Take in the New Forest on foot with these great walks
Is there any better way to spend a sunny afternoon than a long walk in the countryside? We certainly don’t think so!
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to scenic routes to take in New Forest, but here are our top 10 walks to get you started.
- Wilverley Inclosure WalkEasily accessible, with parking and the beginning of the route just off the A35, the Wilverley Inclosure Walk is a popular path through New Forest National Park.The trail takes in plenty of the Ancient and Ornamental Woods, so keep your eyes peeled for the fallow deer that live in this part of the forest, and course the free grazing cattle and ponies too.If you’re planning a trip around the Wilverley Inclosure Walk, be sure factor in time to stop for tea and a cake at the Old Station Tea house along the way.
More information: http://www.new-forest-national-park.com/wilverley-inclosure-walk.html
- Keyhaven to Hurst CastleTaking you from the pretty hamlet of Keyhaven, on the coast of Hampshire, along to one of the area’s most iconic landmarks, Hurst Castle, this scenic route is a fantastic way to enjoy stunning views over the water front.Leading along a section of the Solvent Way the walk, though longer, leads across mainly flat terrain and so is graded easy. Once you reach the castle be sure to take the time to explore the historic building and take-in the view across to the Isle of Wight before heading home on the Hurst Castle Ferry. Visit Walking with the Taxi Driver’s website for full details.More information: http://www.walkingwiththetaxidriver.co.uk/the-walks/the-new-forest/keyhaven-nature-reserve-ferry-hurst-castle-round
- Seabirds and SaltpansThis coastal walk follows the Solent Way through the thriving Keyhaven Marshes nature reserve. The walk offers beautiful views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and the Needles cliffs, as well as some fantastic opportunities to spot wading birds.The mudflats and salt marsh, which surround the route, provide a rich feeding ground for the local birds. During the winter months bird spotters can expect to see an array of wading birds including widgeon, redshanks and curlews.
In the summer the area hosts flocks of terns and gulls.
This walk has been produced by the New Forest National Park Authority. Their routes website at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/routes is the area’s one-stop-shop for easy and accessible New Forest walks and cycles
Routes can be downloaded from: http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/keyhaven
- Milford Food TrailA coastal route along Hurst Spit to the historic Hurst Castle, this walk is a family friendly walk with lots of exciting things for the little ones to spot along the way. The stunning sea
front offers views along the New Forest’s coast, plus there are lighthouses, wildlife and plenty of bracing sea air!
Make it a real family day out and add a trip to Hurst Castle to the walk.
The English Heritage site was built by Henry VII as part of a chain of coastal fortresses – Charles I was even imprisoned here before his execution.
This walk has been produced by the New Forest National Park Authority. Their routes website at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/routes is the area’s one-stop-shop for easy and accessible New Forest walks and cycles –
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/milford
- Lyndhurst Circular Walk You’ll experience a fantastic mix of all the varied terrain New Forest has to offer on the Lyndhurst Circular Walk from Walking Britain. The area is famed for its natural beauty with a landscape that boasts heathland, bogs, mature woodlands, open tracts and recent plantings.New Forest is also still practices commoning, an old custom where livestock to graze freely, so you’re likely to see a host of wildlife on this walk. Keen bird watchers might even spot hawks and kestrels hunting in the area.
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.walkingbritain.co.uk/walks/walks/walk_a/1612
- Lyndhurst Hill and Swan Green – Pub WalkYou’ll see a little of all the breath-taking landscapes New Forest is famous for on this scenic walk across the forest tracks, moorland and heaths between Lyndhurst Hill and Swan Green.The walk, from Go 4 a Walk, has an easy grading and leads across generally flat terrain, though it is worth noting that at 2 hours in length this is a route most suited to active individuals – and perhaps a little far if you’re walking with children. However you can always break the journey up with a stop at one of the fantastic local pubs along the way!
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.go4awalk.com/walks/walk-search/walk.php?walk=ha109
- Beaulieu to Buckers HardA very enjoyable walk along with stretches along the coastal Solent Way, which offers stunning views across the coast, and a section of woodland track, the Beaulieu to Buckers Head walk, from Walkiees, is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the great outdoors.
At one point the route offers a choice of woodland or riverside track.
If the weather’s fair try taking the riverside on the way out and return via the woodland path to make a loop of the
trail. Once you reach Buckers Head there’s a small marina to explore as well as pubs and coffee shops where you could stop and have a refreshment.
The route can be downloaded from: http://www.walkiees.co.uk/walks/view/beaulieu-to-buckers-hard
- New Forest Reptile Discovery TrailThe little ones will love the New Forest Reptile Discovery Trail! The short walk, from Forestry, is all about teaching children about the outdoors. Along the way you can stop and watch the wildlife at the pond, learn about the different forest textures and see some of the forest’s oldest trees.More Information: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/EnglandHampshireNoForestNewForestNewForestReptileCentreReptileCentreTrail
- Lyndhurst Heath Forest Circular Pushchair WalkLyndhurst is commonly thought of as the unofficial ‘capital’ of new forest, and so the village makes an excellent base from which to explore the miles of trails in the area.This is a great walk for families with an easy grading and if you have an all-terrain buggy then this walk is a breeze for you and your little one. The route starts east of Lyndhurst village passing the cricket club before coming to a heathland trail. You’ll pass by Pondhead Farm Campsite before reaching a beautiful stretch of woodland – a great spot for a picnic if you’re packing one! Visit Baby Route’s website for all the details.
Routes can be downloaded from: http://babyroutes.co.uk/walking-routes/forest-hampshire-walks/lyndhurst-heath-forest-circular-walk/
- New Forest Country WalkThe longer New Forest Country Walk, from Walking with the Taxi Driver, gives you the opportunity to explore four of the local communities as well as taking in the scenery of the park.
The walk begins in Fordingbridge, a former market town on the River Avon, and passes through Woodgreen, Hale and Godshill; locations notable not just for their natural beauty, but as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
The route can be downloaded from: