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Blackwater is a small town in the northeastern corner of Hampshire, England, lying in the county's Hart District. It lies in the extreme northeast corner of the county, about 31 miles (50 km) away from London.
It is situated on the borders of both Berkshire (Bracknell Forest) and Surrey (Surrey Heath) about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) north of Farnborough, 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Camberley and 25 km (16 mi) east of Basingstoke on the A30 road. Blackwater is situated 50 km (31 mi) west-southwest of London. An old marker stone signpost near the Agincourt nightclub on the A30, in western Camberley marks 30 miles, and the centre of Blackwater is less than one mile from that point.
This relative proximity to the capital (the nearest point in Hampshire, and closer than much of Berkshire) has made the town popular with commuters. Blackwater is part of the Blackwater Valley conurbation which includes the towns of Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Sandhurst, Yateley, Frimley and Farnham. The River Blackwater flows through the length of this urban area. The town lies at the point where the A30 trunk road from London to Land's End crosses the River Blackwater. It is served by Blackwater railway station which is on the main line almost precisely midway between Reading and Guildford.
The White Hart Parade of shops and offices, to the west of Blackwater station, is named after the White Hart coaching inn that occupied the site in the late 19th century.
Trains from Blackwater station operate with a half-hourly service to Reading, and half-hourly service to either Gatwick Airport or Redhill via Guildford. Trains do not operate directly to London, requiring a change to London Paddington at Reading, or to London Waterloo at Guildford or Wokingham. At peak times, some additional trains operate; which usually go only as far as Shalford. Trains are operated by Great Western Railway.
People requiring Farnborough North for either the Sixth Form College or for London-bound trains from nearby Farnborough Main are advised that these are on stopping services only, not all trains stop at Farnborough North as Blackwater operates both fast and stopping services.
The A30 road runs directly through Blackwater, going directly over the station. The town is also very close to the M3 and M25. Buses to Camberley operate every 15 minutes via Route 3.
Blackwater is a gateway town into Hampshire on a main national route (the A30). The 'high street' area (the A30) is a dual-carriageway which passes over Blackwater railway station, as well as passing over the River Blackwater itself. Aldi, and shortly after a new Lidl supermarket was built opposite Aldi in 2003, taking up most of the shopping floorspace in the town.
The largest nearby town is Camberley, which provides many jobs for residents of Blackwater due to its wide range of shops, particularly within The Mall, Camberley. Other nearby towns include Sandhurst, home to the Royal Military Academy.
Sun Microsystems were a major employer in the Blackwater Valley and their UK headquarters were in Blackwater at Guillemont Park, at the M3 motorway junction on the site of the former Guillemont Barracks. Following Oracle's acquisition of Sun in 2009, employees were relocated to Oracle's UK headquarters in the Thames Valley Park.
There are two suburban villages to the north, Frogmore and Darby Green, which are considered by Hart District council to be districts of Blackwater. Frogmore has its own modern village hall, village green, church, pub and a small shopping parade. Darby Green has a shopping parade (including a Tesco Express), a pub and a small youth centre. There is also a modern medical surgery between the two villages on Frogmore Road.
The village of Hawley, which has its own village hall, primary school, church, private leisure centre and equestrian centre, lies less than 0.6 miles (1 km) to the south on the road towards Farnborough.
A major portion of Wilkie Collins's 1859 novel The Woman in White is set at the house of the character Sir Percivel Glyde, Blackwater Park, in Blackwater, Hampshire.
Nearby towns and villages
- "Area History - Blackwater and Hawley Town Council". Blackwater and Hawley Town Council. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Drawing of The White Hart at Blackwater". Coaching days and coaching ways, 1893, Authors: Tristam, W. Outram (William Outram) Railton, Herbert, 1857-1910 Thomson, Hugh, 1860-1920.
- "Local Development Framework - Employment Needs Assessment" (PDF). Hart District Council. July 2006. pp. 4–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "Former Sun Microsystems HQ Sold". DB Real Estate. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "BLACKWATER SETTLEMENT AREA" (PDF). Hart District Council. Retrieved 10 August 2012.[permanent dead link]
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