Starting at the iconic Bolton’s Bench on the edge of Lyndhurst, this walk cuts through Pondhead Inclosure and forest woodland before returning across the vast open expanse of White Moor.
From the Bolton’s Bench car park, walk up the slope to the famous bench.
The small mound with distinctive trees on top is named after the Duke of Bolton, who held the office of Master Keeper of Burley Baliwick in the 18th Century. The hill is a natural sandy mound rather than man-made.
Keeping the cricket pitch to your right, walk across the grass to the Bolton’s Bench East car park and join the path heading on to the ridgeway. Shortly after the GPS marker, take the path to the right, down the hill to Beaulieu Road.
Cross the road and head through the gate into Pondhead Inclosure.
Continue on the path past some of the hazel copicing done by the Pondhead Conservation Trust. The inclosure has not been grazed by animals for centuries so has a rich array of flora, birds and butterflies. In spring, this area is a sea of bluebells before the trees are fully in leaf and the sunlight is able to reach the forest floor. Also along the path, look out for Balanos – a dragon carved into a fallen tree trunk.
Follow the path straight through the inclosure until the gate on to Beechen Lane. Turn left and follow the length of the lane through Park Ground Inclosure.
At the end of Beechen Lane, turn left and go through the gate in to Little Holmhill Inclosure. This will eventually take you down a hill, crossing a stream, before climbing again to meet Beaulieu Road.
Cross the road and join the narrow track taking you back across the moor, parallel to the road, to Bolton’s Bench.
The vast open heathland to your right was used as for military training for soldiers before they headed to France during World War One and old ordnance is occasionally found on the moor.
You’ll see as far as Southampton docks and Ashurst to the east. Also on the skyline is the distinctive Georgian mansion, Notherwood House, and the spire of St Michael’s and All Angel’s Church in Lyndhurst as you walk back towards the village.
This circular walk can be completed in either direction.Download GPX
- Bolton’s Bench car park
- Bluestar Bus 6 stops in Lyndhurst
- New Forest Tour Green and Red routes stop in Lyndhurst
Food and Drink
- Pubs and cafes in Lyndhurst
Mainly gravel tracks which are generally passable, but the track across White Moor is very sandy and could be difficult following wet weather conditions.