View to the North
Pleasant walk through chalk farmland, with some fine views to the North.
Park under the huge Horse Chestnuts by the cross-roads in the centre of Long Crichel village, one arm of which is an unmade bridalway. Head up this bridalway which quickly becomes a broad farm track.
This can get a bit churned up in the winter, but being on chalk, dries out pretty quickly.
Keep right on to the top of the hill, till you come to a t-junction. Turn right, and carry on to the next t-junction, where you turn right again, and start heading back down the hill again.
About halfway down the hill, the farm track turns back into a grassy path and the area takes on a slightly less 'industrial' feel.
When you reach the road, turn right and walk back down to the cross-roads, admiring the many pretty cottages. If you want to, you can walk a little further down the road, but be warned there is a dead church* (St Maryʼs, Long Crichel) down there; not for those of a sensitive disposition.
For a village to lose its shop is probably inevitable, to lose its pub, a shame, but to lose its church somehow seems to rip its heart out. As John Betjeman once remarked "Without a church I think a place lacks its heart and identity."
From the outside, the church appears to have been heavily 'restored' by the Victorians, with only the tower showing any signs of older work especially the pair of particularly endearing gargoyles.
There we have it: the modern countryside. A landscape of second homes and industrial farms. Nice views though.
* Oct 2012 - Now undergoing restoration. See comments section below.