Walking in the New Forest
30 Walks in the New Forest National Park
A guidebook to 30 walks of between 3 and 10 miles set throughout the New Forest National Park in Hampshire and Wiltshire. Routes explore ancient woodland, heather-clad heath and dramatic coastline, all within easy reach of Southampton, Bournemouth and Salisbury. Walks for all abilities, easily combined to create longer challenges.
SeasonsWalking in the New Forest is good at any time of the year. Spring brings new life into the forest, summers are mild and the ground is usually dry making walking easier, though this is peak tourist season. Autumn brings vivid displays of colour and good clear days, winter has the least number of visitors, though some of the routes can become rather wet underfoot
CentresThe main towns within the New Forest are Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst, with Lymington, Ringwood and Fordingbridge lying just outside it. The New Forest is easily accessible from larger centres, including Southampton, Bournemouth (both with airports), Salisbury and Winchester.
DifficultyWalks are on fairly flat terrain with no real climbs, and paths range from good gravel tracks to narrow paths over open heath. There are some stream crossings without bridges, although these should not pose any difficulties unless there has been heavy rainfall. Navigation is normally straightforward, though care is sometimes required on indistinct paths over open heath, or through woods.
Must SeeWalks cover all areas of the New Forest National Park, including forests, ancient and ornamental woods, open heaths, rivers and coastal stretches. They pass numerous places of interest, from historic churches to ancient sites. The area is also a great place for seeing wildlife, everything from New Forest ponies to all six of Britain's native reptiles.
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Steve Davison is a freelance writer and photographer who has written several walking guides. He has also written for a number of outdoor magazines and other publications, including local and national newspapers, specialising in hill walking and European travel, with interests in nature, geology and the countryside. A keen hill walker for many years and a Mountain Leader, Steve has also worked as a part-time outdoor education instructor. He is also a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View author profile