Avon Valley Path - Ringwood To Sopley

A short history of the Avon Valley Path

The Avon Valley Path is a 34-mile, long-distance walking route that takes you from Salisbury – one of the most beautiful cathedral cities in England – to Christchurch Priory and the sea. The path opened in 1992 and runs from Wiltshire due south through Hampshire to finish in Dorset. The Path is named after the river whose course it follows. Bear in mind that this route can become seriously waterlogged from December to May.

The Path has been divided into five sections, each providing a really good day out.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


Ringwood is a bustling town, with a market attracting large crowds every Wednesday.

Walk through the centre of the town past the church where the route heads west. Pass Monmouth House, where the Duke of Monmouth was held prisoner before being taken to the Tower of London to be beheaded.

Leave West Street by a bridge over the mill stream. The path passes Bickeley Common, and on to the disused railway line where it continues south over the water meadows to Kingston North Common. Walk past Wattons Ford before rejoining the road at Bisterne Church.

The path uses the main road verge for a short distance past Bisterne Manor to North End Farm. Where a track leaves the road, turn south through some woods. Walk straight across open fields to another road, where the path joins a stream leading to Sopley.

West of the path is Tyrrell’s Ford. In 1100, a loose arrow killed King Rufus while hunting in the New Forest. Sir Walter Tyrrell fired the deadly shot and then fled to Normandy, crossing the river at the ford now named after him.