Newtown Arbuthnot Woods

A short history of Newtown

The Parish of Newtown lies in the very north of Hampshire and adjoins the border with Berkshire at the River Enborne.

The Bishop of Winchester created the medieval borough of Newtown in 1218. This forms part of his estate along with Highclere and Burghclere. A ditch, created in 1224 defines the bounds of the village. You may see the remaining traces of this mile long ditch on your walk.

You will pass the St. Mary and St. John the Baptist church on the Arbuthnot Woods walk. The church architect, Henry Woodyer, built this village church in 1865 of flint and features a square tower with a shingled broach spire. Notice the wild flower, ferns, and buttercup on the column capitals typical of his style.

Newtown Common is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation with a wide range of heathland and woodland plants and animals. The mixture of open heath, areas of pine and oak woodland and birch scrub here benefit a wide a variety of species.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


From the Swan Inn take Broad Lane towards Adbury. After about 3⁄4 mile pass the white cottages on your left and look out for a kissing gate on your right. From here the footpath leads across a field and into Arbuthnot Woods where it can become muddy after wet weather. Look out for a bridge over a small stream and then follow the path to the corner of a field.

Go up the right hand side of the field and past the houses at Jonathan Hill where the path branches off to the right to come out near a pair of thatched cottages. Cross the lane and the green in front of the cottages and go down a slope to join the road, going right to return to the Swan.

There is an alternative - you can cross road, taking care with traffic coming on your right, and follow the footpath sign until you join The Gully Walk. You can follow this walk or you can divert by going straight ahead at the end of the uphill path and so to the B4640.

Go right and return direct to the Swan by using the roadside footways. Or you could follow the route taken by the rabbits in Richard Adams book “Watership Down” by diverting through the churchyard gate on your right, about 150 yards before the Swan.