The New Forest - A mix of dense and more open woods.
16.8km (10.5 miles). 4 hours 10 minutes. For the whole outing including trains and meals allow 10 hours.
|OS Map||OS Landranger Nos 195 and 196. Explorer Map OL22. Brockenhurst Station, map reference SU 301020 is in Hampshire, 6 km south of Lyndhurst.|
3 out of 10.
This mainly level walk from Brockenhurst Station crosses Balmer Lawn to the north of Brockenhurst and enters a densely wooded part of the New Forest using wide cycle-ways through Parkhill Inclosure to emerge South of Lyndhurst. The lunch stop is at The Oak Inn in Bank, south west of Lyndhurst. After lunch the route retraces your path through the village of Bank and Brick Hill Inclosure before crossing the more open Black Knowl to return to Brockenhurst for tea.
Shortening the walk: There is an hourly bus service on Saturdays (every two hours on Sundays) from the Crown and Stirrup in Clay Hill to Brockenhurst Station.
The New Forest was created as a royal forest by William I in about 1079 for the royal hunt, mainly of deer. It was created at the expense of more than 20 small hamlets and isolated farmsteads; hence it was 'new' in his time as a single compact area.
It was first recorded as "Nova Foresta" in Domesday Book in 1086, where a section devoted to it is interpolated between lands of the king's thegns and the town of Southampton; it is the only forest that the book describes in detail. "Probably no action of the early Norman kings is more notorious than their creation of the New Forest", observes H. R. Loyn, who adds that the picture of evicted peasants and houses burned is uncritical. Twelfth-century chroniclers alleged that William had created the Forest by evicting the inhabitants of 36 parishes, reducing a flourishing district to a wasteland; however, this account is thought dubious by most historians, as the poor soil in much of the Forest is believed to have been incapable of supporting large-scale agriculture, and significant areas appear to have always been uninhabited.
Two of William's sons died in the Forest: Prince Richard in 1081 and King William II (William Rufus) in 1100.
Take the Weymouth train nearest to 9:00 am (before or after) from London Waterloo to Brockenhurst. There are two trains per hour on Saturdays and Sundays. Journey time 1 hour 32 minutes on Saturday and 1 hour 45 minutes on Sundays. Trains back from Brockenhurst to London are every half hour.
The suggested lunchtime stop is The Oak Inn in Bank (tel 023 8028 2350) offering good home cooking. It serves food from 11:30 to 3.00 pm on Monday to Friday and from 12.00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Groups of more than 10 should phone ahead. The pub is very popular and may not accept a booking at busy times and you will probably have to eat outside.
The suggested tea place is The Thatched Cottage, 16 Brookley Raid, Brockenhurst tel 01590 623090. There are many alternatives including the Rosie Lea Tea House and Bakery at 76 Brookley Road. The station is a 10-minute walk from The Thatched Cottage.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk