Breamore and the Miz Maze

Explore a classic Avon Valley estate and its ancient and mysterious maze.




5.5 miles (8.9kms)

387ft (118m)
2hrs 30min

About the walk

Breamore, pronounced ‘Bremmer’, is a truly ancient settlement. Stretching across the lush water meadows and up the western chalk slopes of the Avon Valley, it is also one of Hampshire’s most impressive villages with lots to recommend it in terms of both beauty and history. First-time visitors will be enthralled by the knots of 17th-century brick-built cottages and farmhouses, mostly thatched and timber-framed, which are dotted around a large boggy common and, close to Breamore’s centrepiece, the fine Elizabethan manor house.

Saxon survivor

The main village attractions are the manor, the Saxon church and the Countryside Museum. This walk climbs Breamore Down to the mystical Miz Maze and a prehistoric long barrow.

The church of St Mary’s, close to Breamore House, is a rare Saxon survivor, having been built about ad 980. Despite later alterations, including a Norman porch and a 14th-century chancel, it still preserves much of the Saxon fabric, notably the extensive use of flints and some Roman bricks in its construction, small double-splayed windows, an Anglo-Saxon inscription and a magnificent Saxon stone rood above the nave doorway. There’s much of interest here, so pick up a copy of the guide book before you explore.

The pre-Reformation church was closely linked with Breamore Priory (1130–1536). The site can be seen beside the Avon just north of Breamore Mill. Following the dissolution of the priory, a manor was built in 1583 by Queen Elizabeth’s treasurer, William Doddington. In warm red brick in the classic Elizabethan ‘E’ shape, it was purchased in the 18th century by Sir Edward Hulse, King George II’s physician, and has remained the Hulse family home ever since.

Walk directions

Start walk by Breamore Primary School, walk along the main road to the lane on your left, signed to Breamore House, opposite Hulse Hall. When the road bears left go right, signed for Breamore House, and continue up the lane to a T-junction. Take the driveway opposite and then bear right at the gate to Breamore House, to visit the church of St Mary’s.

After visiting the church, walk back through the churchyard and take the bridleway on your right, walking back to the gates of Breamore House (press button to open gates) and up the drive towards the house. Pass the house and keep ahead, leaving the stables on your right as you ascend the track into Breamore Wood. Keep to the main path as it curves right, then left (by a fingerpost) soon after leaving the trees at the crest of the hill. Bear left at a fork on the edge of rough grassland and keep ahead along a permissive path as far as a sign to the Miz Maze.

Turn left into the dense hilltop yew grove to discover the turf-cut Miz Maze. Returning to Point 3, leave the copse, turn left along the grassy swathe back down to the bridleway, and turn left. After 100yds (91m), turn left through a waymarked kissing gate and walk down the left-hand field edge. Keep ahead as the path joins a track through woodland and continue past a metal barn. As the main track bears left (private), continue ahead on grassy track, walking along the woodland edge and down the side of the next field to a stile.

Cross the stile and turn left onto the bridleway, which soon merges with a gravelled track. Pass a metal barrier and keep ahead past the turning to Down Farm on your left. Continue walking past Lower Farm on your right, until you reach a metalled lane.

Turn left and when the path divides turn right into a field, heading diagonally across a field. Crest the brow of the hill and continue towards a thatched cottage, then pass through a gate and turn right onto a metalled lane. Turn right then left at the bottom and follow the lane to a gravel path on the right, opposite Orchard Cottage.

Follow this path as it twists and turns to a small clearing with two houses. Turn left through a gate and over a plank bridge, then turn right across the field, passing in front of the thatched cricket pavilion on your right. Join the gravel track in front of Marsh Farm and at the junction bear left. Follow the track, passing behind the primary school, and back to find the car park exit on your right.

Additional information

Field paths, minor roads, woodland trails, 2 stiles

Woodland and farmland on the New Forest fringe

Under control at all times

OS Explorer OL22 New Forest

On street in Breamore

Opposite Countryside Museum (when Breamore House is open)

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About the area

Discover Hampshire

Hampshire’s varied landscape of hills and heaths, downlands and forests, valleys and coast is without rival in southern England. Combine these varied landscapes and terrains with secluded and idyllic villages, complete with thatched and timber-framed cottages and Norman churches, elegant Georgian market towns, historic ports and cities, restored canals and ancient abbeys, forts and castles, and you have a county that is paradise for lovers of the great outdoors.

If you’re a walker, stride out across the high, rolling, chalk downland of the north Hampshire ‘highlands’ with far-reaching views, walk through steep, beech-clad ‘hangers’ close to the Sussex border. Or perhaps take a gentler stroll and meander along peaceful paths through unspoilt river valleys, etched by the sparkling trout streams of the Test, Itchen, Avon and Meon. Alternatively, wander across lonely salt marshes and beside fascinating coastal inlets or, perhaps, explore the beautiful medieval forest and heathland of the New Forest, the jewel in Hampshire’s crown.

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