The short walk for January is 4.6 miles from The Robin Hood at Rowlands Castle around Havant Thicket. The walk passes the fields where the new reservoir is being built. We then go along Whichers Gate Road a little way and walk back into Rowlands Castle using a section of the Shipwrights Way.
There are 2 gradual inclines on the walk, with a total height gain of about 300 feet. There are no stiles. The paths are made of compacted aggregate (like the Billy Trail, but generally stonier) so are not very muddy. I walked the route on the morning after a rainy day and there was one puddle which crossed the entire path, but was passable along the edge. Given the large amount of rain recently, though, proper walking boots are recommended.
A shorter version of the walk is available by returning to Rowlands Castle the way we came out. Please advise the leader in advance if you intend to do this, who will bring you a map if you need it.
We will meet in the Community Centre outer car park (the one with the public toilets) for lift sharing and departure by 9.00am. Park in Rowlands Castle on the north side of The Green and meet at the Robin Hood pub SU732107 PO9 6AB to order lunch before we set out on the walk. If The Green is full, parking should be available at the Recreation Ground on The Fairway, SU730107, PO9 6AQ.
This is the planned route: