East Hampshire is perfect walking, cycling and riding country, providing an ideal base for short break holidays. The market towns and villages are full of interest and the local food is of excellent quality.
East Hampshire is home to some of Britain's literary greats. Follow in the footsteps of these writers, including Jane Austen and Flora Thompson, on six self-guided walks, by downloading these leaflets.
- Jane Austen Literary Walk (Chawton and Farringdon) (pdf 389 kb)
- Gilbert White Literary Walk (Selborne) (pdf 1 mb)
- Edward Thomas Literary Walk (Steep and Ashford Hangers) (pdf 724 kb)
- Flora Thompson Literary Walk (near Liphook) (pdf 634 kb)
- William Cobbett Literary Walk (Hawkley) (pdf 714 kb)
- W H Hudson Literary Walk (Buriton) (pdf 725 kb)
We advise you to take an Ordnance Survey map with you on your walk in case a detour is necessary.
The Writers' Way
The Writers' Way is a 13 mile trail linking Alton to surrounding villages using a mixture of existing paths and rural lanes and is suitable for walkers, cyclists, and where possible, horse-riders. The route connects to a number of key attractions in the District linked to well-known local authors including Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton and The Gilbert White Museum in Selborne.
Further information on the route can be found on Hampshire County Council's website.
The Shipwrights Way is a new long-distance path linking villages and towns in East Hampshire. It runs from Bentley, through Alice Holt Forest and Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and ends in Portsmouth. It can be used by walkers and cyclists, and, where possible, horse-riders and people with disabilities. Sculptures telling the story of the trail can be found along the route.
For more information, including maps, visit Hampshire County Council's Shipwrights Way page.
There are a number of long distance footpaths and other walks across East Hampshire.
- The Staunton Way, the Hangers Way, and the South Downs Way meet just south of Petersfield.
- The St Swithun’s Way passes through Alton.
- The Jane Austen Trail between Alton and Chawton (pdf 360 kb)
- Pub walk from the Seven Stars in Stroud (pdf 531 kb)
- Pub walk from the Red Lion in Chalton
- Local walks include: the Liss Riverside Railway Walk, three circular walks in and around Alton, and the Deadwater Valley Walk in Whitehill Bordon.
An off road cycling map with nine different routes is available to buy from Ordnance Survey:
- Bordon - This is a demanding 16 mile trail that takes you from Alice Holt Forest along bridleways and roads, through Bordon to Oakhanger, passing Shortheath Common and on towards Binsted, before returning back to Alice Holt Forest.
- Cheesefoot Head - This 19 mile trail is characterised by the chalkland scenery of Winchester. This route uses the South Downs Way for much of its outward leg before an unforgettable return across Stephen’s Castle and Fawley Downs.
- East Meon - A challenging 10 miles following the downs of Hampshire. Stunning views from Butser Hill.
- Hayling Billy - This easy 5 mile trail uses the Hayling Billy Coastal Path which runs along the west coast of Hayling Island.
- Horndean - A moderate 14 mile ‘town and country’ trail which joins Denmead, Cowplain, Horndean, Catherington and Clanfield with the surrounding countryside.
- Meon Valley Trail - Running between Wickham and West Meon, this disused railway track provides 10 miles of safe and flat surface for all the family.
- Petersfield - One of the hardest trails! It explores 15 miles of the countryside to the north of Petersfield, including Stoner Hill, Little Switzerland and Hawkley village. The climbs are very challenging, but reveal some spectacular scenery.
- Queen Elizabeth - A pleasant 10 mile family ride over dramatic downlands and through the rich and beautiful scenery of this part of the South Downs. The ride is centred within the country park. The short cut trail is ideal for families with small children.
- Staunton Country Park - This easy 2.6 mile trail is predominantly off road through woodland and open country.