Old Winchester Hill in the South Downs

Walking and Hiking in Hampshire

Walking & Hiking in Hampshire

Share this with


Walking in Hampshire is one of the best ways to see the county. Hampshire is home to 3,000 miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways across two National Parks, beautiful countryside, a coastline offering views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and through villages, towns and cities. 

Open down lands, tranquil valleys, charming villages, lowland heaths, ancient woodlands and the coastline can all be explored by foot. 

The county offers challenging hikes, short distance walks or a Sunday pub lunch strolls with your four-legged friend. So, don your walking shoes and get out and explore what Hampshire has to offer by foot.

Walking in the New Forest National Park 
New Forest Walks

The New Forest National Park offers more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths. You’ll find long distance routes, short walks and easy to follow signed routes adventuring through ancient woodlands, through quaint pretty villages and across open moorland. 

Whilst walking in the New Forest you will come across hundreds of free-roaming cattle, pigs, deer, donkeys and the famous New Forest ponies. The forest is home to many country pubs and cafes perfect to stop and rest your legs whilst enjoying a bite to eat. 

The New Forest can be easily accessed with excellent transport connections, train lines and plenty of car parking. For those walking a longer distance you’ll find plenty of accommodation along the way which welcome walkers. 

Each year the New Forest National Park authorities hold a walking festival offering hundreds of free guided walks across the National Park. This is a great way to get to know the forest with a local expert. 

Top three New Forest Walks:

See our guide to all walks in the New Forest National Park

Walking in the South Downs National Park

South Downs Walks

The South Downs National Park is one of England’s newest National Parks and offers peaceful countryside with rolling hills and panoramic views. It has 3,300km of footpaths, bridleways and byways waiting to be explored. 

You’ll find walks to the top of rolling hills, through valleys and into pretty villages. Railway lines which have been converted into trails and walks which include a pub stop. 

The South Downs most famous walk is the 100 mile South Downs Way. Stretching from the Historic city of Winchester in Hampshire right across to Eastbourne in East Sussex. This challenging route is ideal for those looking to take of an adventure and can be completed in one go or in sections.  

In the north of the South Downs National Park you’ll find several walks connected to famous writers including Jane Austen, Edward Thomas and Flora Thompson.

Butser Hill is one of the highest point in Hampshire and offers views across the county reaching as far and Portsmouth and even the Isle of Wight. The summit can be reached from several routes including the South Downs Way and Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Top 3 South Downs walks:

See our guide to all walks in the South Downs National Park

Long Distance Walks in Hampshire

If you are looking for something a little more challenging, then one of Hampshire’s long-distance routes could be for you. 

Hampshire has a network of 13 long distance routes for the more serious walker, including:

Guided walks in Hampshire

A variety of guided walks have been organised around the county by several organisations. If you are interested in walks around towns and the cities of Portsmouth, Winchester or Southampton then this is a great way to discover even more about the area with a local guide on hand to bring the stories and history to life with their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Walks near the sea in Hampshire

Walks along the Coast in Hampshire

Hampshire has 230 miles of coastline which runs right along the Solent and on a clear day looks out over the Isle of Wight. Along the coast you’ll find the Solent Way, this way marked trail contours along Hampshire’s coast and takes in the harbours, nature reserves and busy ports along the way. 

The county has several beaches which offer fantastic walks at any time of the year. Discover the beaches of Calshot, Southsea, Lepe Country Park, Hurst Spit and Milford-on-sea. See all beaches in Hampshire.

Famous People and Literary Walks in Hampshire

Hampshire’s landscape has been inspiring artist and writers for many years and is featured in several famous books, poems and artworks. Several walks have been especially created for you to enjoy famous scenes and to follow in the footsteps of the famous writers. 

You can follow Jane Austen's footsteps through a circular walk from Chawton to Farringdon and there is also the Jane Austen Trail, a walking route from Alton High Street to Chawton.

The Edward Thomas circular walk has stunning views of the South Downs and hangers. This 4-mile circular walk explores the area round Steep, near Petersfield, which was an inspiration for the poet.

Follow in the footsteps of Flora Thompson, Gilbert White and William Cobett, amongst other literary greats, in East Hampshire.

Top 3 famous people walks

City Walks in Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth

Hampshire is home to the three vibrant cities; Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester, all of which have some extremely insightful and historical walks.

A guided walking tour is a great way to explore Southampton and to find out about it's fascinating history with an expert. See Southampton Tour Guides and the Southampton Tourist guides both offer regular tours to visitors.

A guided tour with the Winchester Tourist Guides is an excellent way to discover the historic city of Winchester. Tours leave the Tourist Information Centre where tickets may be purchased on the day.

Family Walks in Hampshire

Family Walks in Hampshire

Walking is a great way to explore Hampshire and whether you want a National Park family adventure, a short walk to the beach or an amble along a riverside, you will find great family walks across the county.

Find out more about family friendly walks in Hampshire

Pilgrimage Routes in Hampshire

The shrine of St Swithun in Winchester Cathedral and access to the continent via the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth meant that many medieval pilgrims passed through Hampshire.

It’s possible to re-trace their footsteps via three modern day pilgrim walking trails:

These routes would have been the jumping off point for pilgrims in the Middle Ages who wanted to continue their journey to Spain and Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem.  Now they are a fantastic way to discover some lovely off-the-beaten track villages, churches, hostelries and more.

Festive, Christmas Day and Boxing Day Walks in Hampshire

Don the wellies, wrap up warm and explore Hampshire by foot over the Christmas period. From countryside walks in our two National Parks to a seaside stroll. Blow away the Christmas cobwebs, get outdoors and spend time with your friends and family making memories. 

Top 5 Festive walks:

Number of results:

Number of results: 80

, currently showing 1 to 12.

  1. Moors Valley Country Park and Forest



    1 Jan 2024to31 Dec 2024
  2. Curious About Southampton



    1 Jan 2024to31 Dec 2024
  3. Southampton Treasure Hunt The Mystery of Titanic’s Missing Million



    1 Jan 2024to31 Dec 2024Open 09:00 - 17:00