Starting from Longslade Heath car park, this route takes in some of the New Forest’s best wide-open heath land views, along with a walk through the woods of Set Thorns Inclosure.
As you look out from Longslade Heath car park, you’ll see an area of open grass with a path to the left side beyond. Head for that path and after 200m from the car park, the track crosses a stream before heading uphill, curving to the right for 600m towards Horseshoe Earth.
Follow the track for another 600m, enjoying the views to your right towards Longslade Bottom and Hinchelsea Bog.
You’ll soon reach the beech and pine trees of Hincheslea Wood. Follow the path for about 300m as it skirts the edge of the forest until it splits and heads downhill. Before heading down the hill you might want to visit the stick house hidden in the woods just off the path – kids will love playing in and around it.
Take the path heading downhill and cross the stream at the bottom of the valley. After 400m you’ll reach an old bridge of the Castleman’s Corkscrew railway line – now a cycle and walking path. Go underneath the bridge and through the car park. At the car park exit, cross the road and enter Set Thorns Inclosure through the gate opposite.
After 300m you’ll come to a crossroads on the paths and join the New Forest Cycle network. Keep straight ahead for another 400m and take a right turn at the next crossroads – cycle route marker 200.
The path takes you through Oaken Bottom caravan site. Continue as the path curves round towards the entrance to Set Thorns. Turn left off the path and go through the gate and across the old railway bridge towards the entrance to the inclosure by Set Thorns Cottage.
Turn left out of Set Thorns Inclosure and follow the road for 400m back towards Longslade Heath car park.