Hangers Way

St Mary the Virgin, Selborne © Michael Ford
Noar Hill © Keith Rose
The Hangers Way, near Hawkley © Hugh Chevallier

The Hangers Way is a 21 mile long-distance footpath through Hampshire from the railway station in Alton to Queen Elizabeth Country Park south of Petersfield. The trail passes through East Worldham, Selborne, Hawkley, Steep, Petersfield and Buriton along a series of steep-sided wooded hills, known as 'The Hangers'.

The Hangers Way is a pleasure to walk all year round although it is perhaps at its best during the Autumn months due to the fantastic colours of the woodland. In winter the path can become boggy in places particularly along the Oakhanger Stream approaching Selbourne and around Noar Hill. Along the route there are many historically interesting sites and places to visit dating from the prehistoric period to the recent past.

Under the deeply shaded canopies, a specialised group of flowers and wildlife thrives: fungi, insects and rare molluscs such as the cheese snail. But in the sunny clearings and glades, very different kinds of wild flowers can be found. Early purple orchid, nettle-leaved bellflower, bird's nest orchid, wild garlic and stinking hellebore are just a few. Also in these sunny spots, look for some of the many rare insects and butterflies such as the grizzled skipper, Duke of Burgundy fritillary or white-letter hairstreak.

This trail always has a surprise around the corner, whether it is the fantastic autumn colours of the woodland, the sudden appearance of a stunning view framed by the trees, or catching sight of a passing fox or grazing roe deer. It is sheltered from wind and rain in the winter, and cool and shady in the summer. Sheep idle away their time in the sloping meadows, and most villages come complete with mellow pubs and ancient churches.

To read and print the trail leaflet that Hampshire County Council has produced please click here.

Connecting Trails
At Queen Elizabeth Country Park the Hangers Way meets the Staunton Way and South Downs Way. Close by you can join the Sussex Border Path. At Alton you can connect with the St. Swithun's Way, which is the first part of the longer Pilgrims' Way.

Hampshire Cottages

Beautiful Hampshire holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county

Readers' Comments

  • Mon 10 Sep 2018, 09:06
    Rob Stanley

    Hi Fiona, it depends where precisely they were riding. Leaving Selborne in the direction of Alton, the Hangers Way follows the left side of Oakhanger Stream. On the right side there is a "Byeway open to all traffic", this is marked as a red "-+-+-+-+" line on the O/S Landranger map (shown above). Just south of Wick Hill Farm the two paths meet and continue as one for about 1km until the road, so for that stretch walkers will be sharing the path with cyclists, horses, motorbikes, buses and anything else. Hope that helps.

  • Sun 9 Sep 2018, 16:15
    Fiona Harding

    I was passed on the Candover section of the Hangers Way by 6 motorbikes today. I challenged them and they said it was legal for them to be there. Is this correct?

  • Wed 15 Jun 2016, 07:54
    Rob Stanley

    This is a walkers path, so no horses or bikes.

  • Tue 14 Jun 2016, 17:33
    Mrs Sue Loud

    Is this trail suitable for horseriding?