Hampshire has miles of wonderful footpaths, forest, canals and a lovely coast. One of the highlights is the splendid New Forest National Park. See our New Forest Walks for more details. Also see our Hampshire Country Parks page for lots of well laid out, waymarked walking trails.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Hampshire Walk Map
|Alice Holt Forest||7 miles (12 km)||Explore the peaceful Alice Holt Forest on this pleasant circular route that follows NCN routes 224 and 22.|
The route starts and finshes at Bentley rail station and follows the tracks through the forest, before returning along a lovely quiet country lane, giving splendid views of the surrounding Hampshire countryside.
The path also passes Birdworld with its 26 acres of wildlife including Maribou Stork, Sunbirds, Penguins, Owls, Parrots, Waterfowl and flamingos.
This route is also suitable for walkers although you may wish to return to Bentley rail on one of the forest trails rather than along the country lanes.
|Allan King's Way||42 miles (68 km)||Follow this splendid walking path from Portchester to Winchester and enjoy the wonderful Hampshire countryside.|
You start off at the medieval Porchester castle at the head of Portsmouth Harbour. The route then heads north towards Fareham and then onto Fort Nelson, one of five defensive forts built on the summit of Portsdown Hill in the 1860s. From here you continue to the town of Bishop's Waltham with its moated Bishop's Palace ruin built in 1135.
The final section of the walk takes you through the beautiful Itchen Valley and along the River Itchen to Winchester where the walk finishes near the splendid cathedral.
|Alver Valley Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||This lovely open space is located near Gosport and has 3 walking and cycling routes that show off the best areas of the 500 acre park. Enjoy woodland, lakes, ponds and views of the River Alver which runs through the park. There is also plenty for wildlife enthusiasts with reptiles, small mammals and a variety of birdlife to look out for.|
|Ashford Hill Nature Reserve||2 miles (3.5 km)||Explore the old water meadows and woodland in this pretty nature reserve near Newbury. You can start the walk from the car park at the Ship Inn in the village of Ashford Hill. From here you pick up footpaths through the nature reserve towards Haughurst Hill and Sleepers Copse. The reserve is great for wildlife spotting with several species of butterfly to look out for amongst the wildflowers.|
The Brenda Parker Way long distance footpath runs through the reserve so there is scope for extending your walk. Also nearby is Wasing Wood, riverside paths along the River Enborne and Greenham Common. The expansive area of heathland is covered in heather and gorse and has nice wide footpaths, wetland areas and wildflower filled grasslands with horses and ponies to look out for.
|Avon Heath Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This is a short, easy walk around the delightful Avon Heath Country Park near Ringwood. You will follow a series of peaceful woodland paths on this circuit of the park. The park is dominated by lowland and wet heath, acid grassland and heather, and woodland. There is also an abundance of widlife to look out for including Sand Lizards, Smooth Snakes and Dartford Warblers. The park is ideal for families with a Nature Nursery for children which includes den building, pond dipping, mini beast hunting, campfires and outdoor cooking.|
|Avon Valley Path||34 miles (55 km)||This wonderful path takes you from Salisbury to Christchurch on the South Coast.|
You start by the magnificent cathedral in Salisbury and head south towards Downton. The path then continues through Woodgreen and Godshill Wood before you arrive at the lovely Hampshire town of Fordingbridge.
The next section is particularly pleasant taking you along the River Avon to Ibsley where the path passes through the Blashford Lakes which has a variety of wildlife to enjoy.
The final section then follows the river into Christchurch where you finish at the priory.
For more information on this walk please click here
|Basingstoke Canal Walk||33 miles (53 km)||Follow the Basingstoke canal from Up Nately to Woodham, on this delightful waterside walk. The walk passes Fleet and Woking and includes regular views of the lovely Hampshire and Surrey countryside.|
|Beaulieu River||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk along the Beaulieu River in this easy walk in the New Forest. The walk runs from the pretty village of Beaulieu to Buckler's Hard along the Solent Way. There are long woodland sections and a delightful end to the walk at the hamlet of Buckler's Hard. It's a special place with a number of pretty Georgian cottages running down to the river and marina. There's also a fascinating Maritime Museum where you can find out all about this 18th century shipbuilding village and the vessels built for Nelson's Navy. |
If you'd like to continue your waterside walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Hatchet Pond.
|Blackwater Arboretum Trail||2 miles (3 km)||Explore the New Forest's Blackwater Arboretum on two super waymarked walking trails. The Blackwater Tall Trees Trail runs along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive to Brock Hill on good footpaths. The trail is lined with majestic Douglas fir trees which are among the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. There are also two enormous redwoods visible from the path. |
The shorter Blackwater Sensory Trail encourages you to discover the many different smells, textures and sounds of the trees.
If you enjoy this trail you could head to the nearby Knightwood Oak where you will find the largest oak tree in the forest. Also nearby is the delightful Ober Water.
The Arboretum is located just a few miles south west of Lyndhurst.
|Blackwater Valley Footpath||23 miles (37 km)||This is a nice easy waterside walk along the Blackwater River from Aldershot to Swallowfield.|
The walk starts at the delightful Rowhill Nature Reserve in Aldershot and heads along the river to Farnborough, passing Gold Valley Lakes and Willow Park on the way. From Farnborough you continue through Frimley Hatches Nature Reserve and Blackwater to the splendid Tri Lakes Country Park near Yately. The final section takes you on to Swallowfield via Eversley.
With lakes, wetlands, rivers, canals and ponds there is a huge variety of water loving wildlife to look out for on this super walk through the beautiful Blackwater Valley.
|Blashford Lakes||5 miles (8.5 km)||This walk takes you around Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve and Ibsley Water on the edge of the New Forest. There are good surfaced footpaths to follow around several lakes with the Avon Valley Path also running through the site. You can stop and use won of the many bird hides to look out for woodpecker, nuthatch, grey heron, great crested grebe, coot and sand martin. Adder, grass snake and kingfisher can be seen in the summer months. There are good facilities with a visitor centre and car park. |
If you would like to extend your walk you could continue along the Avon Valley Path towards the pretty village of Ibsley or head east, on any number of footpaths, into the New Forest.
|Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary||1 miles (2 km)||This is a short walk in the New Forest taking you around the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. Here you will find a large herd of fallow deer with a viewing platform overlooking the meadow where the deer congregate. The deer are fed daily by the Forestry Commission keeper so it's highly likely you will see a large number of deer in the early afternoon. There is a car park right next to the sanctuary and a number of graded walks taking you through the surrounding woodland. There is also a large lawn area, picnic tables and an information cabin.|
The sanctuary is located about 4 miles west of Lyndhurst and about 6 miles east of Ringwood.
|Bournemouth Coast Path||37 miles (60 km)||This super walk takes you along the beautiful Dorset and Hampshire coastline from Swanage to Lymington. You will visit the beautiful beaches at Sandbanks and Bournemouth while enjoying super cliff top walking at Swanage, Studland and Barton-on-Sea.|
Other highlights include the delightful nature reserves at Studland and Hengistbury Head where you will see a variety of coastal birdlife. Also of note is the stunning Christchurch Harbour and the final section along a sea wall through the beautiful Keyhaven Marshes. This fabulous nature reserve runs from Keyhaven to Lymington with a large variety of birdlife and splendid views of the nearby Isle of Wight.
|Bramshill Forest||7 miles (12 km)||This circular walk takes you around the pretty Bramshill Forest, near Eversley in Hampshire. The walk makes use of the Three Castles Path and various woodland trails, taking you through Warren Heath, Hazeley Heath and Heath Warren Wood. You'll pass a number of pretty streams and tranquil ponds on the way.|
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Bracknell Forest or Wellington Country Park where you'll find miles of walking trails.
|Brenda Parker Way||77 miles (124 km)||This splendid walk runs from Aldershot to Andover through the Hampshire countryside. The walk passes through Fleet, Winchfield, Bramley, Tadley, Kingsclere, Highclere, Sidley Bottom, and Rag Copse. Highlights include:
The Brenda Parker Way is marked in both directions wit waymark discs. The Brenda Parker Way website has split the walk into nine manageable sections with full guides for each.
|Brockenhurst to Boldre via Roydon Woods||3 miles (5 km)||This route follows bridleways between Brockenhurst and the village of Boldre in the New Forest. It's suitable for both cyclists and walkers, following country lanes and traffic free forest paths through a really pretty section of the forest. The route also passes the delightful Roydon Woods which consists of ancient woodland, pastures, ponds, heaths and the Lymington River. It's worth exploring this area and looking out for the wide variety of wildlife that dwells here. This includes Tawny owls, nightjars, various butterflies and deer.|
|Cadman's Pool||4 miles (6 km)||This is a particularly lovely and fairly quiet area of the New Forest. The attractive little pool is located near Fritham and Stoney Cross. It attracts a variety of birdlife and is a great place for a picnic. |
This walk starts from the Cadman's Pool car park and takes you around the pond to Splash Bridge through the Holly Hatch Inclosure. You then follow Dockens Water back to the car park. It's a nice stretch with riverside willows and pretty bridges over the water.
The area is also great for wildlife spotting. Look out for deer, ponies and birds such as finches, firecrests, and woodlarks.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could head to Latchmore Brook and the Hasley Hill Inclosure which is only about a mile west of the pool.
|Castleman Trailway||16 miles (26 km)||Travel from Ringwood to Poole along the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line on this easy cycle and walking route. Route highlights include 3 lovely country parks - Avon Heath Country Park, Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park.
For more information about this route please click here
|Clarendon Way||24 miles (39 km)||Travel from Hampshire into Wiltshire on the Clarendon Way and enjoy some wonderful scenery.|
The path starts next to Salisbury Cathedral and heads through Clarendon Park and past the ruins of Clarendon Palace before a short wooded section takes you to Pitton.
You then cross the hills to West and Middle Winterslow and descend into Broughton where you join a lovely country lane that takes you onto Houghton.
Here you cross the River Test on your way to King's Somborne. Another wooded section through Parnholt woods then leads to the beautiful Farley Mount Country Park where at the highest point there is a pyramid shaped folly that gives the park its name.
The final section sees the walker descend into Winchester, passing through the outskirts and then along the River Itchen to finish next to the cathedral.
|Danebury Hill Fort||1 miles (2 km)||Climb to Danebury Hill Fort and Danebury Down on this short walk in Hampshire. After archeological excavations it is believed the Iron Age Fort dates back to between 500BC-100BC.|
You can start your walk from the car park on Old Stockbridge Road about 1 mile east of the hill. From here you can pick up the footpath taking you up to the hill fort. The high point stands at 143 m (469 ft) providing wonderful views over the beautiful Test Valley. It's a great spot for a picnic in the summer when you'll see lots of people enjoying the views and walking their dogs.
The hill is great for wildlife. Look out for wild ponies and the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly. The fort also has a number of information boards where you can read all about the fascinating history of the area.
The fort is located near to Stockbridge and the village of Longstock. An alternative route would be to start your walk in Longstock and follow footpaths west to the hill. The Test Way also runs through Stockbridge and Longstock. You could extend your walk by picking up the riverside trail. Heading north east will take you to Chilbolton, Wherwell and Harewood Forest. Head south and you will come to King's Somborne and Horsebridge.
Cyclists can reach the fort by following National Cycle Network Route 246 from Andover to the Stockbridge area.
|Dogmersfield Park||5 miles (7.5 km)||Enjoy an easy stroll through Dogmersfield park on this circular walk in Hampshire. The walk starts at the Basingstoke Canal car park in Odiham and follows the canal towpath past Odiham Common to the pretty Tundry Pond. You then follow footpaths around Dogmersfield Lake before picking up the canal to take you back to the car park. The park is located just to the west of Fleet and Farnborough.|
|Exbury Gardens||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore 200 acres of beautiful gardens on this easy walk in the New Forest National Park. The gardens have miles of well laid out footpaths perfect for an afternoon stroll. In the gardens you'll find a wonderful collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and plants. There are also tranquil lakes and ponds with pretty wooden bridges over the water. Other highlights include the Hydrangea Walk, the Rock Garden, Iris Garden, the Camellia Walk and a riverside path along the Beaulieu river. You can also catch the super Steam railway which will take you on a wonderful tour of the gardens. |
If you would like to extend your walking in the area you could pick up the Solent Way and enjoy a riverside walk along the Beaulieu River.
Click on the google street view link below and you can virtually explore the gardens.
|Farley Mount Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Farley Mount Country Park is located a few miles west of Winchester. It is a large area of open country and woods and a Local Nature Reserve. At the highest point there is a pyramid shaped folly that gives the park its name. From here there are fabulous views over the South Downs and the surrounding area. The route below is devised for walkers but cyclists can follow the marked bridleway that dissects the park and links to further routes in the surrounding countryside.|
|Forest of Bere||3 miles (5.2 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this lovely forest near Portsmouth. The forest is a delightful mixture of woodland, open space, heathland, farmland, downland, streams and ponds. The forest includes Creech Woods with its conifers, heather and play areas for children. The circular route below starts at the car park and takes you around the forest on wide grassy paths.|
If you'd like to continue exploring this area then you could head a few miles west to Wickham where you can pick up the super Meon Valley Trail. This cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway track from West Meon to Wickham, with great views of the River Meon.
|Furzey Gardens||1 miles (1 km)||Enjoy a peaceful stroll around these beautiful gardens in Minstead in the New Forest. There are well laid out footpaths taking you through the gardens with Azaleas, Rhododendrons and woodland glades. Other highlights include the delightful 16th Century Cottage which you can explore, and a tranquil lake with a variety of plants and flowers around its borders. There are also viewpoints with views towards the Isle of Wight and New Forest.|
|Hangers Way||21 miles (34 km)||Travel through Hampshire from Alton to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park along this 21 mile walking path.|
The route passes through the delightful village of Selborne and the attractive market town of Petersfield before finishing at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Scenery includes the beautiful woodland and grassland of the Hampshire countryside, while passing a series of steep-sided hills called the Hampshire Hangers, from which the path takes its name.
See the Hampshire CC website for more information on walks in the area.
|Harewood Forest||4 miles (7 km)||This large forest near Andover has miles of woodland walking trails to try. You can reach the forest by following the Test Way from nearby Chilbolton or Wherwell. It's about a one mile walk through the countryside to the woods from Wherwell. The Test Way passes through the woods but there are also other public footpaths to pick up once you are there.|
The forest has an intersting history with the 19th centruy Dead Man's Plack to see. The Grade-II listed monument is dedicated to Ethelwald, Ealdorman of East Anglia, who (as legend goes) was killed in 963 by his rival in love, King Edgar I.
To extend your walking in the area you could head south west along the Test Way towards Stockbridge and visit Danebury Hill Fort. The fascinating Iron Age fort commands wonderful views over the Test Valley.
Cyclists can reach the forest area by cycling along National Cycle Network route 246 which runs through nearby Goodworth Clatford and Upper Clatford from Andover.
|Hatchet Pond||2 miles (3 km)||This large pond in the New Forest makes for a nice, easy circular walk. The pond is located about a mile west from Beaulieu with a good sized parking area at the eastern end. There's a nice footpath to follow around the water where you will often see New Forest Ponies enjoying a drink! The pond is the largest body of water in the New Forest so it's about a 2 mile walk all the way around. It's a great spot for a picnic with facilities that include toilets and an ice cream van in the summer months. Wildlife lovers can look out for birds on the water such as Herons and Egrets. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area you can enjoy a waterside walk along the Beaulieu River.
|Hayling Billy Trail||6 miles (9 km)||This trail uses the Hayling Billy Coastal Path
which runs along the west coast of Hayling
Island near Havant.|
The trail gives fabulous views of Langstone Harbour which is an internationally important site for its wildfowl and wading birds. Also watch out for brent geese, oyster catchers and dunlin in winter.
The route is very flat and entirely off road so is ideal for families looking for a safe traffic free cycle ride or for walkers looking for a pleasant waterside stroll. Please click here for more information on this route. This route links nicely with the Portsea Island Explorer
|Highclere Castle||10 miles (16.5 km)||This walk uses public footpaths to explore the extensive parkland surrounding this Stately home near Newbury. The house is now famous as the location for period drama 'Downton Abbey' and the comedy series 'Jeeves and Wooster'. There is a charge for visiting the house and it's immediate surrounding gardens but there are free public paths to take you through a large portion of the wider estate. This walk uses the Brenda Parker Way long distance footpath to take you through Highclere Park.|
The walk starts from the car park south east of Highclere Castle off the A34. You have the option of first climbing Beacon Hill for great views over the estate. You then head to Old Burghclere where you turn north towards Whitway where you pick up the Brenda Parker Way. You then head west along the paths through Highclere Wood to Highclere Farm. This walk returns to Beacon Hill car park on the same paths but you could pick up the Wayfarer's Walk to turn it into a long circular walk. This would take you through the southern part of the estate.
You can also visit the castle grounds although this does require and admission fee. Here you will find beautiful gardens, serpentine paths, herbaceous borders, lakes and peaceful woodland trails. You can also tour the magnificent house which has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1679. The real Downton Abbey has fine state rooms including wonderful furntiture and artworks.
The walk can be extended by continuing west along the Wayfarer's Walk to Pilot Hill and Walbury Hill which are the highest points in Hampshire and Berkshire respectively.
Just north of Highclere you will find the National Trust owed Chase Nature Reserve. There's lots of nice woodland trails, pretty streams and flora and fauna to see here too.
|Hinton Ampner||1 miles (1 km)||Explore the beautiful gardens surrounding this stately home near New Alresford in Hampshire. Here you will find cloud topiary, a walled garden, a sunken garden and fabulous views over the South Downs. You can also extend your walk into the wider estate. Head east towards Joan's acre wood where you will find ancient woodland and an abundance of wildlife. |
You could also pick up the Itchen Way or Wayfarer's Walk which run past the estate.
|Holly Hill Woodland Park||3 miles (5 km)||This short circular walk takes you through the peaceful Holly Hill Woodland Park and along the estuary of the River Hamble. The park has two distinctive areas - Winnards Copse with a more formal landscape, lakes and ornamental exotic species and Cawtes Copse with its mix of native woodland species. There are two way marked trails of varying length following the footpath network around the site. The park is located in Sarisbury near Southampton.|
|Hurst Castle Spit||4 miles (7 km)||Walk along this long shingle spit to one of Henry VIII's Device Forts on this lovely coastal walk in Hampshire. The walk starts at Keyhaven in between Lymington and Milford-on-Sea. You follow the shingle spit for about 1.5 miles out to the castle where there are splendid views of the nearby Isle of Wight and the south coast.|
If you would like to continue your walk you could follow the sea wall through Keyhaven Marshes towards Lymington.
|Itchen Valley Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 440 acres of parkland in this attractive country park in Southampton. There are numerous walking trails and an off road cycle trail running through the park. The park contains a 250 acre water meadow nature reserve, 90 acres of ancient woodland and 60 acres of grazing land. The River Itchen also runs through the park.|
The park has excellent facilities with a Visitor Centre built in the style of a 17th Century Hampshire Aisle Barn. The centre houses a gift shop and various interactive displays.
|Itchen Way||31 miles (50 km)||Follow the River Itchen from its mouth at Woolston to its source near Hinton Ampner on this beautiful waterside walk. |
You start near Woolston station near Southampton Docks and head north through Southampton and a lovely riverside park near Swaythling. The path continues past Southampton Airport and through Eastleigh before arriving at Winchester with its impressive cathedral. Here you can take a small detour to climb the lovely St Catherine's Hill and enjoy fine views over the town below, the River Itchen and the surrounding countryside of the South Downs.
From Winchester you then turn east towards Itchen Abbas and New Arlesford with the final section passing through Cheriton and finishing at National Trust owned Hinton Ampner.
|Keyhaven Marshes||6 miles (10 km)||This coastal cycle or walk takes you from Lymington to Keyhaven through the beautiful Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes. The path runs along a sea wall with the marshes on one side and the sea on the other. As such you are surrounded by varied and beautiful scenery for the length of the route. In the marsh area you will pass a number of pretty lagoons where you can look out for a wide variety of birdlife including Egret, Shelduck, Curlew and Heron. On the coastal side there are fabulous views of the Isle of Wight which is less than 2 miles away. Hurst Castle is also visible for most of the way - you could extend your walk by walking along the shingle spit to Henry VIII's Device Fort if you have time. |
The Solent Way and the Bournemouth Coast Path long distance walking routes also run through Keyhaven so you could also continue your exercise along these paths.
|Knightwood Oak||1 miles (1 km)||Visit the largest oak tree in the New Forest on this short, accessible walk. You start off at the Knightwood Oak car park and follow a nice gravel path to the impressive tree. It's over 500 years old, has a girth of 7.38 metres (24.2 ft) and is still growing!
The Knightwood Oak trail is located just a few miles west of Lyndhurst. You could extend your walk by trying the New Forest Reptile Centre Trail which is less than a mile away.
|Lakeside Country Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy 60 acres of lakes, wet meadow and woodland located between Eastleigh and Southampton. The park has a range of birds, insects and small mammals as well as the occasional fox and deer. There is also a miniature railway and a cafe.|
|Lakeside Nature Reserve||1 miles (2 km)||A short walk around the peaceful Lakeside Nature Reserve in Aldershot. The reserve is a complex of wet habitats including river, ponds, lakes, reed beds, orchid meadow and wet woodland. The site includes the Basingstoke Canal and Gold Valley Lakes - a popular place for fishing (see video below)|
|Latchmore Brook and Hasley Hill Inclosure||3 miles (4.5 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk along the delighful Latchmore Brook, near Fordingbridge in the New Forest. The brook and surrounding countryside is an idyllic area, often surrounded by horses, ponies and deer. The walk continues into the Hasley Hill Inclosure where you will find a series of pretty woodland paths. |
The walk begins from the Ogdens car park near Fordingbridge on the eastern side of the New Forest.
If you'd like to extend your walk then the pretty Cadman's Pool is only about a mile to the east.
|Lepe Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Lepe is a coastal Country Park located near Southampton, in the New Forest National Park. There is a large beach and stunning cliffs where there are fabulous views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The park has excellent facilities with Barbeque areas, picnic areas and a cafe.
The route below is designed for walkers but there is a Lepe cycle route running through the park and the surrounding area - please click here for details.
|Manor Farm and Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||This park has a number of delightful walking and cycling trails and is located just outside Southampton. The farm is 600 years old with historic buildings, barns and the 13th century St Bartholomew's church. You can feed the chickens and get up close to rabbits, chicks and ducklings.|
|Martin Down Nature Reserve||2 miles (4 km)||This beautiful nature reserve on the Hampshire/Dorset border consists of 350 hectares of unspoiled chalk downland. It's a splendid area with miles of good footpaths taking you past wildflower meadows and sweeping grassland.|
This circular walk starts from the car park off the A354 near Bokerley Junction. You then follow good footpaths around the reserve, passing along the Bokerley Dyke which defines the border between the counties of Hampshire and Dorset.
The area is great for flora and fauna. Look out for birds such as Cuckoos, yellowhammers, and skylarks. In the summer months there are various butterflies including Adonis blue and the dark green fritillary. The area is covered with an abundance of pretty plants and flowers including several species of orchid.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could pick up the Jubilee Trail which starts from the reserve. You could follow the trail to the nearby Pentridge Hill for great views over the Hampshire and Dorset countryside. You could also head north to Vernditch Chase where there are some nice woodland walking trails to try.
Martin Down is located near to both Fordingbridge and Salisbury.
|Meon Valley Trail||9 miles (15 km)||This peaceful cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway track from West Meon to Wickham. There are splendid views of the beautiful Meon Valley and the River Meon to enjoy as well as a variety of wildlife including butterflies, redwing and egrets.|
|Monarch's Way||615 miles (990 km)||This incredible 615-mile walk approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. |
The Monarch's Way starts at Worcester then travels north to Boscobel and then south to Stratford upon Avon. It then continues south through the Cotswolds to Stow on the Wold before turning south west towards Bristol via Cirencester. The route then heads south through the Mendip Hills to Wells and then on through Somerset towards Yeovil and then south west to Charmouth. You then follow the Dorset coast before turning north again to Yeovil, before heading east across the Downs to Brighton and then onto the finish point at Shoreham-by-Sea.
The walk also takes you through two World Heritage Sites, one National Park and six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For those interested in the history of the walk there is ample opportunity to learn and discover more with a series of museums and historical sites dotted throughout the route.
The walk is waymarked with a picture of the ship The Surprise, the Prince of Wales crown and the Royal Oak tree at Boscobel House.
The route has been split into two separate gpx files. The first includes the section from Worcester to Bridport via the Midlands and Somerset. The second runs from Sandford Orcas to the finish point at Shoreham-By-Sea.
Monarch's Way GPS 1 (right click save as)
Monarch's Way GPS 2 (right click save as)
|Moors Valley Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, is situated in Ashley Heath, on the Dorset/Hampshire border. The park has a number of peaceful woodland paths so is a great place for a safe and easy cycle or walk. There are a number of well waymarked cycle and walking routes through the park, while there is also cycle hire available throughout the year.
The park contains the Moors River and two Lakes where you can see Grey Herons, Great Crested Grebes, Mallards and Mute Swans. There is also a steam railway and a 'Go Ape' adventure park.
Moors Valley is situated right next to Ringwood Forest so there is scope for continuing your ride for several miles through more peaceful woodland.
|Mottisfont Abbey||3 miles (5 km)||Explore the extensive grounds of this 13th century Augustinian priory on foot or by bike.|
|New Forest Reptile Centre Trail||1 miles (2 km)||Follow the Reptile Discovery Trail on this easy walk in the New Forest. The trail takes place on well surfaced tree lined paths with a variety of wildlife to look out for. The centre has all of Britain's native lizards, snakes, frogs and toads. You can also view birds of prey on the nest cams and look out for dragonflies and tadpoles in the pond. It's a great educational walk for families or anyone looking for an easy, informative stroll.|
If you'd like to extend your walk you could visit the Knightwood Oak which is less than a mile from the trail.
|New Lipchis Way||37 miles (60 km)||This is an exceptionally lovely walking trail that runs from Liphook, in Hampshire, to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The path takes you through some of the loveliest parts of West Sussex including greensand ridges,
Wealden river valleys, heathlands, high chalk downland and then finally the coastal plain at Chichester.|
The first section of the walk runs from Liphook to Midhurst, passing through Woolbeding Common before a waterside section along the River Rother takes you to Midhurst.
From Midhurst you continue south through countryside and woodland to Singleton where you will find the fascinating Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. The museum covers 50 acres, with around 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.
The next section then takes you to Chichester, and includes a climb to the top of St Roche's hill where you can enjoy splendid views of the South Downs. Soon after you join a short easy section along a dismantled railway line through Lavant and onto the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
The final section then takes you along the Chichester Ship Canal and the Chichester Channel to West Wittering with splendid views of Chichester Harbour as you go.
|Ober Water||2 miles (3 km)||This nice, easy walk takes you around the pretty Ober Water in the New Forest. The circular walk starts from the Whitefield Moor car park and follows good tracks through the Aldridge Hill woodland and the Ober Valley. It's a really delightful spot with the tranquil stream surrounded by shady woodland glades. It's a great place for a picnic and a paddle on a summer's day! |
Ober Water is located just over a mile west of Brockenhurst.
If you'd like to extend your walk then the Blackwater Arboretum Trail is located just over a mile to the north.
|Old Winchester Hill||9 miles (14 km)||This walk takes you up the 197 metres (646 ft) Old Winchester Hill in the South Downs. The hill and surrounding area is a National Nature Reserve with a wide variety of butterflies and wildlife to look out for. These include buzzards, kites, roe deer and foxes. The area is made largely of chalk grassland with extensive scrub and many orchid species. There is also an Iron Age hill fort and earlier Bronze Age barrows and burial mounds.|
This circular walk starts at the village of Meonstoke and makes use of the South Downs Way to take you to Old Winchester Hill before returning via Warnford and Beacon Hill. There are super panoramic views of the South Downs and the Meon Valley from the high points. On a clear day you may even be able to see the Isle of Wight.
If you'd like to continue your walk then you could pick up the South Downs Way or the Monarch's Way which run past the hill.
|Oxdrove Way||25 miles (40 km)||The Oxdrove Way is an off road cycle trail and walking path which forms a figure of eight through the rolling downland, woods and farmland of the Hampshire countryside around New Arlesford. You will pass through Preston Down, Bradley, Upper Wield, Old Alresford, Abbotstone and Itchen Down.|
Click here for a full route guide from Hampshire CC
|Pamber Forest||2 miles (4 km)||This large forest in Tadley covers nearly 500 acres. It is criss crossed with numerous footpaths ideal for a peaceful stroll. The area consists of Oak and Birch ancient woodland and heathland. The pretty Honeymill Brook also runs through the forest.|
The area is great for wildlife with many species of butterfly to look out for. White admiral, purple emperor and silver-washed fritillary are just a few you may see as you make your way through the woods. Birds such as Blackcap and Green woodpeckers are regular visitors to the woods too. Interesting flora includes wild daffodils, honeysuckle and lovely purple heather.
This circular route is more suited for walking but on the eastern side of the forest you will find a bridleway which is good for cycling. This runs from Pamber heath to Bridle's Copse, passing Silchester Common on the way.
The Brenda Parker Way runs through the woods so you could pick up this long distance footpath to extend your walking in the area. If you follow the path north east you will come to the fascinating Silchester Roman Town (Calleva Atrebatum). The town's ruined walls are still visible as are the remains of the amphitheatre, added about AD 70-80 and situated outside the city walls.
If you head west you'll come to the pretty Ashford Hill Nature Reserve where there are more nice woodland trails.
|Pilgrim's Trail||29 miles (47 km)||This medieval walk runs from Winchester to Portsmouth through Bishop's Waltham and Southwick, following in the footsteps of the Miquelots, pilgrims who made the long journey to worship St Michael in Normandy.|
|Pilgrims Way||133 miles (214 km)||Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who followed this ancient track from Winchester in Hampshire, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent.|
|Pilot Hill||2 miles (3.5 km)||Climb to the highest point in Hampshire on this walk on the Berkshire/Hampshire border. The walk starts from the Inkpen Beacon car park about 2 miles north west of the hill. From here you pick up the Wayfarer's Walk and follow it past Walbury Hill and the pretty West Woodhay Down. At 297 m (974 ft) Walbury Hill is the highest point in Berkshire and South East England. At the summit you can enjoy more great views over the county and explore the Iron Age Hill fort of Walbury Camp.|
The route continues to Pilot Hill where you pick up the Brenda Parker Way to take you to the Hampshire village of Faccombe. Here you can enjoy refreshments before returning to the car park the same way.
To extend your walk you can continue along the Brenda Parker Way to Faccombe Wood and St Mary Bourne.
|Queen Elizabeth Country Park||5 miles (8.5 km)||Explore 2000 acres of of open access woodland and downland in the South Downs on this circular walk or cycle in Hampshire. Highlights in the park include Butser Hill - the highest point on the South Downs with views to the Isle of Wight. There is also a Visitors centre where you can sign up for a guided walk.|
The park is very popular with mountain bikers with several off road trails running through the park. See the video below for example of what you can expect.
|Royal Victoria Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Explore 200 acres of woodland, grassy parkland and coastline in this delightful coastal park located at Netley, near Southampton. The park features a number of delightful walking paths while National Cycle Network route 2 also passes through the park. You can take a ride on the miniature narrow-gauge railway which runs for around 1 mile through the park while there is also has a 150-ft viewing tower, giving views over the park, and across Southampton Water to Hythe and Southampton. |
The park also hosts a rich variety of wildlife, with deer in the woodland and a number of coastal birds, including oyster catchers and brent geese.
The park is easily accessible with nearby train stations at Netley and Hamble.
|Salisbury Country Way||61 miles (98 km)||A super circular walk through the countryside around Salisbury. The walk visits the ancient stone circles at Stonehenge, Compton Park, Downton and includes a lovely riverside stretch along the River Avon. You'll also pass through the delightful Martin Down Nature Reserve. This beautiful nature reserve on the Hampshire/Dorset border consists of 350 hectares of unspoiled chalk downland with a variety of flora and fauna.|
You can explore the Stonehenge site below using google street view.
|Serpent Trail||64 miles (103 km)||This walk runs from Haslemere to Petersfield through the beautiful Sussex greensand hills. The path takes its name both from its serpentine shape and from passing through the habitat of all three British species of snake.|
The route crosses many heathland areas and heads along the greensand ridges in the western Weald, visiting Liphook, Milland, Fernhurst, Petworth, Fittleworth, Duncton, Heyshott, Midhurst, Stedham and Nyewood before reaching the serpent's tail at Petersfield in Hampshire.
The trail is waymarked with white plastic discs showing a snake in the approximate shape of the route on a purple triangle.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the pretty Iping and Stedham Commons near Midhurst.
|Solent Way||60 miles (96 km)||Follow the Solent Way along the beautiful south coast from Milford on Sea to Emsworth.|
The route starts off at Milford on Sea and heads along the coastal marshes to Lymington with splendid views of the Isle of Wight. This section runs through the beautiful Keyhaven Marshes where you can look out for a wide variety of birdlife. You then head inland through the New Forest towards Hythe passing the excellent Beaulieu Motor Museum and the Beaulieu River as you go. At Hythe you cross Southampton water on the Hythe Ferry taking you to Southampton where you follow the coast to Gosport. On this section you will pass the delightful Titchfield Haven nature reserve near Fareham. Here you will find 369 acres of River, fen, pools, reedbed and meadow with a variety of wildlife to look out for.
From Gosport a ferry ride takes you over the River Hamble to Portsmouth with its fascinating maritime history. The final stretch leads you around the attractive Langstone Harbour to the finish at Emsworth Key.
This is a fantastic walk with much to enjoy including beaches, promenades and marshes with an abundance of interesting wildlife. There is also a strong historical aspect with forts, museums and ships to explore particularly around Portsmouth.
|Southampton Common||3 miles (5 km)||Explore 326 acres of woodland, parkland, rough grassland, ponds, wetlands and nature trails on this lovely cycling and walking route in Southampton. The park also has a Wildlife Centre with interactive resources and educational facilities. Southampton Common can be found just north of the city centre near the main university campus.|
|St Catherine's Hill Winchester||1 miles (1.5 km)||Climb this small hill in Winchester for fine views over the town, the River Itchen and the surrounding countryside of the South Downs. It's a very pretty area with the chalk downland covered in wild flowers including bird's-foot trefoil, salad burnet, dropwort and several types of orchid. This attracts 25 different types of butterfly such as marbled white, chalkhill blue and brown argus. There are also the ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort, a 17th/18th century mizmaze and a copse of beech trees containing the site of a 12th century chapel. |
There is a car park just north of the hill where you can pick up the footpaths to the hill. You could also walk from the centre of town which is only about a mile away. If you're coming by bike then National Cycle Network route 23 runs right past the hill along the river.
To turn this into a longer circular walk descend the hill and head south along the River Itchen to St Cross Bridge. Cross the bridge and then return on the other side of the river to Winchester College and the town.
If you'd like to extend your walk then you could pick up the Itchen Way and enjoy a stroll along the River Itchen. If you were to head north along the trail you would soon come to the lovely Winnal Moors Nature Reserve. Here you will find nice footpaths taking you to chalk stream, tall fen, hay meadow and wet pasture, with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for.
|St Swithun's Way||34 miles (55 km)||Follow the St Swithun's Way from Winchester to Farnham on this historical walk through the Hampshire and Surrey countryside. The trail gives the walker the opportunity to visit numerous churches with pilgrimage connections.|
The walk begins at the splendid Winchester Cathedral and heads east, through the Itchen Valley towards New Alresford. This opening section includes a long waterside stretch along the River Itchen, passing through the pretty village of Itchen Abbas as you go.
The next section takes you from New Alresford to Alton along country lanes and through a couple of peaceful woodland stretches. You will also pass through the village of Chawton - home to Jane Austen
From Alton you head north-east, following the River Wey through Bentley, before finishing at Farnham in Surrey.
|Standing Hat||2 miles (4 km)||This easy circular walk takes you through Forestry Commission managed Inclosures near Brockenhurst in the New Forest. You can park at the car park at Balmer Lawn and then follow good footpaths through the delightful woodland in the Pignal Enclosure. It's a lovely spot for an easy, peaceful stroll. Look out for the New Forest Ponies on your walk. |
If you'd like to try more easy walks near Brockenhurst then the Ober Water Walk and the Blackwater Arboretum Trail are both good options.
|Staunton Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy 1000 acres of landscaped parkland and forest at Staunton Country Park near Havant. Here you'll find a farm, two pretty lakes, a maze, a walled garden and glasshouses containing exotic tropical flowers and plants from around the world. There is also a visitor center, with animals and attractions and a number of interesting buildings including follies and a gothic library.|
There are a number of trails ideal for walking and cycling while cycle hire is available at the Victorian Coach House. The route below starts and ends at the car park but Rowland's castle train station is another good access point situated less than a mile from the park.
|Staunton Way||9 miles (14 km)||The Staunton Way takes you from Queen Elizabeth
Country Park near Petersfield, through
the South Downs to Staunton Country Park
The start in Queen Elizabeth Country Park is paricularly lovely with its acres of woodland and variety of wildlife. You then pass through the south downs enjoying splendid rolling countryside as you go. The end point is Staunton Country Park which boasts pleasure gardens, a lake and original glasshouses.
Click here for an excellent route guide from Hampshire CC.
|Strawberry Trail||14 miles (22 km)||This lovely figure of eight trail starts and ends near the car park at Hamble-le-Rice, passing through Burlesdon and Botley on the way. It includes a delightful stretch alongside Southampton Water and through Victoria Park at the start with a peaceful waterside section along the River Hamble another attraction. The walk was developed by Eastleigh Borough Council.|
|Sussex Border Path||137 miles (220 km)||A fabulous long distance walk following the Sussex county border from Thorney Island in West Sussex to Rye in East Sussex. |
You begin on Thorney Island with a lovely section along the coast from Emsworth. The route then heads through the South Downs to South Harting and Liphook before continuing to Gospel Green, Rudgwick, Gatwick Airport, Horley and East Grinstead. You then head through the beautiful High Weald, passing Groombridge, Bewl Water and Northiam before finishing in Rye. The walk is well waymarked throughout.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the lovely Weir Wood Reservoir and the interesting Bodiam Castle.
|Test Way||45 miles (72 km)||Travel through the Test Valley on this 44 mile walk through Hampshire and Berkshire.|
The route starts at Lower Test Nature Reserve near Totton heading north towards Romsey along the river. The route continues through Kimbridge and then onto the impressive National Trust owned Mottisfont Abbey. This 13th century Augustinian priory is surrounded by glorious grounds and is a major highlight on the trail.
The path continues through Stockbridge, Wherwell and the pretty village of St Mary Bourne with its delightful thatched houses. This section also passes Harewood Forest and Danebury Hill Fort near Stockbridge. It's worth taking a a short detour to climb the hill and enjoy some splendid views over the Test Valley.
The final section is a gradual climb through Hurtsbourne Tarrant and Linkenholt towards Inkpen Beacon and Walbury Hill in Berkshire where the trail finishes. At 297 m (974 ft) Walbury Hill is the highest point in Berkshire and South East England. At the summit you can enjoy great views over the county and explore the Iron Age Hill fort of Walbury Camp.
|Testwood Lakes||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy an easy, waterside walk around these two pretty lakes in Totton, on the eastern edge of the New Forest. There are well surfaced footpaths all the way around the lakes. The area is managed as a nature reserve so you will find a variety of interesting wild flowers and woodland around the lakes. You can also look out for various wildfowl and waders on the water using the two bird hides. There are good facilities with a Visitor centre, toilets and parking. |
If you'd like to extend your walk you could pick up the Test Way and follow the River Test to the nearby Lower Test Nature Reserve.
|The Chase Nature Reserve||2 miles (2.5 km)||This National Trust owned nature reserve has 143 acres of woodland to explore on a number of footpaths. It is located near to the villages of Woolton Hill and Enborne Row on the Hampshire/Berkshire border. The area consists of broadleaf and coniferous woodland with streams and lots of interesting flora and fauna to look out for. The snowdrops in early spring are particularly lovely. There is a car park just off station road which gives direct access to the trails.|
It's easy to extend your walking in the area by heading into the adjacent Penwood forest. You can also visit the real Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle just to the south of the reserve. Walbury Hill and Pilot Hill, the highest points in Berkshire and Hampshire respectivley, are also close by.
|The Vyne||3 miles (5 km)||Explore the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding this 16th century Tudor Mansion in Sherborne St John near Basingstoke. In the 18th-century West garden you will find beautiful herbaceous borders, rose beds and wisteria. There is also a pretty walled garden with a restored glasshouse and a summerhouse.|
The walk then takes you into the wider grounds and through Morgaston Wood with a number of peaceful way-marked paths to follow. There's also a wetlands area with a bird hide where you can look out for Snipe, Great Crested Grebe and Heron.
The house was built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. You can explore the grand rooms which contain a number of decorative and interesting rare artifacts and much of the original Tudor furniture still intact. There is also a wonderful Tudor chapel, with stained glass windows.
|Three Downs Link||102 miles (164 km)||This is a walking and cycling path following bridleways through Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. The trail runs from Exton, in Hampshire, to Dean Hill, near Hungerford. You will pass through open chalk downland, along rivers and canals and through some pretty villages.
The route passes through or near Basingstoke, New Arlesford, Malborough, Winchester, Newbury and Hungerford. It uses the South Downs Way National Trail for part of the route and also links with the Ridgeway National Trail. It is waymarked with a light blue arrow.
For cyclists a mountain bike is advisable as most of the route takes place on off road tracks.
|Titchfield Haven||6 miles (9 km)||Explore this beautiful coastal nature reserve and enjoy a stroll along the Titchfield canal on this circular walk near Fareham. The reserve boasts 369 acres of River, fen, pools, reedbed and meadow. These habitats attract a wide range of water loving wildlife. Look out for Reed Warblers, Bearded Tits, Water rails and Bittern around the reedbeds and Otters by the River Meon. There are a number of hides from which you can observe the wildlife. Other facilities include the Titchfield Haven Visitor Centre, tea room and exhibition about the history of the Solent area.|
This walk starts at the car park near Hillhead Harbour and takes you along the coast passing the Meon Shore chalets. You then turn inland and pass Bromwich Pond and some nice countryside before coming to the village of Titchfield. Here you could head north of the village and visit the interesting 13th century Titchfield Abbey. There are attractive grounds with ponds and major remains of the abbey to see.
From Titchfield a waterside section along the Titchfield Canal and the River Meon takes you back to the car park.
The Solent Way passes the reserve so you could pick this up to continue your walk. If you head south east you will come to Lee-on-the-Solent and Gosport. If you head west you will come to Southampton.
|Watership Down||2 miles (2.5 km)||Climb this hill made famous by Richard Adams' 1972 novel 'Watership Down'. The hill is located about 2 miles south west of the village of Kingsclere. The downs are popular with walkers and cyclists with good footpaths and bridleways crossing the area.|
This walk starts at the White Hill car park off the B3051 just south of Kingsclere. You then pick up the Wayfarer's Walk long distance footpath to take you to the 237m hill summit. The path passes White Hill and The Warren on the way to Watership Down. It's a beautiful area with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside and the Sydmonton Court estate. The estate consists of a 16th century Tudor manor house and is home to the summer arts Sydmonton Festival. This walk finishes at the Watership Down Hill summit but you could extend the route by heading north along public footpaths to Sydmonton. If you continue west along the Wayfarer's Walk then you will pass the wonderful Highclere Castle. The house is famous as the location of period drama 'Downton Abbey'. It is surrounded by a 5000 acre estate with nice walking trails to try.
Less than a mile away to the west is Ladle Hill where you will find a well preserved hill fort.
|Wayfarer's Walk||71 miles (114 km)||Starting at the town of Emsworth on Chichester harbour, follow this fabulous 70 mile walk through the heart of Hampshire and on into Berkshire.|
You will pass through the pretty Hampshire towns and villages of Cheriton, Droxford, Hambledon and New Arlesford while also experiencing the beautiful landscape and wildlife in this special county.
The path is easy to follow as it is waymarked by metal and plastic disks attached to wooden and metal posts.
Highlights on the route in include the National Trust owned Hinton Ampner stately home with its wonderful gardens and Watership Down - the delightful setting for Richard Adams' 1972 novel.
The route passes the wonderful 5000 acre estate surrounding Highclere Castle in Hampshire. The house is famous as the location of period drama 'Downton Abbey'. There are also some lovely waterside stretches to enjoy at Cheriton along the River Itchen and along the River Arle at New Arlesford. The walk finishes at Walbury Hill, the highest point in Berkshire and the South East of England.
Please click here for more information on this walk.
|West Green House||1 miles (1.6 km)||Enjoy a walk through the beautiful 10 acre gardens surrounding the 18th century West Green House and then extend your walk into the adjacent West Green Common. Easy walking paths take you through a series of walled gardens including a topiary garden with water lillies and a Persian Water garden in a woodland glade. There is also a grand water staircase, a lake and an aviary with chickens and bantams. You can extend your walk by heading into West Green Common where you will find peaceful woodland trails.|
Just to the north you will find Bramshill Forest where you can continue your walking. Dogmersfield Park can also be found a few miles to the south.
|Wilverley Plain||3 miles (5 km)||This circular walk visits Wilverley Plain and the Wilverley Inclosure in the New Forest. The walk starts from the large Wilverley Plain car park, a couple of miles from Sway. The plain is an expansive grassy area which is great for picnics or playing games. You'll also see ponies grazing there most of the time. The walk then explores the adjacent Wilverley Inclosure which is great for a peaceful stroll. Here you will find miles of good footpaths taking you through the conifir and broadleaved woodland. Look out for deer and other wildlife in this pretty area.|
|Winnal Moors Nature Reserve||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy a short stroll around this pretty nature reserve in Winchester. In the reserve you will find wetland with chalk stream, reedbeds and grassland. There are nice boardwalks taking you through the reedbeds and a water vole trail where you can look out for these elusive creatures in the slow moving streams. The area has lots of interesting flora and fauna with fen meadow containing wetland wildflowers such as ragged robin and marsh valerian. Look out for otters and birds including redshank, lapwing and snipe.
If you'd like to extend your walking in Winchester then you could climb to St Catherine's Hill for fine views over the town below, the River Itchen and the surrounding countryside of the South Downs. The Itchen Way passes the site so you can pick this up to continue your walk along the river.
|Wokingham Way||55 miles (89 km)||This circular walk follows the Wokingham Borough unitary boundary visiting Reading, Bracknell and Henley on Thames. The walk takes you through Wokingham's most delightful areas including : Bracknell Forest, Tri Lakes Country Park, Wellington Country Park, the Iron Age hill fort at Crowthorne Wood and the deer park at Cudham Court. The walk also includes a long riverside section along the River Thames through Reading and Henley on Thames.|
|Yately Common Country Park||6 miles (10 km)||Enjoy nearly 500 acres of heathlands, woodlands and ponds on this circular cycle or walk in Yately, Hampshire. The route begins at the car park by Wyndham's Pool and takes you along a sequence of peaceful woodland trails to Yately Heath Wood and Minley Wood, before returning to the start point.|