New Forest Walks
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the New Forest Walk Map
|Avon Valley Path||34 miles (55 km)||This wonderful path takes you from Salisbury to Christchurch on the South Coast.|
You start by the magnificent cathedral in Salisbury and head south towards Downton. The path then continues through Woodgreen and Godshill Wood before you arrive at the lovely Hampshire town of Fordingbridge.
The next section is particularly pleasant taking you along the River Avon to Ibsley where the path passes through the Blashford Lakes which has a variety of wildlife to enjoy.
The final section then follows the river into Christchurch where you finish at the priory.
For more information on this walk please click here
|Beaulieu River||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk along the Beaulieu River in this easy walk in the New Forest. The walk runs from the pretty village of Beaulieu to Buckler's Hard along the Solent Way. There are long woodland sections and a delightful end to the walk at the hamlet of Buckler's Hard. It's a special place with a number of pretty Georgian cottages running down to the river and marina. There's also a fascinating Maritime Museum where you can find out all about this 18th century shipbuilding village and the vessels built for Nelson's Navy. |
If you'd like to continue your waterside walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Hatchet Pond.
|Blackwater Arboretum Trail||2 miles (3 km)||Explore the New Forest's Blackwater Arboretum on two super waymarked walking trails. The Blackwater Tall Trees Trail runs along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive to Brock Hill on good footpaths. The trail is lined with majestic Douglas fir trees which are among the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. There are also two enormous redwoods visible from the path. |
The shorter Blackwater Sensory Trail encourages you to discover the many different smells, textures and sounds of the trees.
If you enjoy this trail you could head to the nearby Knightwood Oak where you will find the largest oak tree in the forest. Also nearby is the delightful Ober Water.
The Arboretum is located just a few miles south west of Lyndhurst.
|Blashford Lakes||5 miles (8.5 km)||This walk takes you around Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve and Ibsley Water on the edge of the New Forest. There are good surfaced footpaths to follow around several lakes with the Avon Valley Path also running through the site. You can stop and use won of the many bird hides to look out for woodpecker, nuthatch, grey heron, great crested grebe, coot and sand martin. Adder, grass snake and kingfisher can be seen in the summer months. There are good facilities with a visitor centre and car park. |
If you would like to extend your walk you could continue along the Avon Valley Path towards the pretty village of Ibsley or head east, on any number of footpaths, into the New Forest.
|Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary||1 miles (2 km)||This is a short walk in the New Forest taking you around the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. Here you will find a large herd of fallow deer with a viewing platform overlooking the meadow where the deer congregate. The deer are fed daily by the Forestry Commission keeper so it's highly likely you will see a large number of deer in the early afternoon. There is a car park right next to the sanctuary and a number of graded walks taking you through the surrounding woodland. There is also a large lawn area, picnic tables and an information cabin.|
The sanctuary is located about 4 miles west of Lyndhurst and about 6 miles east of Ringwood.
|Brockenhurst to Boldre via Roydon Woods||3 miles (5 km)||This route follows bridleways between Brockenhurst and the village of Boldre in the New Forest. It's suitable for both cyclists and walkers, following country lanes and traffic free forest paths through a really pretty section of the forest. The route also passes the delightful Roydon Woods which consists of ancient woodland, pastures, ponds, heaths and the Lymington River. It's worth exploring this area and looking out for the wide variety of wildlife that dwells here. This includes Tawny owls, nightjars, various butterflies and deer.|
|Cadman's Pool||4 miles (6 km)||This is a particularly lovely and fairly quiet area of the New Forest. The attractive little pool is located near Fritham and Stoney Cross. It attracts a variety of birdlife and is a great place for a picnic. |
This walk starts from the Cadman's Pool car park and takes you around the pond to Splash Bridge through the Holly Hatch Inclosure. You then follow Dockens Water back to the car park. It's a nice stretch with riverside willows and pretty bridges over the water.
The area is also great for wildlife spotting. Look out for deer, ponies and birds such as finches, firecrests, and woodlarks.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could head to Latchmore Brook and the Hasley Hill Inclosure which is only about a mile west of the pool.
|Castleman Trailway||16 miles (26 km)||Travel from Ringwood to Poole along the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line on this easy cycle and walking route. Route highlights include 3 lovely country parks - Avon Heath Country Park, Moors Valley Country Park and Upton Country Park.
For more information about this route please click here
|Dibden Inclosure||2 miles (2.5 km)||This area of the New Forest is a popular spot for walkers. You can start your walk from the car park just off the Beaulieu Road near the village of Dibden Purlieu. From here you can pick up some really nice trails around the enclosure. The area has some pretty streams and ponds with great views across the forest from the high points. Also look out for lovely heather in the late summer and new forest ponies which like to roam around Dibden Bottom.|
The area is a popular spot with dog walkers with free parking and an off lead area.
If you'd like to reach the area by bike then National Cycle Network Route 2 passes through Dibden Purlieu from Hythe.
It's easy to extend your walking across Beaulieu Heath by picking up the Solent Way long distance trail. It runs right past the Dibden car park and will take you towards Hythe in one direction and Beaulieu in the other. Here you can enjoy a lovely waterside walk along the Beaulieu River.
|Exbury Gardens||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore 200 acres of beautiful gardens on this easy walk in the New Forest National Park. The gardens have miles of well laid out footpaths perfect for an afternoon stroll. In the gardens you'll find a wonderful collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and plants. There are also tranquil lakes and ponds with pretty wooden bridges over the water. Other highlights include the Hydrangea Walk, the Rock Garden, Iris Garden, the Camellia Walk and a riverside path along the Beaulieu river. You can also catch the super Steam railway which will take you on a wonderful tour of the gardens. |
If you would like to extend your walking in the area you could pick up the Solent Way and enjoy a riverside walk along the Beaulieu River.
Click on the google street view link below and you can virtually explore the gardens.
|Furzey Gardens||1 miles (1 km)||Enjoy a peaceful stroll around these beautiful gardens in Minstead in the New Forest. There are well laid out footpaths taking you through the gardens with Azaleas, Rhododendrons and woodland glades. Other highlights include the delightful 16th Century Cottage which you can explore, and a tranquil lake with a variety of plants and flowers around its borders. There are also viewpoints with views towards the Isle of Wight and New Forest.|
|Hatchet Pond||2 miles (3 km)||This large pond in the New Forest makes for a nice, easy circular walk. The pond is located about a mile west from Beaulieu with a good sized parking area at the eastern end. There's a nice footpath to follow around the water where you will often see New Forest Ponies enjoying a drink! The pond is the largest body of water in the New Forest so it's about a 2 mile walk all the way around. It's a great spot for a picnic with facilities that include toilets and an ice cream van in the summer months. Wildlife lovers can look out for birds on the water such as Herons and Egrets. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area you can enjoy a waterside walk along the Beaulieu River.
|Hurst Castle Spit||4 miles (7 km)||Walk along this long shingle spit to one of Henry VIII's Device Forts on this lovely coastal walk in Hampshire. The walk starts at Keyhaven in between Lymington and Milford-on-Sea. You follow the shingle spit for about 1.5 miles out to the castle where there are splendid views of the nearby Isle of Wight and the south coast.|
If you would like to continue your walk you could follow the sea wall through Keyhaven Marshes towards Lymington.
|Keyhaven Marshes||6 miles (10 km)||This coastal cycle or walk takes you from Lymington to Keyhaven through the beautiful Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes. The path runs along a sea wall with the marshes on one side and the sea on the other. As such you are surrounded by varied and beautiful scenery for the length of the route. In the marsh area you will pass a number of pretty lagoons where you can look out for a wide variety of birdlife including Egret, Shelduck, Curlew and Heron. On the coastal side there are fabulous views of the Isle of Wight which is less than 2 miles away. Hurst Castle is also visible for most of the way - you could extend your walk by walking along the shingle spit to Henry VIII's Device Fort if you have time. |
The Solent Way and the Bournemouth Coast Path long distance walking routes also run through Keyhaven so you could also continue your exercise along these paths.
|Knightwood Oak||1 miles (1 km)||Visit the largest oak tree in the New Forest on this short, accessible walk. You start off at the Knightwood Oak car park and follow a nice gravel path to the impressive tree. It's over 500 years old, has a girth of 7.38 metres (24.2 ft) and is still growing!
The Knightwood Oak trail is located just a few miles west of Lyndhurst. You could extend your walk by trying the New Forest Reptile Centre Trail which is less than a mile away.
|Latchmore Brook and Hasley Hill Inclosure||3 miles (4.5 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk along the delighful Latchmore Brook, near Fordingbridge in the New Forest. The brook and surrounding countryside is an idyllic area, often surrounded by horses, ponies and deer. The walk continues into the Hasley Hill Inclosure where you will find a series of pretty woodland paths. |
The walk begins from the Ogdens car park near Fordingbridge on the eastern side of the New Forest.
If you'd like to extend your walk then the pretty Cadman's Pool is only about a mile to the east.
|Lepe Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Lepe is a coastal Country Park located near Southampton, in the New Forest National Park. There is a large beach and stunning cliffs where there are fabulous views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. The park has excellent facilities with Barbeque areas, picnic areas and a cafe.
The route below is designed for walkers but there is a Lepe cycle route running through the park and the surrounding area - please click here for details.
|Moors Valley Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, is situated in Ashley Heath, on the Dorset/Hampshire border. The park has a number of peaceful woodland paths so is a great place for a safe and easy cycle or walk. There are a number of well waymarked cycle and walking routes through the park, while there is also cycle hire available throughout the year.
The park contains the Moors River and two Lakes where you can see Grey Herons, Great Crested Grebes, Mallards and Mute Swans. There is also a steam railway and a 'Go Ape' adventure park.
Moors Valley is situated right next to Ringwood Forest so there is scope for continuing your ride for several miles through more peaceful woodland.
|New Forest Reptile Centre Trail||1 miles (2 km)||Follow the Reptile Discovery Trail on this easy walk in the New Forest. The trail takes place on well surfaced tree lined paths with a variety of wildlife to look out for. The centre has all of Britain's native lizards, snakes, frogs and toads. You can also view birds of prey on the nest cams and look out for dragonflies and tadpoles in the pond. It's a great educational walk for families or anyone looking for an easy, informative stroll.|
If you'd like to extend your walk you could visit the Knightwood Oak which is less than a mile from the trail.
|Ober Water||2 miles (3 km)||This nice, easy walk takes you around the pretty Ober Water in the New Forest. The circular walk starts from the Whitefield Moor car park and follows good tracks through the Aldridge Hill woodland and the Ober Valley. It's a really delightful spot with the tranquil stream surrounded by shady woodland glades. It's a great place for a picnic and a paddle on a summer's day! |
Ober Water is located just over a mile west of Brockenhurst.
If you'd like to extend your walk then the Blackwater Arboretum Trail is located just over a mile to the north.
|Solent Way||60 miles (96 km)||Follow the Solent Way along the beautiful south coast from Milford on Sea to Emsworth.|
The route starts off at Milford on Sea and heads along the coastal marshes to Lymington with splendid views of the Isle of Wight. This section runs through the beautiful Keyhaven Marshes where you can look out for a wide variety of birdlife. You then head inland through the New Forest towards Hythe passing the excellent Beaulieu Motor Museum, the pretty Dibden Inclosure and the Beaulieu River as you go. At Hythe you cross Southampton water on the Hythe Ferry taking you to Southampton where you follow the coast to Gosport. On this section you will pass the delightful Titchfield Haven nature reserve near Fareham. Here you will find 369 acres of River, fen, pools, reedbed and meadow with a variety of wildlife to look out for.
From Gosport a ferry ride takes you over the River Hamble to Portsmouth with its fascinating maritime history. The final stretch leads you around the attractive Langstone Harbour to the finish at Emsworth Key.
This is a fantastic walk with much to enjoy including beaches, promenades and marshes with an abundance of interesting wildlife. There is also a strong historical aspect with forts, museums and ships to explore particularly around Portsmouth.
|Standing Hat||2 miles (4 km)||This easy circular walk takes you through Forestry Commission managed Inclosures near Brockenhurst in the New Forest. You can park at the car park at Balmer Lawn and then follow good footpaths through the delightful woodland in the Pignal Enclosure. It's a lovely spot for an easy, peaceful stroll. Look out for the New Forest Ponies on your walk. |
If you'd like to try more easy walks near Brockenhurst then the Ober Water Walk and the Blackwater Arboretum Trail are both good options.
|Testwood Lakes||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy an easy, waterside walk around these two pretty lakes in Totton, on the eastern edge of the New Forest. There are well surfaced footpaths all the way around the lakes. The area is managed as a nature reserve so you will find a variety of interesting wild flowers and woodland around the lakes. You can also look out for various wildfowl and waders on the water using the two bird hides. There are good facilities with a Visitor centre, toilets and parking. |
If you'd like to extend your walk you could pick up the Test Way and follow the River Test to the nearby Lower Test Nature Reserve.
|Wilverley Plain||3 miles (5 km)||This circular walk visits Wilverley Plain and the Wilverley Inclosure in the New Forest. The walk starts from the large Wilverley Plain car park, a couple of miles from Sway. The plain is an expansive grassy area which is great for picnics or playing games. You'll also see ponies grazing there most of the time. The walk then explores the adjacent Wilverley Inclosure which is great for a peaceful stroll. Here you will find miles of good footpaths taking you through the conifir and broadleaved woodland. Look out for deer and other wildlife in this pretty area.|