Type of walk
Free Parking, Off Lead Areas, Pathed Routes, Picnic Areas
About this walk
Benbow Pond is a circular walk of approximately one mile and starts at the pond, goes via Stewards Pond.The Queen Elizabeth Oak, and the Cowdray QE2 Jubilee Lime Avenue before rreturning to the start point.
Walk up the broad, grassy ride adjoining the arboretum away from Benbow towards the 'secret valley'. The path bends left after 100 yards - you'll see a dead felled oak tree on your right just uphill. Continue walking for another 100 yards until you reach a swing gate in the fence to the right. Pass through the gate and espy the Queen Elizabeth Oak, now 1000 years old, just left of Stewards Pond. It has a girth of 41' and is hollow.
Walk along the public path - the Midhurst Way - to the right of Stewards Pond and continue up the slope through the newly-planted lime tree avenue celebrating the Jubilee. The hill is gentle, and once over the brow you follow the path downwards to a stile adjoining the wood. Turn sharp right at the field margin and walk back to Benbow down a gentle slope with views to the South Downs.
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BLUEBELLS Don't miss the bluebells. Today, May 1st 2015, they are a fortnight early and at their best Walk up the grassy ride as far as the golf course fairway. On a warm day you'll get the scent. Don't forget your camera. QUEEN ELIZABETH OAK Now about 1000 years old, visited by Queen Bess in 1591, is today starting to come into leaf and is a wonderful light green. Benbow is now at its best.
BIRD LIFE - THE HOBBY FALCON. The Hobby falcon with its scythe shaped wings was swooping over Benbow today (24th May 2015) searching for dragonflies and other insects. It's relatively rare - only 2800 breeding pairs in the UK - so having it at Benbow is a priviledge. Also seen in the last week several times over Woolbeding Lake - in Woolbeding Parkland - the other side of Midhurst on the A272. THE ARBORETUM Lots of flowering trees now. You'll need your camera. But the bluebellls are over (May 25th 2015). Large rides have been mown in the grass enabling easy access. Makes also a short cut to the Queen Elizabeth Oak. Ideal for picnics.
THE MIDHURST WAY LONG DISTANCE PATH - 29 MILES. The backbone of the South Downs Park is the relatively new Midhurst Way, a well-used path over lanes, bridleways, footpaths and byways which stretches from Haslemere Station to Arundel Station. It connects lots of towns, villages, hamlets, pubs, vineyards and places of special interest. Fernhurst, Henley with the Duke of Cumberland Pub, Easebourne and the Cowdray Farm Shop and Cafe, Midhurst the HQ of the SDNPA, Lodsworth with the Larder, Upperton Vineyards, Tillington and Petworth Park, Coultershaw and Roman Villa at Bignor are just a few spots chosen at random. The Queen Elizabeth Oak can be seen from the Midhurst Way at Stewards Pond, about 400 yards from Benbow. Not to be missed - its circa 1000 years old.
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