This walk starts at the village centre before setting out on a circular walk around the edge of the village
There is a gentle uphill climb along Castle Hill Lane where there are good views across the Avon Valley; the perfect setting for stories about dragons and smugglers. The route passes an ancient hill fort on Castle Hill before descending back to the village and along the edge of the Open Forest. The walks returns to the village centre past pretty Forest properties and the Queen’s Head pub.
During the 1950s the village was home to Sybil Leek, a ‘white witch’ who would walk around Burley village in her long black cloak with her pet jackdaw, called Mr Hotfoot Jackson, sitting on her shoulder. There are now several gift shops in the village that have a magic and folklore theme.
- Start/finish: Burley Village Bus stop Grid ref. SU 221 031 Postcode BH24 4AB
- Ordnance Survey map: Explorer OL 22 New Forest
- Getting there: New Forest Tour red route (summer only) Hants and Wilts route 175 bus service – Ringwood to Christchurch.
- Distance: 4.2 miles (6.8 km)
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Local facilities: Burley village parking and public toilets. Newsagent and post office, village stores, New Forest Cider, plenty of pubs, restaurants / tea rooms and cafés, antique and gift shops, cycle hire shop.
- Accessibility: Mostly easy walking on level ground with some gentle gradients. One long but gentle uphill section. Three road crossings and a footbridge.
1. Heading out of the village
Start at The Burley Inn (opposite the village square bus stop) and turn right onto Pound Lane, crossing the road at the Village Hall. Pass New Forest Cider and continue ahead until the pavement ends at a bus stop sign and a bench under a tree. Cross the road carefully to the cycle post (153) opposite and uphill along Castle Hill Lane and cycle track.
2. Burley Beacon
Peep over the hedge on your left into the large grassy meadow of Burley Beacon.
3. Castle Hill
Follow the track uphill. Just past Black Bush, a grassy meadow on your left, the track dips steeply downhill and then back uphill to Castle Hill. On a clear day you can enjoy views south west across Cranes Moor to the Avon valley and Purbeck hills beyond. Stop here to explore the ridge and the earthworks of Castle Hill fort.
4. Left onto Forest Road
Follow the track downhill and take the second turning on your right past houses to Burley Street Garage along Randells Lane. Carefully cross the road at this point. Turn right alongside the road to cross over Coach Hill Lane and then turn left onto Forest Road.
5. Skirting the Open Forest
Continue along the road past many large properties and over a footbridge at a ford crossing. Now follow the road with the Open Forest to your left.
6. Bridge over Mill Lawn Brook
See if you can spot a low earthen mound about 100 metres from the road to your left. This is a tumulus – a Bronze Age earthen burial chamber. Their presence indicates that people were living in the Forest around 3,500 years ago.
When the road ends, turn right at the road junction onto Chapel Lane and cross a bridge with a red post box over Mill Lawn Brook. Continue straight ahead and over a second bridge and past the site of Burley’s first chapel built in 1789, which is now in private ownership. Views of Burley Lawn can be glimpsed between houses on your left.
7. Back into the village
Turn left into Beechwood Lane, passing traditional Forest properties, and continue ahead uphill. Turn right onto Church Lane and follow the gravel track past more houses and then through a small wood with two low wooden barriers on the track. Ahead is the village church, St John the Baptist, built in 1838. Continue to the end of Church Lane where there are views of Burley Manor. Turn left onto Chapel Lane to return to the village centre via the public car park or stop at the Queen’s Head pub for some smuggling nostalgia.
Download our walking app
Our free walking app features points of interest and photographs.
New Forest code
Please be aware of the New Forest Code when walking in the National Park.