Walking in the New Forest

The New Forest is the smallest National Park in England but still covers 220 square miles of woodland, heathland and coastline between Southampton and Bournemouth. Like many National Parks this stunning space is close to large populations, in this case Portsmouth and Southampton. And London is only 90 minutes away by train.

Walking, cycling and water sports are popular activities in the area – as is spotting the abundant wildlife and looking for the ponies which roam freely on the forest – and in the villages. The park can also be viewed by hopping on and off the New Forest Tour, a double decker bus which provides great views from the top deck – and connects with the train at Brockenhurst.

There are many beautiful towns and villages to explore including Burley with interesting shops, cafes and pubs and Lymington with a harbour, open air pool and ferry to the Isle of Wight. To find things to do look out for Local Information Points with leaflets and maps, but wherever you explore you are asked to follow the New Forest code.

Walking in the New Forest is brilliant and there is so much to choose from. The park’s website provides lots of information including family friendly and accessible walks as well as a longer distance walk. Walk information can be found in other places too, such as these displayed on a wall in Lymington Harbour.

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Wilverley Inclosure – accessible route

On a recent brief visit to the New Forest I managed to grab one quick walk with the kids – a lovely stroll through Wilverley Inclosure. This is a straightforward walk on good paths through a beautiful Forestry England woodland.

A Walking Pace route card has been produced for this route using the same format as the One Mile in Midhurst – South Pond route providing details such as toilets, car parks, gates, steep gradients, turn by turn directions and locations of benches and the maximum distance between them.

Click here to see the full route information and route card.

Wilverley Inclosure map

This is a great walk for all the family. The views are mostly of trees, but the woods are very attractive with lots to see. The tracks are wide, well surfaced and obvious. Once away from the car parks there are no roads to cross or walk alongside – though bikes may also use these tracks. There is a signpost marking the walk at the entrance to the woods and the entire route can be navigated by following the yellow topped marker posts.

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