Burley in the New Forest

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This is a very pleasant and mainly flat walk on the western edge of the New Forest, starting and finishing at Burley and taking in Holmsley Ridge and the National Nature Reserve at Kingston Great Common.

Burley probably derives from the Saxon 'bury', which usually denoted an Iron Age hill-fort, in this case Castle Hill, a Scheduled Ancient Monument near the end of the walk. Burley is now a very popular centre for riders, walkers and cyclists, but this route quickly takes you out into quieter and scenic stretches of the surrounding heathland.

You pass the remains of Greenberry Bridge and follow part of what was once the Southampton and Dorchester Railway, later part of the Southern Railway. Closed in 1965, there is now apparently a £70M plan to reopen this stretch to connect Ringwood to the main line at Brockenhurst. A report by the Association of Train Operating Companies has earmarked this line because Ringwood is a key population centre with no rail services and passenger numbers are expected to soar over the next few years.

The route then takes you past the attractive Whitten Pond and across the edge of Kingston Great Common National Nature Reserve. The reserve is regarded as an outstanding example of mire habitat. Birdlife on the site includes woodlarks, Dartford warblers and, occasionally in the summer, the hobby. Your path near here will be wet at times but should be passable.

There is no pub halfway around, but Burley itself offers a choice of tea shops and pubs where you can relax after the walk.

England - South England - Hampshire - New Forest


Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Moor, Mostly Flat, Pub, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
7/11/2020 - Bryony Pearson

This is such a lovely walk, beautiful views, ponds, ponies, birds, butterflies and the lovely village of Burley. It was totally dry underfoot today. It was easy to follow and very dog friendly, thoroughly enjoyable! We found the distance to be nearer 7 miles than six, even without going through the village on the way back, but it was not a strenuous walk. The tea shop in Burley is now called the Cider Pantry and has a dog friendly garden at the back and also sells Cider, local produce and gifts. We enjoyed a very welcome cup of tea there. We thoroughly recommend doing this walk.

4/13/2014 - helen emery

My husband and I have done this walk today and it was lovely! A lovely mix of heathland and village. Some of the heathland paths were a bit tricky but being a circular walk, you were always going to end up in the right place. It wasn't that busy either, considering what a sunny day it has been.

5/9/2013 - Terry Gibson

An easy walk although discovering the right track can sometimes be confusing in the Forest as pony tracks can look like footpaths - especially to the west of the Burley / Bransgore road. This is a very dog friendly route. Terry Gibson

4/15/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Richard Clayton for his updates for this walk. April 2012. Adrian (Admin)

4/14/2012 - Paul Patashnik

My wife and I did this walk on 12th April 2012. It is a perfect walk for those not quite as fit as others - some uphill bits but very do-able. It took us 4 hours at a steady but not fast pace. The scenery was just gorgeous and we were very lucky to have perfect weather although loud thunder was heard just as we got back to the car. Thoroughly recommend this walk.

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