Stage 2: Liphook to Hill Brow — Serpent Trail
Alex Foxfield planned a hike.
January 20, 2021
Chapel Common’s orchids and its wide-open vistas, as well as the sloped woodland at Rake Hanger are the two standout beauty spots on this shorter second stage of the Serpent Trail. With only 5.6 miles (9 km) to cover, you can take things at your leisure, perhaps exploring the commons more fully or spending some time in the historic village of Liss, with its shops and cafes.
From Liphook station, you head south east on Midhurst Road to where it meets Highfield Lane by a school. Here, rejoin the Serpent Trail by turning right onto a track leading south west. Eventually you arrive at the B2070 Portsmouth Road at the Black Fox Inn.
Here, you pick up the footpath and stride out onto Chapel Common. The warbling song of the skylark is a common sound here, whilst the acidic soil is perfect for southern marsh-orchids and heath spotted orchids — a gorgeous sight.
After Chapel Common, you make a brief acquaintance with the small village of Rake, where the garden centre’s café and the Flying Bull Inn offer refreshments. Turn left and then immediately right at the main junction, onto Sandy Lane. This track takes you alongside Rake Hanger, a beautiful woodland that slopes up on your right side. After this, you arrive at the stage’s end at Hill Brow.
Accommodation options are scarce at Hill Brow. There are simple rooms in the Jolly Drover, a classic village pub, or back towards Rake at the Flying Bull Inn. As with the previous stage, you can connect back to Haslemere or on to Petersfield by catching a train, this time from Liss station.
January 26, 2021