Copythorne and Cadnam Common
Pass by St Mary’s Church before winding through Copythorne Common and its interesting mix of woodland and open glades
The route then follows rhododendron and woodland edged tracks to the Cadnam River and the northern commons. Here you can watch ponies grazing before returning through Newbridge and Copythorne Common back to the start.
Copythorne Common is a conifer and broadleaved woodland with glades of heathland and acid grassland. An area of the reserve is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which forms part of a larger privately-owned area. Grazed by ponies and cattle to help restore a mosaic of open grassland and heath, the common supports a wide range of wildlife. Please keep dogs on a lead in the reserve. Look out for fragrant chamomile on the lawns and listen for chirping wood crickets during the summer.
- Start/finish: Pollards Moor Road bus stop, Copythorne Grid ref. SU 303145, Post code SO40 2NZ
- Ordnance Survey map: Explorer OL 22 New Forest
- Getting there: Bluestar T4/T3 Totton to Cadnam return. Regular service.
- Distance: 4 miles (6.5 km)
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Local facilities: No facilities on route. Parking is available outside Copythorne Infant School out of school hours (SU 308 148).
- Accessibility: Easy walking with a few gentle gradients and one steep section. Gates, four stiles and a footbridge. Two road crossings. Woodland tracks can be muddy.
1. St Mary’s Church
From the bus stop shelter on Pollards Moor Road, keep left and follow this road to Vicarage Lane. Turn left into the lane and follow the road past houses to a kissing gate. Go through the gate and follow along a fenced footpath to a kissing gate and St Mary’s church.
2. Romsey Road
At the waymarked post and path junction turn left and follow the field edge past the church. Go through a wooden gate and gravel car park to join Romsey Road.
3. Into Copythorne Common
Turn right and follow the pavement to a parking area in front of Copythorne Infant School. Take care to cross the road opposite the road bridge over the M27. Cross the bridge to a waymarker post and gate. Turn right through the gate into Copythorne Common. Do not follow the path along the fence line beside the motorway on your right, but go straight ahead to where the path splits and becomes a wide grassy track across the common.
4. Wide metal gate
Continue on the track through mixed woodland and heathland glades, passing by the Wildlife Trust welcome board, and continue ahead through the reserve. Where the track splits, go left to meet up with the public footpath and a waymarker post near a wide metal gate. Please be aware that forestry work means this track is currently very muddy and uneven, take care.
Turn left onto the footpath and through woodland to a wooden gate ahead. Leave the common through the gate and go straight across the gravel road to follow the rhododendron-edged track ahead, passing Lyndhurst Lodge and a waymarker on your right.
5. Newbridge Road
The track then becomes a narrow fenced footpath with fields on your right. Please be careful of the electric fence on your right and keep children under close supervision.
Cross over a stile and continue ahead along a track through woodland and pretty hedge-lined fields. Turn left over the next waymarked stile by a wide metal gate onto Newbridge Road). Continue past houses and turn right at a waymarker post where the road bends left, into Newbridge Farm.
6. Concrete footbridge
Go straight through the farm past a water utility building on your left to a metal gate and narrow concrete footbridge. Cross over the Cadnam River and turn left onto the common. Follow the path ahead across Cadnam Common and through a small copse of trees to meet a gravel track on your right. Turn left and continue to follow the track through the common to a low metal barrier to join Furzley Road.
7. Hidden footpath entrance
Follow the road downhill into Newbridge, passing a pretty tributary of the Cadnam River before leaving the common through a wide gate by a cattle grid. Continue ahead, crossing over the main Cadnam River then turn right back onto Newbridge Road. On your left, 25m past the red phone box, is a hidden footpath entrance and waymarker. Turn left and follow this path uphill along a tree-lined track. You can’t miss the huge oak trees which you have to weave between on the path. Cross over the stile ahead and back into Copythorne Common.
8. Turn left
Walk through pine woodland and cross over a stile by a waymaker post and wide metal gate. Go straight across the gravel track to the waymarker opposite. Follow the grassy path to your right and continue ahead to a path junction. Turn left and follow the path to the main track. Turn right to return back over the road bridge and across the A31 to Copythorne Infant School.
Retrace your steps past the school and turn left to follow the footpath past St Mary’s Church to the bus stop on Pollards Moor Road.
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