St Mary Bourne, Portway walk

A brief history of St Mary Bourne

The wooded areas around St Mary Bourne, especially to the south side of the lake contain a wide variety of wildlife. The traditional water meadows on either side of the Bourne Rivulet form pastureland from the lake towards the viaduct. The Bourne Rivulet is a chalk tributary of the River Test. Upstream views from the Summerhaugh Bridge in the village square include buildings dating back to the 16th century.

St Mary Bourne parish includes the larger village of that name together with Stoke. It also includes the surrounding hamlets of Binley, Dunley, Egbury, Upper, Middle and Lower-Wyke (pronounced “Wick” or “Week”) and Wadwick. The parish is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the villages of St Mary Bourne and Stoke form a Conservation Area. In the past the Parish’s main income was from farming, with supporting industries and trades. Swampton Mill, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, was the earliest recorded business.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use


Pass through the kissing gate at the side of the village shop. Keeping the lake on your left, walk towards the bottom of the recreation ground. Turn left to pass through the second kissing gate onto the Test Way. Follow the path alongside the lake and pass through the third kissing gate.

At Test Way sign turn left into Derrydown Lane. Follow this lane until you reach the main road, turn left and walk through the village passing the Church. At the village square walk over the bridge and turn left into Bourne Meadow. Follow the road back to the recreation ground.