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Ship's wheel and nameShipwrights Way

74 km / 46 miles

Hampshire, Portsmouth
Tracing the imagined journey of an oak grown in Alice Hope Forest to an historic dockyard such as Portsmouth, this is a new long distance path which 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 new route takes in a section of Roman Road, passes a Butterfly Conservation Area and enters the popular tourist attraction Alice Holt Forest. 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 already proved popular with local children. From the ancient woodland at Alice Holt Forest near Farnham, 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 7 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 Hants Shipwrights Way web-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 missing section of Shipwrights Way has now been created (Spring 2016) between Bordon and Liss using the some of the existing pavement and new cycle routes through Whitehill and Bordon, then a new path as far as the Greatham roundabout, onward on existing pavement and on-road cycle-way and then on Greatham Bridleway 11 over the A3 to Liss Forest, re-joining the existing Shipwrights Way on the Liss Riverside Railway Walk. An official opening is due in October 2016.

It will form 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 path link below for more details.

See also E-Routes: (E9)


Path Type
Other Paths
Waymark: Ship's wheel and name
Ship's wheel and name
Easy; Cycle Route; Horse Ride (Multi User); Coastal; Downland/Wolds; Forest/Woodland; Urban; Heritage; Industrial History; Military; Sculpture/Art
SU792430 - Bentley Station, Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire
View on StreetMap
SU629003 - Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire
View on StreetMap
Open Date


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E Routes
National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

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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:
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OS Landranger Active
OS Explorer
OS Explorer Active

Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

From Path
Along Path
B & B Accommodation
Copper Beeches Accomodation  (bookable online)
3 Km
34 Km
3 Km
34 Km
B & B Accommodation
Grandwood House  (bookable online)
4 Km
48 Km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 Km
71 Km

Click to show 2 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


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