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
The George Inn at Finchdean offers refreshments including meals. Rowlands Castle has several pubs, shops and a rail station.
Staunton Country Park offers several options for refreshments, toilets (including disabled), a shop and parking. It also has circular walking and cycling trails. Phone 023 9245 3405 for more information.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This section is 3½ miles long; if you were to combine this with the two sections before (from Petersfield to Rowlands Castle) you can return by train.
This section starts at Finchdean, which has a small green on which the village animal pound/jail once stood. There is still a blacksmiths here now.
The route continues down the lane into Rowlands Castle. In the past the village was reputed to have been overrun with highwaymen, smugglers, poachers and thieves. There were also regular horse and cattle fairs on the village green. The route then uses a bridleway (once a drove road) and then a short section of lane which was Roman road. This section finishes at Sir George Staunton Country Park and Gardens. The Park is well worth a visit to see its ornamental farm, Victorian glasshouse and extensive parkland with follies and a fishing lake.
This section is open to walkers (and dogs), cyclists and horse-riders and provides a fair route for pushchairs and mobility vehicles. All users will need to be aware of the traffic on the lanes which form the majority of this section. Walkers may wish to use the off-road Staunton Way instead.
The route is initially on lanes with no pavement and limited verge. It continues along a track followed by lane and finally on pavement and an off-road cycleway. We recommend that walkers use the Staunton Way for part of this section, which is mainly off-road.
Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route.