Staunton Way - Rowlands Castle to Staunton Country Park

A short history of the Staunton Way

The Staunton Way is a 8.5 to 20.5 mile route from Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield on the South Downs to Staunton Country Park near Havant.

You can walk the whole route or one of the six sections, each offering a good day out. There are many interesting buildings and places to visit along the route. The route is well sign posted with the logo of a roe deer on a green arrow.

It's named after Sir George Staunton, an early 19th century Portsmouth MP. He created a country estate, which now forms the Staunton Country Park.


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The Way passes the entrance to Havant Thicket, once part of the ancient Forest of Bere. During World War II, the army used this wood as an assembly point before the invasion of Europe. The wood was bulging with troops, equipment, vehicles and tanks. There was even a tank-repair workshop on the village green. Here, King George VI addressed the troops before the D-Day landings, and the King’s Stone commemorates the occasion.

At the edge of the thicket you can see the private lodge that once stood at the north gate to the Staunton estate. Look for the date marked out in bricks in the lodge wall.

You can stop here at Staunton Country Park to discover rainforest, visit the animals at the ornamental farm, puzzle your way through a maze or have some refreshments.