Shipwrights Way - Bentley Rail Station to Alice Holt Forest

A short history of The Shipwrights Way

The Shipwrights Way is a long-distance route linking villages and towns in east Hampshire through some beautiful countryside. Starting at Alice Holt Forest near Farnham across the South Downs to Portsmouth. The route is open to walkers and cyclists and, where possible, horse-riders and people with disabilities.

Relevant information for this leg of the Way

Bentley Rail Station offers parking and toilets (not disabled). Parking is free for rail users at weekends and evenings.

At Alice Holt Forest centre there is pay and display parking. The centre also has a café, toilets (including disabled), an aerial adventure course and cycle hire (phone 01420 521297). Adapted cycles are available for those with mobility or vision difficulties but you will need to book in advance.

Activities and events on offer at the Forest or phone 0300 067 4622.



    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


This section is 2 miles long, linking Bentley Rail Station to the facilities at Alice Holt Forest. The initial tarmac path is thought to be part of a Roman Road from Winchester to London. Look back from the top of the hill over East Hampshire for a lovely view. You could even visit the Butterfly Conservation Trust’s “Bentley Station Meadow” or the arboretum.

The path then winds through mature woodland to the Forest Centre. Here you can see a wooden play ship built by Forestry Commission rangers to mark the Shipwrights Way!

This section is open to walkers, dogs, cyclists and horse-riders, and provides a good route for pushchairs and mobility vehicles. But please be aware that there is a steady climb from the station. The route is all on wide, well-surfaced tracks with no stiles. There are two gates at the level crossing. Take care at the rail level crossing and at the crossing of the busy A325.

Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route.