The New Forest National Park is almost entirely located in Hampshire, with only a small section of it crossing over into Wiltshire. The area is very popular, particularly amongst nature lovers, and welcomes over 13 million visitors every single year. Many people visit to enjoy the stunning walks and cycling paths. There are trails throughout the area but visitors are free to walk almost anywhere as long as they are respectful and don’t trespass on farmers’ land.
One thing to keep in mind if you are visiting the New Forest to go walking is the weather and how it affects the terrain. If it has been particularly wet many of the paths will get boggy, especially the ones across the heath. In some cases the conditions can make certain routes unusable unless you are willing to go through all of the mud. In these situations it is best to choose an established route with gravel paths.
The New Forest is largely flat, and there are very few steep gradients to worry about. You won’t need hiking boots for most walks, but you will probably want something sturdier than trainers. In terms of other clothing you should pack for the usual UK weather. If you want to maximise the chance of seeing wildlife you should wear darker colours and materials that won’t rustle too much.
Walking in the New Forest is relatively safe, but you should be aware of adders. They are found primarily on the heathland but can venture into other places too. They are poisonous but are unlikely to bite unless disturbed. It is best to give them a wide berth if you see one. As well as snakes you should also be aware of cyclists on routes when you are walking.
One more thing to note when you are out walking in the area is the New Forest ponies. The animals are all owned by local people even though they are allowed to roam where they choose. They are generally comfortable around humans, but you should still do your best not to disturb them. If you do encounter them, it is strictly prohibited to feed them.
We are a bed and breakfast in Lymington providing comfortable accommodation for all kinds of nature lovers. If you’re visiting Hampshire to get out into nature and enjoy some walks, wildlife or wilder pursuits you can find quality accommodation with us. During your stay we will do our best to ensure your needs are met, including offering advice about places to go and even directions.