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Best Walks in the New Forest

Best Walks in the New Forest: Uncover Hampshire's Natural Beauty

, by FLOW Admin, 5 min reading time

The New Forest, located in Hampshire, England, is a vast area of ancient woodlands, heathlands, and grasslands, offering an array of scenic walks suitable for all abilities. With its unique landscapes, rich wildlife, and historical charm, the New Forest is a walker’s paradise. Here are some of the best walks in the New Forest to help you explore this enchanting national park.

1. Lyndhurst Heath and Burley Circular

New Forest horse

Route: Lyndhurst to Burley Circular
Distance: 9 miles (14.5 km)
Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours
Highlights: This walk starts in Lyndhurst, known as the capital of the New Forest, and takes you through open heathland, dense woods, and charming villages. You’ll encounter wild ponies and deer, and pass through the picturesque village of Burley, famous for its witchcraft shops and historic pubs.

2. Blackwater Arboretum Trail

Blackwater Arboretum, Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, Brockenhurst

Route: Blackwater Arboretum Circular
Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Duration: 1 hour
Highlights: Perfect for families and those seeking a shorter walk, the Blackwater Arboretum Trail offers a serene stroll through a collection of exotic and native trees. The trail is well-marked and includes information boards about the different species of trees, making it both educational and enjoyable.

3. Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary Walk

Deer in the New Forest National Park, Lyndhurst

Route: Bolderwood to Deer Sanctuary Circular
Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Duration: 1-2 hours
Highlights: Starting at the Bolderwood car park, this walk takes you through ancient woodland to a deer viewing platform. The sanctuary is home to a herd of fallow deer that are often seen grazing near the platform, offering excellent photo opportunities.

4. Brockenhurst to Beaulieu

Houses and trees in the village of Beaulieu

Route: Brockenhurst to Beaulieu
Distance: 8 miles (13 km)
Duration: Approximately 4 hours
Highlights: This linear walk connects the village of Brockenhurst with the historic village of Beaulieu. You’ll pass through lush woodlands, across heathland, and along the Beaulieu River. The walk ends at Beaulieu, where you can visit the famous Beaulieu Abbey and the National Motor Museum.

5. Fritham and Frogham Circular

New Forest National Park

Route: Fritham to Frogham Circular
Distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Highlights: This walk starts and ends in the village of Fritham, taking you through rolling heathlands and woodlands. Highlights include the Iron Age fort at Castle Hill and stunning views from Ashley Walk. Frogham offers a quaint stop with its charming pubs and village atmosphere.

6. Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

Tall Trees Trail, Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, New Forest

Route: Rhinefield to Blackwater
Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)
Duration: 2 hours
Highlights: This scenic walk takes you along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, known for its tall Douglas firs and redwoods. The route offers a peaceful and shaded walk through some of the New Forest’s most beautiful forestry plantations.

7. Keyhaven Marshes and Hurst Castle

Keyhaven, Milford on Sea, Lymington

Route: Keyhaven to Hurst Castle
Distance: 6 miles (9.6 km)
Duration: 3-4 hours
Highlights: This coastal walk offers a mix of sea views, salt marshes, and historical sites. Starting from Keyhaven, you’ll walk along the Solent Way to the 16th-century Hurst Castle, providing panoramic views of the Isle of Wight and the Needles.

Upgrade Your Training Routine

To maximise your preparation for the trails of the New Forest, incorporating a walking pad into your routine can be incredibly beneficial. A walking pad allows you to keep up with your training regardless of the weather, ensuring that you stay fit and ready for your outdoor adventures. It's also an excellent way to stay active while multitasking, whether you're watching TV or working from home. By integrating a walking pad into your daily exercise regimen, you can enhance your fitness levels and be well-prepared for your next outdoor exploration in the New Forest.


Are there guided tours available for these walking routes?

Yes, there are guided tours available for walking routes in the New Forest. Companies like New Forest Guided Walks and Wild New Forest offer guided walks led by experienced guides who provide insights into the local flora, fauna, and history. You can visit their websites to learn more about the different guided walks they offer and to book a tour.

Are there any accommodation options near these walking routes for those looking to stay overnight?

There are numerous accommodation options near the walking routes in the New Forest, ranging from cosy B&Bs and country inns to camping sites and luxury hotels. Villages like Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst, and Burley offer a variety of places to stay, with easy access to many of the trails. For a more immersive experience, consider staying in one of the New Forest's many campsites, which provide a great base for exploring the area. Websites like Visit New Forest provide comprehensive listings of accommodation options.

Can I bring my dog on these walks, and are there any specific rules for dog walkers in the New Forest?

Dogs are welcome on most of the walking routes in the New Forest, making it a great destination for dog owners. However, it's important to keep dogs on leads in certain areas, particularly where there are grazing animals like ponies, cattle, and deer. Always follow local guidelines and be considerate of wildlife and other walkers. Some trails may have dog-friendly amenities such as waste bins and water stations.

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