New Forest is named after one of the largest remaining portions of pastureland, heathland, and forest in Southern England. Located in Hampshire, England, New Forest has a deep and interesting history and culture that need to be explored with great enthusiasm. Beautiful scenery encompasses the area, along with adventurous trails and activities. If you are interested in outdoor activities such as horseback riding, adorable wild pony sightings, cycling, hiking, or even backpaddling, New Forest is a perfect destination. A charming and unique place with deep roots and nestled in nature will bring you back in time. Astonishing trails and castles will keep your days packed with new meaningful experiences. Here are the best walks in New Forest, UK, that you should try—which can also enhance your physical and mental well-being.
1. Radnor Trail
Travel back to the past and be part of nature untouched for centuries. This 3.1km (1.9mi) trail is children-friendly and perfect for picnics or lying back with a book in hand. Go back to as far as 1860, when sweet chestnut, oak, and beech grow proudly along the trail. Be sure to take note of the fenced boundary of the ancient ornamental woodland Marsh Ash Wood, covered with pollarded beech trees. Enjoy Bratley Water flowing south to join a tributary, and feel the water calm your heart with its splashing music. At the end of the trail, there is a surprise waiting for you, where you will end up on a deer-viewing platform, so prepare your cameras.
Address: Bolderwood car park
Website: Radnor Trail
2. Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard
A 6.5km (4mi) walk filled with important historical sites will enhance your day with healthy and educational activities. Begin in Beaulieu Village, which dates all the way back to the early 13th century, and you will see ancient sites such as the foundation of Cistercian Abbey, the ruins of which can still be seen within the grounds of the famous Motor Museum. Walk along the river and marvel at river vistas accompanied by fields and woodlands, then proceed to Buckler’s Hard. This famous 18th-century shipbuilding village will take your breath away with its rich and prominent history.
Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard
Address: Beaulieu village to Buckler’s Hard village
Website: Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard
3. Burley Food Trail
If you are a foodie, this is the perfect trail for you. On this approximately 5 to 8km (3 - 5mi) walk, you will get to try different and unique food along the way, including the traditional New Forest cider made the old-fashioned way. On the trail, there will be tearooms such as Station House Tea Rooms, where you can enjoy great food and tasty drinks. Note that this trail is not all about eating and drinking—there are many meaningful and exciting activities you can try as well, such as New Forest Deer Safari. At Burley School, you can participate in planting activities. Also, there are interesting shops along the path, including witchcraft stores. Do remember to try out the famous traditional sweets and handmade fudge—which will make you crave for more!
Burley Food Trail
Address: Burley village centre near post ofﬁce
Website: Burley Food Trail
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4. Sea Air Trail
Sea Air Trail is around 9km (5.6mi), surrounded by nature’s beauty. You will begin in Lymington’s marina and yacht club and end in Keyhaven. Along the way, you will get to enjoy the amazing Lymington seawater baths, followed by a portion of Solent Way and onward to Keyhaven’s Nature Reserve. There you will get the chance to behold an abundance of wildlife and a variety of birds and merge yourself with nature. Indeed this is an easy trail to soothe your weary soul.
Sea Air Trail
Address: Lymington marina and yacht club to Keyhaven
Website: Sea Air Trail
5. Lyndhurst on Heath
Lyndhurst, the unofficial capital of New Forest, includes a short 2.3km (1.4mi) and easy circuit trail that is kid-friendly. Lyndhurst on Heath provides surrounding trees and heath with flat grounds that are easy to tread on. Strollers can be pushed on this trail. A perfect morning walk before a delicious breakfast in Lyndhurst will energise your family for the day. Children will enjoy the activity with ease, and their excitement and joy upon spotting ponies along the way will be priceless.
Lyndhurst on Heath
Address: Lyndhurst village
Website: Lyndhurst on Heath
6. Tall Trees Trail
Enjoy a day of fresh air and a healthy stroll on Tall Trees Trail. This short 2.3 km (1.4mi) walk in nature will surely lift your spirits. The trail is around Forestry Commission’s Blackwater Arboretum, where you will get the opportunity to see two enormous and grand redwoods. The area is also home to some of the oldest Douglas fir trees in Britain, planted in the 1850s (with information boards), accompanied by a collection of trees from around the world.
Tall Trees Trail
Address: Blackwater car park
Website: Tall Trees Trail
7. Clarendon Way
Clarendon Way is a 40km (25mi) walk, but before that daunts you, do not worry as it is split into four different sections for your choosing. The trail is between the cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester. Along the way, you will find farmlands and historical artefacts that are pretty intriguing. If you are worried about getting lost, do not be afraid as there are signs to guide you and little villages for you to explore and rest in. If you need a quiet place, take note of the various churches you will pass. Feel free to visit them for a change in pace and scenery.
Address: Between Salisbury and Winchester
Website: Clarendon Way
8. Jane Austen Trail
Jane Austen was a famous and influential English novelist in the early 19th century. She wrote prominent and momentous books such as Pride and Prejudice and Love and Friendship. It would be an honour to walk along her trail—to try to understand the incredible writer’s mind. The walk is a mere 2.4km (1.5mi), starting from Alton’s High Street and following the frequent journey of Jane Austin, ending in Chawton. There will be signs about the trail along the way—hence, do not be afraid of getting lost. End your trail with a visit to Jane Austin’s favorite shops and eventually her humble home.
Jane Austen Trail
Address: High St to Chawton
Website: Jane Austen Trail
9. Wilverley Inclosure
You are in for a treat if you enjoy walks in a forest. Wilverley Inclosure, like the name suggests, is circular—filled with beautiful and elegant flowers that uplift your spirit. It is a 5.5km (3.4mi) walk. However, there are benches to rest your weary legs while you enjoy a light snack amid a dense forest filled with nature’s wonder. The trail is perfect for a run as it is easy to navigate, and there are wide, open areas in some locations where you will have the chance to see ponies or cattle. Do take note that the trail may be muddy at times.
Address: Near Brockenhurst
Website: Wilverley Inclosure
10. Solent Way
This walk is probably the most beautiful among the rest, perfect for a relaxing day or even a romantic walk with your partner. Solent Way is a 100km (62mi) route. However, it is split into eight sections for your choosing. Solent Way stretches from Milford on Sea to Emsworth, which is at Chichester Harbour. This means your walk will be accompanied by awesome views of the sea, and you will get to see magnificent waves, especially when it is cold. The trail will take you through various areas of interest such as New Forest, Portsmouth, and Southampton.
Address: Various locations in Hampshire
Website: Solent Way
Have a full mind-and-body relaxation while exploring New Forest
New Forest is a great destination if you love walks in the midst of mother nature, enjoying the fresh air as the smell of grass takes root in your memory. The historic significance of New Forest adds something extra to the walks as well. Hence, this district in the UK must be on the top of your list if you’re an avid walker, nature lover, or history enthusiast.
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