Godshill - Pitts Wood Inclosure (New Forest)

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A circular, hilly walk through beautiful New Forest heathland, this area was taken over by the Air Ministry during the 2nd World War as a bombing and firing range. Interesting remains of this can be seen en route, although Mother Nature has incorporated it back under her wing with a beauty of its own.

The Ashley Walk bombing range was used to develop and test the 'Upkeep' and 'Highball' bouncing bombs during the war. To evaluate the casing and fusing system, inert bombs (filled with a composition of sawdust, cement and grit) were launched towards a large 90ft long wall located on the ridge. There's a lovely pool which is the remains of one of the old bomb craters, as well as an old firing range which now sits quite comfortably within the beautiful countryside.

You stand a good chance of spotting deer as well as falcons and other birds of prey as the open moorland is the habitat of these birds. You should see plenty of New Forest ponies, as well as cattle freely roaming! Don’t be put off by them though – if you ignore them they will ignore you and they don't take any notice of my dog.

Do this walk in the summer and you may be lucky enough to see a cricket match as you pass through the idyllic Godshill cricket ground. There's a superb pub at Godshill too that welcomes all; see additional information. All of the New Forest has its boggy areas, so please wear appropriate footwear.

There are no stiles on this walk and my Labrador loved it!

England - South England - Hampshire - New Forest

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland
06/12/2010 - Geoff Symons

A great walk for dogs and no stiles. The guide was easy to follow and plenty of wildlife to see. The food in The Fighting Cocks was first class.

22/10/2007 - Ian and Sarah Jane Lloyd

Whilst the New Forest might not be everyone's favourite place to walk as it is so very different walking there compared to say walking across established and well signposted footpaths in other parts of Hampshire, we found that this walk is very enjoyable and took us across areas of heathland and through wooded areas. The footpaths and tracks may be a bit vague in places but surely that's in the nature of the area and uniformity of paths would undoubtedly spoil the appearance of the park. It was a lovely sunny autumn Saturday morning when we enjoyed this walk and we were lucky enough to spot more wildlife than we've ever spotted before when we've walked in the forest including a magnificent stag, the usual birds like Skylarks and a Buzzard but the highlight was definately a Nuthatch. We also saw lots of the lovely New Forest ponies and before we'd even started the walk, as we were driving through the forest, we saw truely free-range pigs foraging for the acorns. They were still in the same area when we drove home and their litters of tiny piglets were with them enjoying the sunshine. Thank you to Sylvia for writing this walk and encouraging us to explore a new-to-us area of the forest.

05/07/2007 - Sylvia Saunders

I’m sorry that Ray was disappointed with this walk. The New Forest is a National Park and an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion Ray is in the minority. I tried last March to find out from Ray, via Walking World, which descriptions needed more detail, but have yet to receive a reply.

17/03/2007 - Ray Churcher

My wife and I did this walk on Sat 17/3/07. I must firstly say that in my opinion the New Forest is,except for some selective area's, very over-rated. I thought I would try this walk to see if Sylvia could come up with a gem and prove me wrong. Sadly no. It is very unusual for me but I found this walk boring. Everything is the same and there is acres of it. Maybe I chose the wrong time of year. If I could also add that I didn't think the walk descriptions were up to the usual high standard and could have had a bit more detail. Marks out of ten-only 5. Thanks anyway. Ray Churcher.

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