General level walking with some small slopes
1 hour 20 minutes
Return on same path
Park in Hampreston village and head towards the church. You will see the footpath to the left of the church as you face it. Follow this path. It will take you into the graveyard, which is colourful and peaceful. The path takes you over some graves and a number of very young children are buried there.
Follow the path out of the graveyard and along the edge of a field, climb over the stile and turn left. Some of the area was flooded when we walked the route and it was boggy in places so wear stout shoes in the winter.
We followed the footpath to the end of the field and turned left, down a small incline, left again then right into the lake area. You will arrive at the smaller of two lakes.
Longham Lakes is a popular spot for anglers. You can walk around the small lake, which we did, but if you want a longer walk follow the path around the larger lake. Both are spectacular and provide a wonderful habitat for a variety of ducks, grebes, coots, geese, cormorants, egrets, herons, moorhens, swans as well as variety of small reed-dwelling birds.
There is a decent gravel path in places, especially around the large lake, otherwise parts can be muddy after rainfall.
We tried to find a different way back, but basically retraced our steps. You can walk to Hobbycraft from the lakes. Another way to access the lakes is from the A348 Ringwood Road. There is limited parking along the roadside. The main car park for the lakes is reserved entirely for anglers and you need a permit to use it.
Hampreston is a pretty village and soon the daffodils leading to the church will be in flower.
Photographs taken in February 2021 © CatchBox
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