Our Favourite Winter Walking Routes
When the winter weather settles in and we wake to crisp cold days it may seem appealing to snuggle up in front of the fire with a cuppa and a good book, but before you do we recommend wrapping up warm, putting on your scarf, hat and gloves and heading out into the New Forest to witness some unbeatable wintry views.
All four of our hotels are surrounded by beautiful woodlands, heathlands and forests but we have whittled down our favourite walks for the season ahead:
Whitefield Moor, duration: 2 hours
There is something truly magical about Whitefield Moor in Brockenhurst during the winter months; there are two routes that you can choose to take labelled ‘red’ and ‘yellow’. The red route takes you further along the Ober Water giving you more time to soak up the beautiful scenery. The yellow route takes you along gravel tracks that pass through a variety of habitats in the Ober Valley including heathlands, grassland, natural and formerly enclosed woodland and of course the stream itself. Each route will take you up the hill, with incredible views overlooking the New Forest – We recommend heading up in time for sunrise or sunset to see stunning skies in an array of colours.
Matley Walk, duration: 2 hours
Matley Walk is located just a few miles east of Lyndhurst along the road that leads to Beaulieu. The walk starts at Matley campsite and lasts a couple of hours. It takes you through and around all of the New Forest’s habitats including beautiful ancient and ornamental woodland, open heathland, grassy lawns and pine enclosures. This walk really will give you a fantastic tour of the New Forest.
The Burley Walk, duration: 1 ½ hours
Situated just down the drive of our Moorhill House Hotel, The Burley Walk is a little shorter than the others. The initial part of the walk runs close to Burley golf course, one of several courses on the open forest. You’ll see some lovely views of the New Forest heathlands as well as seeing some forest wetland areas. A short section of the walk will take you along the dismantled railway line, where steam trains once roared through!
Fritham Walk, duration: 2 ½ hours
Fritham Walk is one of the most popular walks within the New Forest, because of its proximity to the famous Royal Oak pub situated in the village and also Eyeworth Pond at the bottom of the hill. The New Forest National Park’s suggested route takes you through 3 different enclosures, and across the open heath of Fritham Plain. Throughout the walk there are good opportunities for deer-spotting, as long as there aren’t too many people about! A year-round highlight is looking north over Island Thorns and Amberwood enclosures from Fritham Plain, on the way back to the car park. If you’ve seen Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, you’ll recognise this view as Sherwood Forest.