Another weekend wander in the New Forest





This weekend I was supposed to be on a two day course with the SCC. It actually ended up only being one day, and so I made the most of the weather and headed out to the New Forest for a walk.

I first created this loop a few weeks ago, and posted about it here.

This time, however, I decided to branch out a little more, making it 10.89 miles I thought I’d only done 10.5 so thanks Strava) instead of 10.08. Much of the walk remained the same. I started at Buckler’s Hard, walked to Beaulieu, on to Hatchet Pond, East Boldre, across to St Leonard’s and back to Buckler’s Hard via the road down to the Yacht Harbour.

If you don’t want to complete the whole walk, a good turning point is Beauleiu and you can loop back to Buckler’s Hard along the cycle path, or along the river!

Buckler’s Hard

I’ve previously posted about Buckler’s Hard on a number of occasions, including here, but in case you were not aware, it is an old shipbuilding village in the New Forest, situated on the Beaulieu River. Many of the ships for the Royal Navy were built here, including HMS Agamemnon, known to be Horatio Nelson’s ‘favourite’ ship. The Euryalus was also built here, and in later years left Portsmouth alongside HMS Victory on 14 September 1805 prior to the Battle of Trafalgar.

There is a small museum and gift shop, a cafe, and a lovely pub/hotel. You can also head out on a boat trip up the river if you so wish. I’ve never actually been on the boat trip, but I’m told it’s beautiful. Next time, perhaps!

I have a season pass, and so I can park, come and go as I please. Plus, it paid for itself within 2 trips.

From Buckler’s Hard I followed the Riverside Walk to Beaulieu. ​It’s very easy to find and straight forward to follow. Make sure you wear sensible shoes though, it can be muddy and at high tide, one section of the path will be covered and you will be up to your ankles in water. Fine for me today, as I had my trusty North Face boots on. Not so fine for the Princesses from Beaulieu, throwing a hissy fit. 
At the end of this path you reach Beaulieu, another pretty little village in the New Forest, famous for its motor museum and residents…
From Beaulieu, I walked up to Hatchet Pond (slightly sunnier than the last time I visited) and made some friends.

 Then down to East Boldre. I followed the country roads along to what used to be RAF Needs Oar Point, where you can see right across the Solent to the Isle of Wight on the horizon.
From RAF Needs Oar Point, you walk past the old priory at St Leonard’s, and then follow the road up to Buckler’s Hard again. I walked beyond Buckler’s Hard and down to the Yacht Harbour, then followed the Riverside Walk back in from the bottom of the hill, through the giant puddle where the tide was in) and in to Buckler’s Hard where I stopped for a well earned ice cream, bought yet another book on Nelson and drove home. 
Have you visited the New Forest? Would you like to?