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
Queen Elizabeth Country Park has pay and display parking, a café, information centre, shop and toilets (including disabled). There are many events and activities on offer at the Park call 023 9259 5040.
The George Inn at Finchdean offers refreshments including meals. Walkers on the Staunton Way will also pass the Red Lion at Chalton.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This section is 5½ miles long; if you were to combine this with sections 7 and 9 (from Petersfield to Rowlands Castle) you can return by train.
The section starts at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, on gravel tracks through the woodland. You will pass a clearing where a Roman Villa once stood before a short but steep descent onto the lane. This lane was once a main road from Portsmouth to Petersfield busy with stagecoaches. Its now a quiet lane which drops downhill and along the valley to Finchdean. A short diversion north of Finchdean will take you to a beautiful church dedicated to St Hubert, with its murals dating back to c1330. Walkers may wish to use the Staunton Way instead, running along the top of the ridge, offering some fantastic views. The green in Finchdean has an old village pound and a blacksmiths.
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.
The route is briefly on gravel tracks and then on quiet lanes with no pavement and limited verge; running slightly downhill. We recommended that walkers use the Staunton Way, which climbs onto the ridge on unsurfaced paths and is about half a mile shorter than the on-road route.
Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route.