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
Exit the north-east corner of the car park and turn right on the High Street. Cross the cattle grid on your right and walk to the War Memorial situated below a clump of trees called Bolton’s Bench. Continue along the road, then fork right through the car park to the single bar gate, on to the ridge for 300m straight across the Beaulieu Road. Use the gate between Oak Acre and The Ravens and follow the track for 1km to reach a 5 bar gate.
Walk through the gate, then the gate directly opposite, and on up the hill until you reach the track at the top, then right through the gate and across the road, bearing left into the driveway and the cattle grid. After 30m fork left on a path, down the hill keeping the fence on your right, and turning with it. After 200m at a 5 bar gate on the right, turn left on a path across a clearing to the corner, then crossing a ditch and into the woods. After 180m turn right at the cross tracks, up the hill for to the gate and the road.
Turn left along the road, then left again at the pub to circle around Gritnam, with the houses on your right. Take the path left just before rejoining the original path, through the trees towards the road and a gate. Just before the gate turn left along the fence line, down to and under the underpass.
As you climb the slope, take the path on your right through the trees to the houses in the distance, and join the track at Corner Cottage; follow this left and on to Caister Cottage and turn right along the fence then wall for 100m. Take the right fork onto a straight path. At the top of the hill turn left and, keeping left, follow the path as it winds down to Emery Down.
Turn right on the road and then left onto Silver Street, through the single bar gate at the end onto a path then track to the road. At the road turn right, up and over the short hill to the Fenwick Hospital. Take the path through a gate just after to the right, to Pikes Hill Avenue then first right into the cul de sac, where you take the path in the bottom left hand corner. Turn right along the road and then cross the main Romsey Road, using the pedestrian refuge.
Turn right then left down Race Course View for 100m, through a 5 bar gate and on to the small gravel bridge, where you turn right onto the path which follows an earth embankment alongside the New Forest Golf Club until meeting the junction with the access road and then Southampton Road with its underpass. After the underpass, continue up the slope, gently bearing right to the top of the ridge; turn right at the cross paths and follow the track then road back to the war memorial.