A few weeks ago, one of the other OS GetOutside Champions, Nigel Vardy, told me he would be in the New Forest over the bank holiday weekend, and so we decided to plan a walk!
By some miracle, we were blessed with a sunny bank holiday weekend (I know, I’m just as shocked) and I even managed to catch the sun. I’ve not walked around the Brockenhurst area much, so it was a pleasant change of scenery, an excuse for an adventure and it also seemed fitting, as it was where the first meeting of all the OS Champions for 2017 took place!
This loop walk is around 8 miles long and one of the most beautiful circuits I’ve walked in the New Forest!
Our walk from the Hollands Wood campsite, where I parked, added an extra mile on so it ended up being around 9 miles instead of the 8 planned! In hindsight, as Nigel said, doing the route the other way, coming back straight past the pub would have made more sense, but Kate logic did not work that day!
If you follow this route it would usually start at the car park in Brockenhurst.
You head left and out towards the train station, across the railway lines and then veer off to the road on the left, towards the signs for St Nicholas Parish Church (the oldest in the New Forest. A church has been here since 1086).
Follow the road round to the right until you come across a bridleway on the left, heading along a hedge and through Brockenhurst Park. You follow this path down through Roydon Woods and continue to follow the bridleway!
The woods were full of bluebells at this time of the year, and it was so beautiful!
You head down past The Lodge and continue following the bridleway to the left until you reach the bridge over the Lymington River.
Continue straight and follow the footpath signposted ‘Dilton’
Follow the path until you reach Dilton Farm, then turn left before the farm buildings to follow the footpath along a hedge lined track. Eventually, the path hits tarmac, turn right along the edge of the heath at Round Hill and follow the tarmac round to Round Hill Campsite, past the pond and down the main exit road from the site.
Once you reach the road junction, head over the road and follow the (very obvious) gravel driveway signposted ‘New Copse Cottage’.
Continue along the drive to New Copse Cottage and pass through the gate, up the slope and over the railway bridge. After about 140m you reach a junction, head left and continue on the gravel track through the forest (but watch out for cyclists!) until you reach Standing Hat Car Park.
Turn left and follow the path downhill across Balmer Lawn and then down in to Brockenhurst Town Centre once more.
We made the most of the wonderful sunshine and found a pub garden, where we chatted all things mountains, walking, kit and Elizabeth Hawley!
Nigel is fortunate to have met her, and I’m very jealous!!
After a chat, we headed back to the campsite and went our separate ways as I had to rush off!
Of course, we managed to find time for the obligatory GetOutside selfie first 😉
This was a walk I will definitely do again with friends and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a lovely route in the New Forest.
Thanks Nigel for being great company!
8 miles (dependent on where you park of course)
Click here to view the route on OS Maps!