A circular walk that perfectly illustrates the diverse range of heath, woodland and wetland habitats that make up the New Forest.
Note that Shatterford car park is closed in spring and early summer to protect nearby ground-nesting birds so this walk should only be completed outside of those times.
From the Shatterford car park, with the road behind you, take the path which extends for about 600m across the heathland. After you pass over a small causeway, you’ll notice 4,000-year-old Bronze Age tumuli (burial mounds) off to your left. In late summer. When the heather is in bloom, the whole landscape surrounding you has a lovely purple hue.
Continue on the path as it enters the ancient and ornamental woodland of Denny Wood. In spring and summer the path is flanked by lush green ferns before it enters the woodland.
Continue through the beech and oak trees for about 700m until the forest track meets the cycle network path.
Turn left and walk down the hill for 200m. Just before you come to Denny Cottage on the left, take the path that leads into the trees alongside the edge of the cottage grounds. You may spot some deer in the grazing land behind the cottage.
The forest track alongside the earthwork and fence eventually brings you to some open grassland. Follow the path and cross the four footbridges over the streams and water channels.
After 1km when the track eventually splits at Woodfidley Passage, take the path to the left. Over the next 500m the track becomes very sandy before gently curving to run adjacent to the route of the railway line to your right. Another 500m takes you back to Shatterford car park. The Drift Inn is located on the other side of the roadbridge if you want to finish this walk with a drink or meal.