Dog walking

Dog walker in snow at wilverley

Great places to walk your dog

The New Forest has many miles of tracks and footpaths ideally suited to walking dogs.

Use our walking route finder for inspiration on where to go.

Many local people prefer to leave their car behind and walk direct from their home, saving fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions as a result. There are also over 150 car parks spread through the National Park and the surrounding areas.

Do take some dog waste bags with you and take the waste home; some of the most popular car parks have dog waste or litter bins in which you may leave bagged dog waste.

The best places for you and your dog will depend on the experience you want. Some prefer coastal or lakeside views; others prefer to follow a waymarked public footpath through farmland. Woodland is often a popular choice and is more sheltered from the weather, and in the middle of the National Park there are also miles of open heathland. Woodlands are also often without grazing New Forest Ponies (which may kick a boisterous dog), but do be aware that deer often hide in the woods and you should not allow your dog to chase them.

Please note that some Forestry Commission car parks are closed during the winter (to reduce wear and tear) and that some are closed in spring and early summer (where sensitive breeding birds are known to nest). Please check the link below for further details of Forestry Commission car parks and any current closures.

Please also look out for and obey signs about local or seasonal restrictions and requests. For example dogs are not allowed on certain beaches in the summer and some landowners have specific regulations.

It's also worth checking out the Forestry Commission's seasonal car park closures.

  1. Dog walking
  2. Great places to walk your dog (you are here)
  3. Keep your dog safe
  4. Help protect wildlife
  5. Please think of others
  6. New Forest Dog Walking Code
  7. Show you care


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