A short history of Longparish
Longparish consists of many hamlets, including Forton, Middleton, Longparish Station, West Aston and East Aston. It lies along the west bank of the clear braided waters of the River Test. The valley is about half a mile wide, flanked by low ridges, with Harewood Forest to the north and west.
The village has many attractive thatched cottages and St Nicholas Church, which dates from the 13th century. An excellent network of footpaths, including part of the Test Way, links the settlements. The paths provides some memorable views of the old cottages, the landscape and the river.
Livestock graze the low lying fields of the valley. Arable crops such as barley, wheat and oilseed rape are grown on the rising ground. Small spinneys and areas planted provide cover for game birds and other wildlife.
Harewood Forest was a royal hunting forest in Saxon and Norman times. But now the forest is managed for forestry, hunting and wildlife. In World War II marshalling ammunition was stored in Harewood Forest and taken to Southampton by rail. The many concreted rides are still used for forestry operations.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This walk will take you up the ridge bordering the village to the south. In early morning or late evening you get lovely views of the mist-filled valley around Longparish and up to Hurstbourne Priors.
Park at the Cricketers or near the village shop for the long version of the walk, or drive to The Cleeves and leave your car there for a shorter version. Be careful to remove any valuables.
At the Cleeves head along the grassy footpath leading parallel to the river. Look for the narrow path leading off to the right just before you get to the overhanging trees.
After you cross the old railway embankment, follow the line of the ride past the jumps and solitary yew tree, and turn left as the path meets the trees. There is a sign pointing to the right, but this is for the riders.
Follow the path through the copse and take the first opportunity to cross through the hedge. Follow this path until meeting the path that crosses diagonally down to Firgo Farm.