Area Guides

3 Top Walking Trails In The New Forest

It’s time to slow down the pace of life and walk in nature. When the buzz of your phone and the ‘cheery’ email notification starts to feel a little less friendly and a little more like an invasive nudge, you may be in need of a healthy digital detox.

It’s ok to seek time away surrounded in nature, to dream of walking winding forest paths, a chance to quieten the mind, and get the body moving.

Many choose to retreat to the sanctuary of the New Forest National Park with its vast heathland and ancient woodland, for tranquillity and time away from the bustle of everyday life. Once a royal hunting ground, the New Forest today is a thriving habitat for flora and fauna, a mecca for walkers, hikers, ramblers and wanderers, visiting to spot everything from butterflies, reptiles, and rare bird species, to New Forest ponies, pigs, donkeys and deer.

The need for reconnection with nature is on the rise, and one of the best ways to explore and connect with our wonderful National Park is on foot, which is why we’ve compiled our top three walking trails in the New Forest, so all you have to do is set that Out of Office and get here, because nature’s therapy awaits.

Walk the Tall Trees Trail at the Blackwater Arboretum

For many, this is the best walk in the New Forest. It may be short, but this stroll through the Blackwater Arboretum is certainly sweet, showcasing its collection of trees from around the world.

A one-and-a-half-mile circular walk, it begins at the Blackwater car park, taking you under the carved oak archway and across Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. The trail starts a short way along the gravel trail to your right, and is a gentle, low level gravel track, suitable for most ages and abilities.

Walk beneath the canopies of the biggest trees in the New Forest along sun-dappled trails to take in the impressive Douglas firs and redwoods, planted in the late 1850s, and the giant redwoods, known as, ‘Wellingtonia’ or Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Sequoia).

While you’re there, stroll along the half-a-mile Heartwood Trail too. Stop and sit on the seats along the way. Look up at the trees, take in the scents and sounds of the forest and simply breathe in the fresh forest air.

Looking for a longer hike? Try the Brockenhurst and Tall Trees Circular. Step out of the hotel and into the forest for this moderately challenging 10-mile walk right from our doorstep.



Spot the deer and walk the short trails at Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary

Walking in the New Forest allows you to slow down and see more. Take in our beautifully green, flourishing landscape as you take the short scenic drive through the forest to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. Leave the phone on silent and enjoy peaceful meanders to watch and admire the graceful fallow and roe deer from the purpose-built wooden platform overlooking the deer meadow.

The best time to spot the deer is daily between midday and 3pm when they are fed by local New Forest rangers (when they’re available).

There are several short forest trails, all clearly marked, with benches along the way.

The Deer Watch Trail, the yellow route, is approximately 0.5 miles and takes you to the viewing platform.

The Jubilee Grove Trail, the green route, is 1 mile long and starts from Bolderwood car park, meandering past the deer fields and through peaceful wooded areas, and some of our ancient woodland’s oldest trees.

The Radnor Trail, the 2-mile red route, skirting the fenced boundary of Mark Ash Wood, it takes you past pollarded beech trees and trails along Bratley Water.


Hike the Emery Down Circular route

Perfect for guests seeking longer forest trails and time to truly immerse themselves in nature, the Emery Down Circular walk begins near the village of Lyndhurst, a short drive from our New Forest hotel.

This 6.2-mile walk, considered moderately challenging, offers a wonderful mix of terrain and views, showcasing some of the New Forest’s finest features, from babbling brooks and streams to ancient winding woodland, heathland paths and forest track, surrounded by the National Park’s wildlife every step of the way. Stop for a picnic and snap the roaming ponies, listen to the birds and go quietly through the woods to spot the grazing deer.


You needn’t walk for hours through the New Forest to reap the benefits. You just need to break the routine, give your mind time away from the digital and time to breathe a little deeper and attune with nature – just the thing to re-inspire and rejuvenate mind, body and soul this summer.

Our Hampshire hotel is the perfect base for your escape to nature, with our seasonal breaks and hotel offers including discounts when you stay for longer to totally immerse yourself, and complimentary extras like a bottle of Prosecco to enjoy after a long day of walking.