The Writers' Way

The Writers’ Way is a 17 mile trail linking Alton to surrounding villages through some beautiful countryside; it is open to walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. The route uses a mixture of paths and rural lanes with generally gentle gradients, at times on age-old sunken tracks and at others on paths over open farmland or through woodland.

Several famous authors were closely connected to the countryside here, hence the route’s name:

  • The novelist Jane Austen lived at Chawton and was very familiar with the surrounding countryside, taking regular walks with her family and friends. The Austen’s beautifully-decorated house, museum and cottage gardens are well worth a visit
  • Gilbert White lived in Selborne; his detailed wildlife observations and fascination with nature transformed the way we think about the natural world today. Today, there’s lots to see in this appealing village nestled among the woodland hangers
  • William Cobbett was born in nearby Farnham to a farming family; self-educated, he campaigned for better living conditions for rural families and as research he undertook long rides on horseback through the countryside, as described in his book ‘Rural Rides’

There are two good shortcuts giving a 12-mile clockwise or 8-mile anti-clockwise circuit for walkers, or for a day out with a difference walkers and cyclists can go as far as Four Marks and return to Alton using the Watercress Line steam railway.


    • Route
    • Temporarily closed
    • Restricted use