This circular walk in the heart of the New Foreorest takes in woodland inclosures near Bolderwood, follows the meandering Highland Water and climbs Acres Down for magnificent views over the forest and beyond.
From the Bolderwood car park, walk along the roadside towards the Canadian War Memorial – the simple wooden cross commemorates the Canadian forces in the New Forest before the D-Day invasion of 6 June 1944. Before the invasion, Canadians would gather here for church services.
Go through the inclosure gate and begin walking downhill. At the bottom the hill, take the cycle path veering right, with the Highland Water in the trees to your left.
After another 500m, left turn to cross the bridge over the Highland Water.
The path splits about 150m after the bridge – take the path on the left and make another left turn – uphill towards Puckpits Inclosure – after 250m.
Follow the gravel path through the inclosure. There is a steep down-and-uphill stretch just after the inclosure boundary, before the path gently sweeps downhill for another 1km until you come to a junction.
Turn left and head through Wick Wood towards the Acres Down car park.
Beyond the car park is the Acres Down Farmshop and tearooms so is a great place for a half-way stop. Or climb the track from the car park up on to Acres Down.
The top of Acres Down is one of the highest points in the New Forest. If you look to the south east on a clear day you can see the ships on Southampton Water and the hills of the Isle of Wight.
After the open space at the top, head downhill through the trees between The The Knowles and Wood Crates. The path can be boggy following wet weather and there is a stream to cross, but you will meet the main gravel cycle path and Millyford Bridge about 1km from the top of Acres Down.
Turn right at a small patch of lawn onto the cycle path and go through the gate in to Holmhill Inclosure.
After about 1.2km the path forks – take the path on the left.
The path splits again after about 250m – this time take the right hand path and continue to follow it as it winds through the inclosure.
You’ll come to a cycle marker post after another 1.3km. Turn left uphill and a 400m walk brings you out at a gate opposite Bolderwood car park.Download GPX
- Canadian Memorial car park
- Bolderwood car park
Food and Drink
- Acres Down Farm Shop
Mostly gravel tracks which are generally passable. The climb up and down Acres Down is on rough forest tracks so can be cut up or boggy following wet weather.