Hinshelwood began his career as apprentice with Nottingham Forest on leaving the FA School of Excellence, one of his duties being to walk Brian Clough's dog. He won England Youth honours and an FA Youth Cup winners' medal while at Forest, turning professional in December 1992. He found it impossible to break into the first team at the City Ground and left on a free transfer in February 1996, joining Portsmouth.
He made his league debut later that season, but after five games for Pompey fell out of the reckoning and joined Torquay United on loan on 2 March 1997, playing six games for Kevin Hodges' side. He was released by Portsmouth at the end of the following season, joining Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term contract in August 1998, but was released by the Seagulls in January 1999.
He joined Bognor Regis Town, moving onto to Havant & Waterlooville in October 1999 before being appointed player-manager of Selsey on 7 January 2000. He transformed the Selsey side, his success leading to offers from bigger sides. In 2003, Selsey won the John O'Hara League Cup, but he quit the club in July that year after his budget for the following season had been considerably reduced.
He subsequently returned to manage Selsey in April 2004.
In 2007, Hinshelwood was appointed as assistant manager of the Sussex County side, combining this post with his duties at Selsey.
His father Martin Hinshelwood played professionally for Crystal Palace, among others, and was Brighton's Director of Youth Football while he was at the club. His younger brother Scott was an apprentice with Portsmouth and played under him for Selsey, as did their cousin Marc, the son of Paul Hinshelwood, the former Crystal Palace and Millwall player.