Temple of the Winds

Distance18K  OS Explorer133

'Temple of the Winds'- high point in Sussex, 3rd highest in SE England. I usually walk to it direct from Haslemere but thought I'd try & see if I could get to it via my current favourite paths. Bakery next to station for offerings. Follow main road, on pavement, back over railway until woods entrance.

Your on the New Lipchis Way (NLW) as you enter nice woods. Keep trench, then ridge, to left before taking slow turn left before woods turn coniferous. Slight rise to road track which you follow until it turns sharp right (as NLW). Take bridleway ahead to right, then descend to meet bridleway crossroads.

Next section lifts the spirits as walking on almost green paths with slight inclines and trees either side. Briefly rejoin a road track at right turn until entrance to farm through footpath gate alongside cattle grid. After farmhouse are bluebells in woods at side of dirt track, then come to nice open view.

Can see your destination, Black Down (Temple of the Winds) but also view across wooded valley and go eye to eye with soaring Red Kites. Take track down incline turning left until straightening & levelling out. Keep eye open for narrow sunken passage on right, down into spooky hazel coppice.

Narrow sunken path could well get muddy as looks like natural route for rain drainage, but was dry today. At bottom of slight downhill turn left. You now also get ferns, bluebells & more mixed trees to add extra magic to this pleasant copse. The repetitive shape of the hazel & seclusion got slightly hypnotic.

So much so, I missed the next planned turning to right. Had to get the compass out to reclaimed path, then only to be panicked by a barking dog at Newlands Cottage into taking fake path down to lake. Somehow got back onto path, now on wide grassy track through tightly packed pines.

Always get drawn to the blackletter names on OS maps. Here was marked 'Pond Bays' & 'Priory'. Maybe some discover is awaiting? However once on walk these things get left behind, the walk itself becomes the reason to be out here. So no big disappointment when no sight of dramatic ruins, just a pond.

Track before Pond was wide road track, but this ends as entering coniferous woods & track gets narrower further you go, until becoming proper path again. Pass through more hazel woods then coniferous again until coming out on to working field. Views start opening out to right, toward Older Hill.

Continue in open fields and past a few homesteads, sometimes on road track until coming to cottage with duck pond. Pass through Fernhurst on pavement roads, few shops here, then come off roads as you pass through church. Had packed lunch on bench on first green before main village green.

The next section starts the climb up Black Down to the 'Temple'. Find wide path next to pub before crossing some unusual 'ravines' to take you to bottom of climb. Path gets narrower and more muddy as you progresses up, until short section before 'fake' summit when your walking in flowing stream.

After stream, the climb levels off for a bit with first bluebell & wild hazel woods then, after house, great views opening out to your right. Only a brief rest bite, as a steeper climb up to Black Down ridge follows. This is in slight sunken lane which could get muddy, adding to the difficultly and the growing thigh aches.

Still a bit of work needed to find actual 'Temple' viewpoint as is hidden from approach. Can get bit busy here (having not seen anyone else walking up to now, busy is another walker or cyclist) so can ask for directions. View should keep your attention but there is large curved stone 'seat' if it all gets a bit much.

After view, join the Serpents Trail which takes you all the way back to Haslemere. Gradual descent through woods on wide paths is bit tame after the variety offered by ascent route - but does help keep views fresh in mind. Other tracks and routes crisscross. Hopefully find small carpark at bend in road.

Road isn't too bad, at first, with wide verge & hardly any traffic but gets tricky at right turn with road cut into deep embankment & verge disappearing. Footpath off road (disguised as goods entrance) is enclosed by high hedges, but as goods road turns into estate path reverts back to grass & views open out.

High hedges briefly return just before crossing through High Barn Farm. At start of horse fields head down & enter woods. Small plaque inside to a Bernard Alwyne Farquharson. Exit woods with fenced field to right & large pines to left until bridleway gets tarmacked over till meeting fast traffic road.

Careful crossing road and find hidden path entrance leading you down into marshy woods, but has lots of raised platforms to keep your feet dry. Finally enter a National Trust training Farm at Swan Barn. Late June sees the grass fields teeming with Speckled Wood butterflies.

End of this walk throws you back into Haslemere high street through dismal car-park, but hopefully the Temples magic should still be working on you, giving you & everything around a nice rose tinting. Plenty of local shops before Station, which has toilets. Haslemere & Liphook share same railway line.

Hopefully will give you some incentive.
Entrance to woods at small road junction.
Some early tree magic to get you in the mood.
view just past Stanley Farm (Looks like I missed the wicker man).
Ever feel your being lead somewhere?
Back on track, how did i miss this?
Pond Bay - couldn't see any remains of Priory, and it started raining.
Think thats Older Hill 'ridge' in distance.
Try not to make to much noise as you pass by.
Photo doesn't convey depth of ravine - very unusual.
Reward for bog and stream walking.
Bring your own foam seating if you want to take the weight off.
You'll know your lost if descent starts getting steep.
Views just after being hemmed always seem to look better.
You can ask the horse the way.
Butterfly photography is hard work! search my walks to see how hard.
Your energy radiates in all directions - except North.