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Walk of the Month: Explore amazing heathland near Haslemere and Liphook

Walk of the Month: Explore amazing heathland near Haslemere and Liphook

February 8, 2023

Walk route expert Charlie Hellewell guides us through a beautiful heath walk in the South Downs National Park that’s a stones throw from a busy town and railway station on the main London line.

This month’s featured walk is one from our Rail to Ramble series, where the train can be used to make the route more circular.

Starting at Haslemere railway station, the route winds 5 miles/3 km to finish at Liphook station, incorporating sections of the Serpent Trail and the Sussex Border Path via Marley, Lynchmere and Stanley commons.

Haslemere is not only a charming market town, but also an important gateway to the South Downs National Park.  The Serpent Trail is a 65 mile/106km long distance route that celebrates the beautiful and internationally rare lowland heath habitat, 80% of which has been lost since the early 1800s. The trail highlights the outstanding landscape of the greensand hills, their wildlife, history and conservation.  The Sussex Border Path is another long distance footpath featured here, taking 150 miles to circumnavigate the Sussex border.

Belted Galloway

Look out for the charming, hairy and gentle belted Galloway cattle that often graze at Marley Common. Conservation grazing is an important part of heathland site management. Lynchmere and Stanley commons are managed by the Lynchmere Society using traditional management techniques and is also a Local Nature Reserve. Without this protection and management, much of the heathland wildlife found here would be lost with the land covered in dense scrub.

While walking, keep an eye out for the Dartford warbler, which might be perched at the top of a gorse bush singing its scratchy song, or the more common stonechat, a small, dumpy and charismatic bird with a distinctive call sounding like two stones tapping together.

Dartford Warbler

Getting here

By rail: South Western Railway service between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour. Visit National Rail for details.

By bus: Visit Traveline for details of services.


For a safe and fun visit with your dog, please remember to keep them on a lead around livestock and wildlife. Always bag and bin your dog poo – any public bin will do!

More information

Download the printable guide here.

For more details on the Serpent Trail visit here