Walk: Hen Wood / Westbury Park

Hen Wood lies between West Meon and East Meon, south of Westbury Park, at the northern end of the Meon Valley. It’s one of the larger woods in the area where I live, but is only about two square km. (This shows how broken up the woodlands are in Central Hampshire.) Still, where there isn’t woodland the area is very sparsly populated. I did see one stunning newbuild home at East End, and met one of the owners nearby. I couldn’t tell whether I had right to walk in the woods. I suppose not, but there were none of the usual PRIVATE NO RIGHT OF WAY signs placed near to the footpaths.

I started at Westbury House, a care home, former school and private home. Just behind the house, the footpath leads south, and very soon I was in atmospheric woods, with many well established trees.

Westbury House to Horsedown Farm

Westbury Park Woods

Westbury Park Woods

Old farm machinery near Horsedown Farm:

Old farm machinery

After the old farmhouse, the tracks become wider, at the east of the woods.

Hen Wood

Each tree has its own character:

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Near Halnaker Lane, some views across the Meon Valley to the north to Riplington and Drayton:

Meon Valley North

And at the south side of the wood, some views to the South Downs, specifically Salt Hill and Teglease Down:

Salt Hill South Downs

South Downs

Teglease Down

Walking quickly past a clay pigeon shooting area, I headed north east, downhill toward Coombe Lane:

Hen Wood Hampshire

Hen Wood Meon Valley

Views from the lane:

From Coombe Lane

From Coombe Lane

Reentering the woods at Chappetts Copse Nature Reserve, I peaked into Westbury Park, and watched the crop waves in the wind:

Westbury Park Hampshire

The reserve:

Chappetts Copse Nature Reserve

At its northern end, the lane crosses the Meon. I really like this early 20th Century type of white road barrier:

Coombe Lane Meon Bridge

Then into a field of calves with their mothers. Even the cows were curious and they all followed me across the field:

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I stopped at a delightful spot at the river, under a large tree. Timeless:

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Then I was back in the grounds of the house, looking for the remains of the church. I saw this ruin but it doesn’t look church-like:

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Snooped about the grounds a bit, sort of pretending to be a visitor. Well I was, but not to a guest. The house was rebuilt after a fire in the early 1900s:

Westbury House East Meon

Last view into the park:

Westbury Park East Meon

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4 thoughts on “Walk: Hen Wood / Westbury Park

  1. Hi Duncan, does this place support wild camping overnight d’you think?, best regards and love your photos, Allister

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