Brockenhurst to Lymington walk

A varied walk on the southern edge of the New Forest through parkland, woods, open heaths and pasture before a contrasting finish past coastal marshes.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 21-Mar-20 Saturday Walk - The New Forest to the Sea: Brockenhurst to Lymington with or without Extension(s) === NOW ALSO CANCELLED
Wed, 02-Aug-17 From the Forest to the Sea (Brockenhurst to Lymington) 2 torrential rain followed by even heavier torrential rain and strong winds
Sat, 09-Jul-16 Saturday Third Walk – the New Forest and coastal marshes 12 mainly cloudy but warm and humid with a breeze
Sat, 04-Apr-15 Brockenhurst to Lymington Town 17
Sat, 04-Oct-14 Brockenhurst to Lymington Town 10
Sat, 21-Mar-20
Saturday Walk - The New Forest to the Sea: Brockenhurst to Lymington with or without Extension(s) === NOW ALSO CANCELLED
Covid-19 Pandemic: The SWC is a self-led walking club, and as always, posted walks are no more than an invitation for people to join a group walk without the guarantee that there will be a group. Walk posters will keep posting walks for as long as walkers turn up for them. For past attendee numbers please check the ‘Walk Reports’ section on the ‘Comments’ tab on this website.
And while being in the outdoors seems generally accepted to be a lower risk environment than staying indoors, for any advice on whether you should travel on public transport, go walking in groups and eat or drink in pubs or cafes, please consult the latest advice from HM Government and its agencies, especially the NHS.

Length: from 17.7 km (11.0 mi) or 25.1 km/15.6 mi or up to 32.2 km/20.0 mi
Ascent/Descent: from 129/147m
Net Walking Time short walk: ca. 4 hours, Toughness: 3 out of 10
Net Walking Time longest option: ca. 7 hours, Toughness: 6 out of 10
Take the 09.05 Weymouth train from Waterloo (Clapham J 09.12), arrives Brockenhurst 10.37.
Return trains: xx.29 and xx.59 (change Brockenhurst, total journey time 110 minutes).
Buy a Lymington Pier return.
This walk is – for most mortals – a little too short to justify the long train journey. But help is at hand: an improvised, map-led extension (or two) just after the lunch pub (I have – with the walk author’s agreement – added the routes to the webpage for today). The extension leads through Pennington and Keyhaven Marshes to Keyhaven (pub: The Gun Inn), or even out via Hurst Beach to Hurst Castle, then back along the coast to the ‘normal’ walk route. [The return along the coast is the reverse of the start of SWC 62 Lymington – Barton-on-Sea.]
Here’s the blurb for the ‘normal’ walk:
Although a good part of this walk is within the New Forest National Park, there are only occasional encounters with the remote heathland or dense woodland which you might expect. An early section is in fact through the landscaped parkland of a now-demolished country house, Brockenhurst Park, and the walk continues along pleasant broad tracks through Roydon Woods Nature Reserve. Shortly after leaving the woods you come to a possible early lunch stop on the main road between Setley and Battramsley.
The next section includes the walk's one stretch across wide open heathland at Shirley Holms, with fine views across the gorse and heather. After crossing Sway Road, you leave the National Park and the walk becomes less distinctive for a while, past farms and stables with occasional distant glimpses of the Isle of Wight. Eventually you come to the scattered hamlet of Lower Pennington and the alternative lunch pub.
The final section to the attractive sailing resort of Lymington is quite different in character. You walk along raised embankments between mudflats and the coastal marshes of Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve, with magnificent views of the Isle of Wight across the Solent. Now a haven for wildlife, this area was the site of the Lymington Saltworks, the country's leading supplier of sea salt in the 18thC. The industry only ceased (in 1865) when salt could be obtained more cheaply from mines in Cheshire.
At the end of the walk a lucky few might be allowed to sip pink gins at one of the town's exclusive yacht clubs, but there are plenty of other places willing to serve us hoi polloi before the longish train journey home.
All Walk Options’ Walk Option:
You could extend the walk by 1½ km, passing the Walhampton Monument and returning from Lymington Pier instead of the Town station.
Lunch: The Chequers Inn (13.0 km/8.1 mi, food all day) in Lower Pennington.
Tea: Pubs in Lymington. See the webpage or the walk directions pdf for details.
For walk directions, maps, height profiles, photos and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.226.a
  • 16-Feb-20

    For some flavour of the Extension-within-the-Extension, by some happy coincidence it was Christopher Somerville's walk of the week in yesterday's Times:

  • Anonymous

    Many thanks to Thomas for not cancelling any of the walks.

    Sincerely appreciate all that you do for the club.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. Thank you, Thomas. This is not a slight on the schedulers who did cancel as both points of view are valid.

  • Anonymous

    Think Thomas is being irresponsible

  • 17-Mar-20

    Some strong feelings there, Anonymous at 18:12... Unsurprisingly, I am with the second last comment, to me it is perfectly valid to keep posting walks, as we're dealing with adults who can make up their own mind on whether they want to join or not. We're not an arm of the Nanny State.

    But the majority of walk posters disagree (some vehemently so) and so, in the interest of a common SWC approach, this walk is now cancelled as a group walk. I will not cancel other already posted walks until nearer the time though, and then only in light of the situation at the time. Sincere apologies to anyone interested in joining a group walk.

    keepwalking whatwouldnicholasdo ?

  • Anonymous

    It's absolutely the right decision for this club not to encourage people to form groups at present. The government's decision to ask everyone to avoid gatherings was based on stark new data released yesterday by Imperial College.

    Even with these measures in place, the current data suggests 20,000 deaths will be a "good outcome" compared to the circa 250,000 deaths expected if we do nothing.

    We all want to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect peoples' health and to support what is going to be a very difficult effort.

    Links below to the latest modelling for those who may be interested in reading more. Stay safe and I sincerely hope we will all be out walking again in future.

    Summary report:

    Full report:

    Summary article in the Guardian:

  • Anonymous

    Fine, I'll stick to my usual routine of casual encounters on Saturday then. I'm pretty sure that's OK with the guidelines, unless you can point me to the abstinence section?

  • Anonymous

    Are there any nature notes, poems that one can post on swc to keep the spirit up

  • 22-Mar-20

    for anyone reading this, please post all future covid-19 related comments on the respective part of the Forum (the blue 'Forum' tab at the top has a covid-19 thread). Ta

Wed, 02-Aug-17
From the Forest to the Sea (Brockenhurst to Lymington)
SWC Walk 226: Brockenhurst to Lymington T=SWC.226

Distance: 11.0 miles or 17.7 km for those more metrically minded

Difficulty: 3 out of 10 for the main walk

Train: Take the 10:05 AM Weymouth train from London Waterloo to arrive at Brockenhurst at 11:37. Return trains from Lymington are at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour until 18:27 and then at 19:03; 19:33, 20:03 and 21:03 – note the connection at Brockenhurst is much better for the return trains leaving at 18:27 or earlier. Buy a day return to Lymington Pier.

I thought it would be good to post this pleasant and varied outing – exploring the southern edge of the New Forest on the way to the charming seaside town of Lymington -- before London Waterloo goes into its summer shutdown…. Also, with any luck, the heather should be starting to come into color during the earlier stretches of the route. Although ending at the seaside, there is no sea swimming available at Lymington – though there are some open air Sea Water Baths. You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the Hobler Inn (01590 623 944) near Battramsley (3 miles/4.5 km into the walk) which serves food all day. Tea and midafternoon refreshments can be had at the Chequers in Lower Pennington (8 miles/13 km into the walk). Further post walk libations can be had at a number of hostelries in Lymington with the Ship Inn being suggested with a prominent location along the quay.

Enjoy the walk!
  • 30-Jul-17

    Be prepared for one or two overgrown sections in the middle section of this walk, as reported recently on its Comments page.

  • 01-Aug-17

    secateurs packed.... :-)

  • 03-Aug-17

    Armed with my secateurs I wondered, as I gazed at the leaden skies from the train window, if I would be the only person on this walk. So, it was nice to see one familiar face emerge from the train into the rain at Brockenhurst -- making for 2 hardly soles embarking on a journey which at times felt a bit like an assault course. The route started straight forward enough and it was only after a leisurely 2-course lunch (11.95) at the Hobler that things became interesting. First, there was an almost knee deep ford on the heath -- so off came the shoes and socks. Our dry feet did not last the narrow overgrown section of path (which was not too badly overgrown today (perhaps thanks to Anon's pruning a few weeks ago)) was flooded to mid-calf level with no real alternatives but to carry on through the water for 20 meters or so.....Lastly we did encounter some brambles encroaching on the narrow path (passable -- but requiring some care to negotiate).... After these challenges, it was a pleasant surprise to see a "Gin and Beer Tasting" sign outside of Sadlers Farm. Of course, it was only appropriate to stop -- one of the out buildings has been converted into a brewery/distillery and we sampled three small batch gins made substantially from ingredients sourced in the New Forest. Thus fortified we continued on to the Chequers Inn for a short break before the final stretch along the marshes. For a change, the forecast proved spot on making for a day (not dissimilar from those encountered in Knoydart years ago) of torrential rain followed by even heavier torrential rain and strong winds until a brief respite along the marshes towards the end allowing some atmospheric glimpses of the Isle of Wight across a turbulent Solent. Arriving at the train station just as the 19:05 was departing we hopped aboard and decided to have dinner in a very convenient and good quality Italian eatery in the car park at the Brockenhurst Station from which is was the 20:15 home. Notwithstanding the conditions and challenges encountered, it was a very enjoyable day out in good company!

  • 03-Aug-17

    Oh, almost forgot...Along the way, we were treated to seeing a doe and two fawns at very close proximity on a field edge and a short time later yet another deer running across a field....

  • 05-Aug-17

    We walked this on 2/8/17

    " the narrow overgrown section of path" was extremely flooded, we should have detoured or wore wellies :-)

    "Lastly we did encounter some brambles encroaching on the narrow path (passable -- but requiring some care to negotiate).." - Wearing shorts, this was a long difficukt and painful section.

    ""Gin and Beer Tasting" sign outside of Sadlers Farm. " - well worth a mention, nice :-)

Sat, 09-Jul-16
Saturday Third Walk – the New Forest and coastal marshes
Extra Walk 226 – Brockenhurst to Lymington
Length: 17¾ km (11 miles). Toughness: 3/10

10:05 Weymouth train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:12), arriving Brockenhurst at 11:37. Buy a day return to Lymington Pier – £16 with South West Train's offer if you get it before midnight on Friday, but make a careful note of the collection procedure if you book online.

Or take the train an hour earlier: see below.

Trains go from Lymington Pier at 27 & 57 minutes past the hour (two minutes later from the Town station) to Brockenhurst, where you change for Waterloo. The last trains with connections back to London are at 20:27 and 21:27.

Here's another far-flung walk to take advantage of SWT's ticket offer. There should be plenty of interesting fauna and flora to see as you make your way across a varied landscape from the edge of the New Forest to the coastal marshes on the Solent. Lymington is a nice town to explore at the end, and if you've got the energy there's a short optional extension across the river to the Pier station.

One drawback with this walk is that you have to choose between an early or a late pub lunch. A three-hour walk before lunch seems too much after a longish train journey, so I've chosen a train which will get you to the early pub (the Hobler Inn) at around 12.40pm. Even with a stop for tea at the later pub you should still reach Lymington before 5.30pm, a good time for a few pink gins in the yacht club (or fish'n'chips on the quayside) before the journey back.

Early Start option: If you prefer a long walk in the morning (perhaps with a coffee break at the Hobler), take the 09:05 train and carry on to the Chequers for lunch. You should get there at around 1.40pm and you'll end up with more time to explore Lymington at the end of the walk.

You'll need to print the walk directions from the Extra Walk 226 page. If you want to finish earlier, use the document's Walk Map to devise a short cut into Lymington. T=swc.226
  • Anonymous

    no issues with train and cheap fare on offer, what more can I ask for? intend going

  • 10-Jul-16

    12 on this walk with the weather mainly cloudy but warm and humid with a breeze .

    A varied and interesting walk, starting of with mainly woodland trails - there was even a bit of mud laid on by the walks inspector - before lunch at the Hobler Inn. After lunch it got a bit more interesting with one lengthy perimeter circuit of a vast field on a very narrow enclosed and overgrown path leaving a few of us with "walk wounds" of the bramble variety but we all survived. The summer so far has meant vegetation has grown more thickly and quicker than I can remember. We stopped off at the Chequers pub for a "refresher" before the lovely ending on the estuary path with godwits and little egrets spotted.

    In Lymington some made their way to the station and others to the pub whilst I gorged on fish and chips on a bench looking over the harbour. Three of us then did the short extension to Lymington pier before trains back to London. An excellent day out and overall an ideal summer walk.