The Countryside

Beautiful rolling hills, wooded tracks and open fields make for the wonderful environment that the parish enjoys! There's also an abundance of flora and fauna, including great crested newts in the village pond, red kites soaring overhead, bluebell woods, banks of cowslips and many other wild flowers that all add to the scene. You'll even find find hares on the Watership Down, immortalised by the Richard Adams novel of 1972.

While you're out and about, please remember the Countryside Code to ensure that you know how to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.

  • Watership DownBe safe, plan ahead and follow any signs

  • Leave gates and property as you find them

  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home

  • Keep dogs under close control

  • Consider other people

Natural England is the official website for the Countryside Code. You will find maps of Open Access land in England contains contains ideas of what to do in the countryside, maps, local walks in your area, details of the new right of access to Access Land, commonly known as the 'right to roam', and lots more.

For more information about amenities in the Parish that are out in the open, click here for Parish Amenities.


Walking and Cycling


Exploring Ecchinswell leaflet

There are some lovely walks to be enjoyed in the parish and surrounding countryside. The leaflet Exploring Ecchinswell has details of several. Please note the following amendments for the walks on this leaflet:

Nuthanger Walk - the ducks, chickens and peacocks have now gone.

Sydmonton Common Walk - the stile and bridge in Hyde Lane have been replaced with a kissing gate.

More walks can be found at the following links:

Olympic inspired circular walks
5 circular walks inspired by the 2012 London Olympics, including one in Ecchinswell.

Brenda Parker Way
A long distance footpath across north Hampshire.

Long-distance routes, shorter health walks – a mine of information!

Walking in Hampshire
All the information you need to get walking in the beautiful Hampshire countryside.

Rural Ways
An online gateway to the countryside, with hundreds of walking routes to explore and more.

Basingstoke Ramblers Club
Basingstoke Ramblers Club is a group of some 200 people of all ages and fitness levels who walk three times a week and occasionally go away for a weekend or holiday excursion. Most walks are about six to eight miles but some are a little further and include a pub stop.

The Ramblers Association
Britain's biggest walking charity working to promote walking and improve conditions for all walkers.

Walking the Way to Health
Over 350 people each week are 'Walking the Way to Health' in Basingstoke. Why not join them to gently improve your fitness, make new friends, enjoy the summer weather and local parks and open spaces. There is no charge to join in.

For details of all the walks and for further information visit the BDBC website here. If you are interested in setting up a health walk in the local area, please contact Jane Wilding at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on 01256 845574.

A record of the paths walked in the parish can be found here. 

Happy walking and cycling!


Watership Down Off Road Cycle Trail

Takes in some of Hampshire’s finest scenery. Starting on a quiet country lane out of Kingsclere followed by a challenging off-road climb to the top of Ladle Hill. It then continues along the ridge of Watership Down, south past North Oakley, through Ibworth and off road back to Kingsclere.

Hampshire County Council
Details of over 750 miles of off-road cycle routes, urban cycle paths and even indoor tracks all across Hampshire. Use the Route Finder and choose from easy, moderate, strenuous, by distance or by location

Hampshire Cycle Training
Train to the new national standard and lots more information.

Basingstoke and National Cycle Network Information

The UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Its vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.
Telephone: 0117 926 8893

Cyclists Touring Club (CTC)
The country's largest group of people on bikes! Its mission is to make cycling enjoyable, safe and welcoming for all.
Telephone: 0870 873 0060