New Forest Discovery Walk, Lyndhurst
Meeting at the iconic Bolton’s Bench the walk will follow ‘The Ridge’ with panoramic views across classic New Forest heath and mire to distant woodland.
The route then enters the ancient woodland of Denny Inclosure before passing through a mix of woodland habitats, then returning via the working coppice woodland of Pondhead Inclosure. Focusing on the broad range of wildlife we might encounter, from the iconic Dartford Warbler to the enigmatic Fallow Deer or ancient Beech and Oak. We will also be treated to an array of wildflowers, fungi, butterflies and invertebrates. We will explore how the ancient tradition of commoning has and continues to form the landscape as we see it, taking the time to look at the important role that ponies and cattle have played in managing the landscape that we see around us. In addition, we will look at the mixed history of the Forest from the remains of the historic Parc Pale right up to the WW2 bombing range, demonstrating what an important role the Forest has played in Britain’s history.
The walk will cover about 8 km and will take a relaxed pace, giving plenty of time to drink in the surroundings and explore whatever wildlife should present itself. Stopping for a snack break mid-way, guests can bring their own packed lunch (we are happy to recommend outlets offering locally sourced food for a tasty lunch). The meeting point is accessible by public transport (No 6 Bluestar Bus, nearest stop Lyndhurst Fire Station) and within walking distance of Lyndhurst. We encourage guests to use sustainable travel options and recommend cyclists to leave their bike in Lyndhurst.