Walk any section of the 34-mile long Avon Valley Path from Christchurch to
Salisbury and you will be walking in the steps of the smugglers of old.
one of the well-worn tracks across the New Forest and you will be traversing a
route created by smugglers’ pack ponies.
Cross the Hamble River on the little ferry from Warsash and the ghosts of
contraband carriers will trudge with you up Hamble’s winding cobbled street.
Wander through the churchyard at Boldre and wonder at the solid table-top
tombs which provided additional service as giant tea caddy storage safes for the
gentlemen of the night.
Above all, seek out a smugglers’ pub.These wonderful old buildings with their
low-beamed ceilings, flagstone floors, inglenook fireplaces and secret hiding
places are where you should go to get a real sense of the desperate days of the
In all the southern counties of England the nerve centre of smuggling
operations was predominantly the local pub. It was here that plots were hatched,
arrangements for transportation agreed and runs commissioned. The smugglers’
pub served as a meeting place, recruitment centre, secret storage facility,
distribution depot and valued customer.
This lively guide will lead you to a significant number of authentic pubs
patronised over two centuries ago by Hampshire smugglers, where you can
experience directly a sometimes unexpected slice of the county’s colourful history.
Retired graphic designer Terry Townsend lives in Dorset with his wife Carol and their cat
Smudge. His other books for Halsgrove include: Once Upon a Pint – A Readers Guide to the
Literary Pubs and Inns of Dorset and Somerset, Kent Smugglers’ Pubs, Dorset Smugglers’ Pubs,
Jane Austen’s Hampshire, Jane Austen and Bath and Jane Austen’s Kent.
Imprint: PiXZ. ISBN 978 0 85710 102 0, hardback, 210x148mm, 144 pages. Published May 2016.