National Trust Treasures
Much of the beautiful countryside surrounding Haslemere and Hindhead is in the ownership of the National Trust, thereby ensuring its protection for all time. The wooded hills, heathlands and valleys are ideal for walking in all seasons.
Sir Robert Hunter, one of the three original founders of the National Trust, lived in Haslemere from 1883 until his death in 1913. He was Chairman of the Trust for 18 years from its foundation in 1895 and its legal expert, drawing up all the constitutional documents for the 1907 National Trust Act.
The Trust's very first large open stretch of countryside was the Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punchbowl. They were acquired by the Trust in 1905 as a result of a campaign led by Sir Robert to protect the land from development.
National Trust Areas to Visit around Haslemere
Swan Barn Walk and picnic spot - just behind the High Street off Well Lane
Hindhead Common stretches from either side of the A3 and includes the Devil's Punchbowl, Gibbet Hill and Hurt Hill. Car parking is available at the Punchbowl. From the top hills there are stunning views to the north, sometimes as far as the Chilterns and to the south over the Weald to the South Downs. Gibbet Hill is the spot where many highwayman met their fate having held up the coaches running between the coast and London.
Nutcombe and Polecat Valley lie either side of the A287 leading up to Hindhead from Haslemere.
Blackdown (pictured above) at 921 feet above sea level boasts wonderful views to the East, South and West, over the Weald to the South and Hampshire Downs. On a clear day the English Channel can be seen. There is parking in Tennysons Lane. Tennysons Lane Walk lies on the North side of the lane and Valewood Park stretches from the lower slopes of Blackdown to Fernden Lane.
Shottermill Ponds has two old mill ponds which are home to swans, geese and other wildfowl. Opposite the ponds is Marley Lane which leads to Marley Common with views to the south.
Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells with its chain of lakes in a delightful woodland setting lie to the West of the A3 through the village of Grayshott. These wells were used as a resting place by travellers on the old coach routes of Portsmouth to London.
Frensham Commons and Frensham Great and Little Ponds are a much favoured walking area and lie on the way to Farnham along the A287. The ponds were drained during the second world war to remove a aerial landmark.
Witley Common and the National Trust Information Centre are on the A286 north of Haslemere.
Harting Down near Petersfield is a large stretch of downland and woodland with magnificent views of the hills to the north and towards the Solent in the south. There are many good walks including the South Downs Way (a long distance path).
National Trust Houses and Gardens
Petworth Park and House. A late 17th century mansion containing a fine collection of paintings by Turner, Van Dyck, Reynolds and Blake. Also, ancient and neo-classical sculpture, fine furniture and carvings by Grinling Gibbons. Old kitchens, beautiful deer park with lakes created by Capability Brown. The park is open all year.
Uppark, South Harting, Nr. Petersfield. A fine late 17th century house, high on the South Downs, recently restored to its original state after a disastrous fire.
Oakhurst Cottage, Hambledon, Nr Godalming. A very small 16th century cottager's dwelling and garden. View by appointment only.
Winkworth Arboretum, Hambledon, Nr. Godalming. A fine collection of trees, azaleas and rhododendrons in a lakeland setting.
Clandon Park, north of Guildford. A fine Palladian house built in the 1730's, by the Venetian arhitect, Leoni. It has a magnificent two storey marbled hall and contains collections of furniture, porcelain, Meissen china, needlework and tapestries. Kitchen, gardens.
Hatchlands Park, north of Guildford. Built in the 1750's a fine brick house with splendid interiors by Robert Adam. Small Gertrude Jekyll garden. Walks are available in the park and grounds.
Polesdon Lacey, Great Bookham, Nr. Guildford. Originally an 1820's Regency villa, situated in a magnificent setting on the Surrey Hills. Remodelled in 1906 by the Hon. Mrs. R. Greville whose collection of paintings, furniture and porcelain are on display in the house. Extensive grounds, walled rose garden and walks.
Claremont Landscape Gardens, Esher, off the A3. One of the earliest surviving English landscape gardens, dating back to 1720. Features include a lake, island and pavillion, grotto, amphitheatre, viewpoints and avenues.
These pages supported by The Haslemere Initiative
Illustrations in these pages were painted by Georgina Ling and remain strictly to her copyright.
They may not be used or reproduced in any form without prior permission from the artist herself.
Copyright © 1998