Bucklers Hard

Bucklers Hard

A delightful riverside walk taking you from the picture-postcard Beaulieu village along the banks of the tidal stretch of the Beaulieu River. Great for bird spotters and history buffs alike – you’ll end in the famous shipbuilding village of Bucklers Hard.

The riverside stretch of the path is currently closed because of erosion. Bucklers Hard can still be reached from Beaulieu along the straight woodland path.


Starting from the Beaulieu village car park, cut through the small path to the high street.

You’ll see many of the buildings bear the Montagu family crest of three red diamonds. The Montagu family’s Beaulieu estate covers 9,000 acres of this southern part of the New Forest.

Follow the signposts past the school and recreation ground to join the path to Bucklers Hard. When the path splits, take the riverside path.

This stretch of the river was renowned for building the great wooden sailing ships of the Royal Navy. At Bailey’s Hard, the Salisbury was built in 1698 – it was the first of over 50 ships built for the Royal Navy along the river over the years. Others included the Agamemnon – Admiral Horatio Nelson’s favourite ship.

Follow the path From Keeping Marsh behind the Agamemnon Boat Yard, follow the Solent Way sign until you come to the village of Bucklers Hard.

Bucklers Hard is where Henry Adams and his shipwrights built ships for the Royal Navy in the 18th and early 19th century. The houses in Bucklers Hard are 80 feet apart to allow whole oak tree trucks to be rolled down to the waterfront – a single ship could use up to 2,000 full seized oak trees.

Retrace your steps back to Beaulieu – taking the direct woodland path instead of the riverside path.

Download GPX


Walk Information

Starting Points

  • Beaulieu Village car park

Public Transport

  • The New Forest Tour – Green Route

Food and Drink

  • Restaurants, shops and cafes in Beaulieu
  • The Master Builder’s Pub in Bucklers Hard


A mainly gravel track which is generally passable. The riverside portion has tree roots on the narrow, twisting path which can be impassable in wet conditions. The direct path through the forest can be used as an alternative.

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