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
Petersfield has shops, cafes, pubs, toilets, a rail station, car parks and all the facilities you would expect of a town.
Buriton has two good pubs, serving good food and real ales. There is a little parking in the village, on road and next to the pond but please park considerately. The village also publishes its own walks leaflet, ‘Exploring Buriton’.
At Queen Elizabeth Country Park there is pay and display parking, a café, information centre, shop and toilets (including disabled). There are many activities and events on offer at the Park call 02392 595040.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This section is 5 miles long; you can return along the same route or make it circular using the tarmac cycleway shown near the A3. If you were to do the next two sections as well, to Rowlands Castle (around 11 miles in all), you can also return by train.
This section starts at Petersfield, a lively market town. Leaving behind the terraced cottages of Sheep Street, look for a path over the river to join estate roads and finally the ‘Causeway’. You soon turn off onto a quiet lane (still, be aware of farm traffic) which leads to the picturesque village of Buriton. Buriton was once on the main Portsmouth to London road and bustling with industry.
From Buriton pond, the lane turns into a path. This path climbs through mature woodland, once a chalk pit and now crisscrossed by trails which the villagers help to maintain. Emerging on a lane you then join the South Downs Way. This is a gravel track which climbs into Queen Elizabeth Country Park then descends through a wooded valley into the centre of the Park.
This section is open to walkers (and dogs) and cyclists and, other than the steepness of the path south of Buriton pond, this section provides a good route for pushchairs and mobility vehicles. The route is open to horse-riders but they may wish to avoid the town. The route is on roads and well-surfaced gravel tracks with no stiles or gates. Take care on the roads and on the last tarmac section which has occasional vehicles. The route is flat to Buriton, then climbs steeply for about 300m on a gravel track through a beautiful old chalk pit. You are climbing here up onto the South Downs, so this is the steepest part of the Shipwright's Way). After the car park at the top of the quarry the route ascends steeply for a further 150m before it levels out and climbs and descends more gently. Some may prefer to use the noisier alternative route near the A3 which is less steep and is on tarmac.
Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route.