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Walks Around Hampshire
Bartley Water Wander 2 Miles

Exploring Eling and Goatee

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This is a lovely gentle stroll, kind underfoot and mostly level. To get to the start of the walk leave Southampton via the Redbridge Causeway then turn right off the Totton by pass into Bartram Rd, at the T junction with Down's Park Ave, turn left and follow the road to it's end where you should turn right into Eling Lane, where there is plenty of room to park considerately in the vicinity of The Anchor Inn.
        From the Anchor Inn walk along the Quayside towards the Toll bridge. There are plenty of boats to admire and a lovely view of St Mary the Virgin church on the hilltop across the water.
       

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Reaching the toll bridge you find Eling Tide Mill which is very interesting and cheap to visit. Don't cross the bridge, carry on along the gravel riverside path until you reach a wooden bridge spanning Bartley Water. Cross the bridge and bear to the left along a boardwalk.

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Carry on along the boardwalk through the grasses and reed beds, and passing through a couple of kissing gates before emerging into a cemetary. Follow the path through the cemetary into a car park passing a WC to your right. Cross over the road and to the right of the wall in front of you is a right of way down to Goatee Beach. The right of way has the water to it's left and a bungalow to it's right.

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You soon enter a park with children's play equipment. The path circles around a clump of trees before opening out onto a large grassy area with benches overlooking the pea shingle beach. This is Goatee, ideal for a picnic, with great views of Southampton Container Berths on the other side of the River Test.

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At the back of the park, a path leads up a small incline, through the trees and you enter the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin through an old iron kissing gate. There has been a chapel on this site since the 9th century, but many including the Normans have left their mark in later years. Follow the path through the very old and very worn gravestones before descending from the churchyard onto the road. If you're thirsty you can turn left and walk up the road a little way and you'll find two pubs. The King Rufus and The Village Bells. If not, turn right and walk down the hill. 

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At the bottom of the hill you once more come to the Eling Toll Bridge which you now cross,(free for pedestrians), giving you a second opportunity to admire the boats or visit the Eling Tide Mill. Once over the bridge turn right along the quayside to return to your car.

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