU 905331
  • Petersfield – Grid ref: SU 754226

I divided the Trail into 6 stages with some small extensions at the start and finish to transport links.  Each stage was a linear walk accessed by car and public transport.

Stage One – Haslemere to Liphook
Stage Two – Liphook to Borden
Stage Three – Borden to Petworth
Stage Four – Petworth to Heath End
Stage Five – Heath End to Midhurst
Stage Six – Midhurst to Petersfield.

Stage One – Haslemere to Liphook

Transit to start point.  Railway to Haslemere followed by short walk to the start point on the High Street.

route.jpg

Transit from finish point.  Short walk to Liphook railway station.

Total distance walked 12.79 miles, time taken 4h 24m, elevation gain 1246 feet.

20190901_115053.jpg
20190901_093835.jpg

Stage Two – Liphook to Borden

Transit to start point. Railway to Liphook followed by short walk to pick up the trail.

route 2

Transit from the finish point.  4 Mile walk to Liss railway station.

Total distance walked 14.14 miles, time taken 4h 32m, elevation gain 974 feet.

20190908_095251.jpg
20190908_112024.jpg

Stage Three – Borden to Petworth

Transit to start point. Drove car to Borden to pick up the trail.

route 3

Transit from the finish point.  Number 1 bus from Petworth to Midhurst, number 92 bus from Midhurst to Trotton then 1.5 mile walk back to car.

Total distance walked 13.5 miles, time taken 5h 20m, elevation gain 1886 feet.

20190914_092140.jpg
20190914_121020.jpg

Stage Four – Petworth to Heath End

Transit to start point. Car to Youth Club car park Petworth to pick up trail

route 4

Transit from the finish point.  1.5 mile walk back to car.

Total distance walked 18.05 miles, time taken 4h 46m, elevation gain 1456 feet.

20190921_120250.jpg
20190921_124641.jpg

Stage Five – Heath End to Midhurst

Transit to start point. Car to Midhurst bus stand car park, number 1 bus to Petworth, 1.5 mile walk to pick up trail.

route 5

Transit from the finish point.  1 mile walk from Midhurst Common back to car.

Total distance walked 14.89 miles, time taken 4h 01m, elevation gain 909 feet.

20191005_095110.jpg
20191005_123103.jpg

Stage Six – Midhurst to Petersfield

Transit to start point. Train to Petersfield, number 92 bus to Midhurst.

route 6

Transit from the finish point.  Walk to Petersfield railway station, train home.

Total distance walked 12.62 miles, time taken 3h 43m, elevation gain 585 feet.

20191012_140140.jpg
20191012_161240.jpg

Overall Statistics

Total distance walked to complete the trail – 86 miles
Total time taken to complete the trail – 27h 03m
Total elevation gain to complete the trail – 7097 feet

8600-1-L
Elevation Profile

Ordnance Survey Maps Required



signature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s