Blackwater Valley Path
This is a nice easy waterside walk along the Blackwater River from Aldershot to Swallowfield.
The walk starts at the delightful Rowhill Nature Reserve in Aldershot and heads along the river to Farnborough, passing Gold Valley Lakes and Willow Park on the way. From Farnborough you continue through Frimley Hatches Nature Reserve and Blackwater to the splendid Tri Lakes Country Park near Yately. The final section takes you on to Swallowfield via Eversley.
With lakes, wetlands, rivers, canals and ponds there is a huge variety of water loving wildlife to look out for on this super walk through the beautiful Blackwater Valley.
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Blackwater Valley Footpath Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Blackwater Valley Footpath Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Blackwater Valley Footpath OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Blackwater Valley Footpath Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The Queen's Oak in Finchampstead is a worthy place for a pit stop on the route. The historic pub was originally called The White Horse, but renamed after Queen Victoria planted an oak tree opposite the pub. There's a cosy log fire indoors while outside you can enjoy your meal in the garden area in finer weather. It's located in a lovely spot, close to the pretty village green on Church Lane. Postcode for your sat navs is RG40 4LS.
In Farnborough there's The Prince of Wales to consider. The Victorian pub serves good home-cooked food and has a nice garden area. You can find them near the train stations just to the west of the trail as it passes through the Hampshire town. The address is 184 Rectory Rd, GU14 8AL. They are also dog friendly if you have your canine friend with you.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
At the start/end of the route in Aldershot the Gold Valley Lakeside Nature Reserve is worth a visit. There's some easy lakeside trails, lots of wildlife and a lovely cafe to rest in here.
Near Finchampstead you could take a small detour north from the path to visit Finchampstead Ridges. The attractive National Trust owned area includes woodland trails, heather, bracken and two tranquil ponds.
Near the end of the route at Swallowfield you could extend your walk by visiting the nearby Wellington Country Park. The 350 acre park includes several nature trails where you can look out for the resident Red and Fallow deer. The miles of woodland trails in Bramshill Forest and the RSPB's Hazeley Heath are also located near here. In nearby Hook there's also some pleasant trails along the River Whitewater in the pretty Bassets Mead park on the eastern side of the town.