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To download a detailed description of The Hampshire Way route for free, open the page 'About the Author' on the left of this page and click on the Hampshire Way pdf file link.
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About the Hampshire Way

The Hampshire Way is a walkers route designed to take in the best of the scenery Hampshire has to offer; through the beautiful New Forest National Park, following the valley of the river Test to north Hampshire, across the rolling North Hants Downs, then south through the valley of the River Meon and around the historic coastline of the Solent and Southampton Water.
 

Where possible I kept the route on footpaths and as Hampshire is a heavily populated county this presented challenges. So I looked at existing long distance paths and incorporated these where I could into the route, choosing the Solent Way, the Test Way and the Wayfarers Walk, all way-marked long distance paths. You may be surprised to find, as I was, that you can travel around the whole of Hampshire on footpaths and an occasional minor road. Much of the route being on old drove roads; ancient rights of way used by farmers and shepherds moving animals to market. These are the routes never incorporated into the modern road network and Hampshire is full of them.

 

The total length is approximately 181 miles (290 Kilometers) and I have split it into 15 day walks varying from 9 miles to just over 14 miles, with a final section from Hamble to Southampton of 7 miles to allow time to explore the city.

 

If this walk inspires you to try a bit more than the Sunday afternoon ‘pub walk’ then be assured the rewards you’ll gain both in physical and mental health will amply repay the efforts made.

 

You don’t need to be a super fit athlete. Hampshire is a county of rolling farmland with no climbs beyond the average walker. The only equipment you’ll need will be that taken for a day’s hike; good boots, a weatherproof jacket and trousers, map and compass and a small day sack. I would advise purchasing the OS Explorer maps 144, 132, 119, 131 and the New Forest Tourist map, which cover almost the whole route. Please check any public transport and other information given on-line where much more will be found.

 

The walk is worthwhile at any time of year, but May and June are the months to enjoy it at its best. This is when there are abundant wild flowers in the hedge rows and lambs gamboling in the fields. When I have done the walk at this time of year I have been accompanied by the songs of Skylarks all the way from Inkpen nearly down to Portsmouth.

 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the route description and information but if you do find any inaccuracies or changes on the ground please send me an email at walkhampshire@gmail.com.