Walk 5, Parley Cross - Hampreston Church - Canford School - Knighton - Longham - Parley Cross (approx 10 miles)

map of local walk 5
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Parley Cross: Take Christchurch Road West to Footpath(FP) along lane 100 yards North of Ridgeway. Follow FP to Dudsbury Inn drive. Cross the drive and follow FP further to Dudsbury Guides Camp (Note Dudsbury Rings). On leaving the Guides Camp keep to your left and follow the FP down to the River Stour (Golf Course on your right). Follow the river to the Bridge House Hotel at Longham.

Cross the Road (A348) and walk towards the Waterworks entrance until you reach the FP sign (100 yards). Turn right over a short gravel drive and then through a gateway on to the FP. Cross over at the stile in 50 yards and walk along the FP between avenue of newly planted saplings for another 100 yards. At the corner of the FP cross the stile on your left into the Longham Lakes enclosure. A short, gentle climb takes you on to the gravel path round the lakes. 100 yards south of the North West corner of the smaller lake take the stile into a lane and turn left. In 20 yards there is a gap in the hedge where the footpath to Hampreston starts.

Follow this path, crossing a stile after 100 yards, and continue walking for 400 yards towards Hampreston Church. Take a stile on the right to follow the path leading along and around the boundary of the churchyard until you reach the car parking area in front of the church. Walk out to the road and turn right and walk up to Ham Lane.

Turn left into Ham Lane and cross the road at the traffic island. Walk along the wide grass verge for 400 yards until you reach the (old) road to the left. Cross over Ham Lane and take this road away from the traffic and follow it until you reach the farm on the left on the sharp bend in the road. Take the narrow road to the left until you reach a stile on the left in about 300 yards. Cross the stile and follow the footpath along the river Stour to Canford School.

Just past the school buildings opposite there is a large footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn left and then right to reach the road passing through Canford Magna village. Follow the road in the direction of Bear Cross for about 400 yards until you pass the vehicular entrance to Canford School. Cross the road (pavement ends) at this point and look out carefully for the footpath on the left side of the road in about 100m. Cross the road again to take this footpath which leads across the School playing fields (AFC Bournemouth Training ground!) and on to Knighton Heath Golf Course.

When you reach the road after passing a small golf course car park turn right and follow the minor road to Knighton village. (Do not bear right to follow any traffic). Continue through the hamlet of Knighton (farms and a few cottages only) and continue in the same direction until you meet the Ringwood Road just north of Bear Cross. Cross the road and follow the pavement until you reach the Bridge House Hotel just past Longham Bridge. Take the footpath to Dudsbury along the River Stour and back to Parley Cross.