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Ship's wheel and nameShipwrights Way

Hampshire, Portsmouth

74 km / 46 miles
Tracing the imagined journey of an oak grown in Alice Holt Forest to an historic dockyard such as Portsmouth, this path links villages and towns in east Hampshire to the coast through some beautiful countryside. It passes through Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and via a ferry from Hayling Island into Portsmouth, finishing at the Historic Dockyard, close by the Spinnaker Tower. The name reflects the use of oak grown at Alice Holt Forest for Tudor shipbuilding, linking this site with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home of the Mary Rose and HMS Victory.

Starting at Bentley Train Station the route takes in a section of Roman Road, passes a Butterfly Conservation Area and enters the popular tourist attraction Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham. Here Forestry Commission rangers have designed and built a large wooden children's play ship to tie in with the route's nautical history. The play ship, complete with rigging, wheel and even a plank to walk has proved popular with local children. From the ancient woodland at Alice Holt Forest it meanders south through East Hampshire, across the South Downs and on to the sea at Portsmouth Harbour, around 50 miles in all, and including seven rail stations.

The route is open to walkers and cyclists and, where possible, horse riders and people with disabilities.

There are route maps and descriptions on the Hantsweb Shipwrights Way link below for free download, with OS mapping and route directions and historic notes. The route is mainly off-road using rights of way and permissive paths, but there are significant road sections and some of the route is in urban areas or very near roads. The route forms part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network route 22 linking London to Portsmouth.

The southern part of the route is sometimes in common with the Nelson Way, a much longer route ending in East Anglia, remembering the famous British sea captain.

The shorter 14-mile Langstone Harbour Waterside Walk runs together around the western side of Hayling Island.

See also E-Routes: (E9)


Waymark: Ship's wheel and name
Path Type: Other Paths
Waymark: Ship's wheel and name
Attributes: Easy
Cycle Route
Horse Ride (Multi User)
Industrial History
Start: SU792430 - Bentley Station, Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire View on StreetMap
Finish: SU629003 - Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2013
Web Sites: Shipwrights Way: Updated to Include Bordon Liss link Hantsweb - Shipwrights Way Walk Magazine - Walking the Shipwrights Way Shipwrights Way [YouTube video]


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National Trails (England & Wales)
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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 186, 196, 197
OS Landranger Active 186, 196, 197
OS Explorer 3, 8, 29, 33, 144, 145
OS Explorer Active 3, 8, 29, 33, 144, 145

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GPX Route File
Shipwrights Way GPX Exchange Format Route File
Last Updated 25/08/2016 10:11:08 - New alignment to the west of Liss Forest
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(Members Only)
MemoryMap Route File
Shipwrights Way Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 25/08/2016 10:11:08 - New alignment to the west of Liss Forest
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(Members Only)
Tracklogs Route File
Shipwrights Way Tracklogs Route File
Last Updated 25/08/2016 10:11:10 - New alignment to the west of Liss Forest
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(Members Only)

Route Profile:

73.7 km (45.8 miles)
793 m (2,602 ft) ascent
187 m (614 ft)  maximum height

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