Longparish Harewood hike

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.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


This countryside walk takes you through the Forest to the northern boundary of the parish and back by the Test Way.

Park in the car park by the village hall. Turn right in Forton to join the Broadney path up to the Middleway. Although the next section is along the road and you need to heed the traffic, it brings rewarding views.

Take care crossing the B3400. A gravelled road leads to Faulkner’s Down Farm where you join the Test Way which takes you back to the village round arable fields and back into the Forest.