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
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.
Havant has all the facilities you would expect of a town, including shops, museums, toilets and a rail station.
On the waterfront at Langstone there are public toilets and two good pubs. The Ship and The Royal Oak both serve food.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
This section is 3 miles long. You can return along the same route, or use other footpaths including that along the Hermitage Steam (walkers only) or roads. If you were to do the next two sections as well, to Portsmouth, you can also return by train to either Rowlands Castle or Havant.
The section starts at Staunton Country Park. Leaving the Country Park, the first mile of this section is next to the road, using a tarmac walk/cycle route. Then there is a short section on quiet roads with pavements, leading to a rail crossing on the edge of the town centre.
If you want to spend an hour or two in the town centre, you will find some fine Georgian buildings, a shopping mall, regular markets, an arts centre and a museum.
Returning to the rail crossing, you join the Hayling Billy. This is a disused railway which is now a well-used gravel track and feels surprisingly removed from the busy town. You remain off-road for the rest of this section and most of the following section (Hayling Island). This section finishes at Langstone. Langstone is a picturesque waterfront community with an old mill and a row of eighteenth century thatched cottages.
To the west of the road bridge you can see the remains of the rail bridge. To the east of the bridge there is a historic causeway called the ‘wadeway’. This causeway is now deep under water since the canal was cut through in the 1820s.
The whole section is open to walkers (and dogs) and cyclists and provides a good flat, year-round route for pushchairs and mobility vehicles. The Hayling Billy is also open to horse-riders.
The route is flat, on tarmac and well-surfaced gravel tracks with no stiles or gates. Take care on the roads and at road and rail crossings
Partnership working between East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, the Forestry Commission and the South Downs National Park Authority provided the route. We were pleased to work closely with Havant Borough Council in this area.