Monarch's Way

This page describes the Monarch's Way.

The Monarch’s Way is the approximate route that the future Charles II took for six weeks after the defeat at Worcester in 1651. He originally travelled north then doubled back and eventually made the Dorset coast where he hoped to get a boat to France, the path then winds its way to near Stonehenge, on across Hampshire and eventually to Shoreham in West Sussex - where he was finally successful in his exit.

Figsbury Ring: - north east of Salisbury - this is an Iron Age hill fort, with perhaps Neolithic origins.The site has commanding views all around and especially of the Bourne Valley, Old Sarum and Salisbury.

Description of the path

The entire route is 990km long and winds across southern England. This is not a route we plan to complete; however it has already revealed hidden treasures locally. Places that we have not visited after 30 years but lead you yo question - why didn’t you?

As might be expected with such a long meandering path the landscapes of Worcestershire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Sussex provide contrasts between coast and inland river valleys as well as clay vales and chalk downs.

It is quite common in southern England come across a Monarch’s Way sign when least expecting it.

The path also doubles up with several other long distance paths on several occasions and this is noted in the sections below.

The sections shown on this page are those sections that are easily accessible as short out and back walks from central Hampshire.

Monarch's Way Stats

1. Overall

Topic Info comment
Terminus Worcester Powick Bridge
Terminus Shoreham by Sea Harbour Wall [east]
Total Distance 990.0 km
Lowest point beaches 2m [amsl]
Highest point tbc xxxm [amsl]

2. Stages Completed

The stages below are stages completed in a west to east direction; the distance is taken from gps track data.

Stage Distance Terrain
Charmouth - West Bay[1] ~10.0 km hilly
West Bay - Bridport ~1.7 km flat
Great Wishford - Lower Woodford 8.5 km moderate
Lower Woodford - Figsbury Ring 8.2 km moderate
Figsbury Ring - Middle Winterslow 5.1 km hilly
Middle Winterslow - Bucklow Farm [2] 4.2 km moderate
Bucklow Farm - Broughton [2] 3.5 km moderate
Broughton - Houghton [2] 3.9 km moderate
Houghton - River Test [2] ~1.5 km flat
River Test - Horsebridge [3] ~1.0 km flat
Horsebridge - Mottisfont [3] 5.0 km flat
Mottisfont - Kimbridge [3] ~1.7 km flat
Kimbridge - Braishfield 6.9 km moderate
Braishfield - Ampfield 4.5 km moderate
Ampfield - Silkstead 5.3 km moderate
Silkstead - Twyford 4.4 km moderate
Twyford - Owslebury 4.2 km moderate
Owslebury - Upham 4.6 km moderate
Shoreham Harbour - West Hove [ 4] ~2.5 km flat


[1]: Coincident with the South West Coast Path; [2]: Coincident with the Clarendon Way; [3]: Coincident with the Test Way; [4]: Coincident with the South Coast Path.

Stages described above that are coincident with other paths will link the description pages of the numbered path

3. Percent and total distance walked to date

Completed % Who Distance Year Notes
9% completed KM, HM ~85.7 km 2013-ongoing both directions [most]

There is no intention of completing the entire Monarch's Way.

Points of Interest

West Bay, Bridport West Bay: - the location of the aborted attempt to get away to sea. The path returns north, to Bridport [Palmers Brewery] and turns east towards Salisbury.
Avon Valley at Middle Woodford Avon Valley: - at Middle Woodford, the path takes the road south to Lower Woodford and then crosses the Avon and climbs the hillside opposite and heads for the Bourne Valley.
Michelmersh Church Michelmersh Church: - sat on a hill above the Test Valley Michelmersh is famous for its bricks.
Airstrip on the Monarch's Way Airfield near Upham: - watch out for aircraft! - the path crosses a busy airfield here. At least it was on the day we crossed, with two different aircraft movements within ten minutes.
Altantic Guardian. Survey vessel Shoreham Harbour: - the point of departure of the 21 year old heir to the throne.

Getting there - access

Some stages have been walked as the Monarch’s Way and these have all be out and back type - based on taking a car to one of the villages on the route.

The remainder have been walked as part of another path and the transport method will be shown on the page of that stage.



Start: 26 May 2013
End: ongoing

References & Links:

Date Reference or link
20141206 Monarch's Way [Wikipedia]
20141206 Monarch's Way [LDP Association]
20141206 Monarch's Way in Sussex [West Sussex CoCo]
20141206 Monarch's Way i Sussex [Monarch's Way supporters]

Updated KM 08 December 2014