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
Apart from at the start of this section, there are plenty of facilities along the route including public toilets, pubs/cafes, shops and rail stations. Parking is available throughout.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This final section of the Shipwrights Way is 5 miles long. You can return along the same route or if you were to do the two sections before this (from Havant-Portsmouth; around 12 miles including this section), you can also return by train.
This section starts at the ferry from Hayling Island. You will pass several boatyards coming into Eastney and then join the seafront, with views across to the Isle of Wight. You can clearly see the Spinnaker Tower, very near your destination, from here.
Along the seafront are many interesting places to visit including the Royal Marines Museum, the Rose Gardens at Lumps Fort, the sea-fed canoe lake and model village. At the southernmost tip of Portsmouth island, you can find Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle together with the D-Day Museum and the Blue Reef Aquarium.
At this point, turn inland across the maintained parkland of Southsea Common using a path known as the ‘Ladies Mile’. This path is reminiscent of promenading in Victorian times and is still lined with elm trees. Coming into Old Portsmouth you pass the cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows. It is well worth spending some time wandering around this area. Perhaps follow the walking route marked with chain-links set into the pavement.
You then enter Gunwharf Quays with a variety of shops, plenty of places to eat and the Spinnaker Tower with its far-reaching views.
Finally you reach the magnificent Historic Dockyard, home of the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and the International Boatbuilding Training Colege. Here you will find the sculpture of a Shipwright’s toolbag which marks the end of Shipwrights Way.
There is a plethora of other interesting things to do and see in the historic dockyard, both charged-for and free of charge, including harbour tours, museums and events.
This section is open to walkers (and dogs) and cyclists; it provides a good flat, year-round route for pushchairs and mobility vehicles. Please note that dogs are not allowed into the Historic Dockyard.
The route is flat, on tarmac or paved surfaces with no stiles, gates or steps. Walkers are offroad for the whole route. Cyclists can enjoy a series of mostly off-road cycle lanes and paths, but with some on-road cycling.
Along the seafront, walkers should use the prom and cyclists the two-way cycle lane. You then use a path to cross Southsea Common and a series of small roads with pavements and some cycle lanes through to Gunwharf Quays.
Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route.