New Forest Winter Walks – Our Guide….

The saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”.

The winter walks and ares for exploring,  that we’ve chosen here, are well worth the dressing up.

Wellies are a pretty good idea because the soil here holds water close to the surface, tho’ rarely gets deeply muddy, unless you’re on well worn animal tracks. Most of the paths here are sandy and well drained thanks to many years of good care by the National Parks and Forestry England teams.

Head out and explore – you’ll be sure to blow your cobwebs away and see some amazing sites.

The coastal path is a fantastic route. You’ll find views of the Isle of Wight, the many marinas along the coast, great cafes and pubs and plenty of benches to sit on and while away your time.

We love starting in Lymington town and walking east toward Milford on Sea. Stop for coffee at Lymington Yachthaven (and warm up by their wood burner) before heading out to the most exposed part of the coastal path toward Keyhaven, the bird reserves and marshes. We love eating at Salt Rock in Milford, which is informal and vibrant. If you don’t make it that far, or want a more formal lunch setting, then the nearest best alternative is Yachthaven. Their restaurant is on the first floor and has floor to ceiling glass windows. It  looks over the large marina and the food is excellent.

Choosing where you go for a winter walk is important. Windy? Head for the protection of the trees in the forest. Sunny? Head to the beach. Want silence? Go to the firs… Need to rid yourself of ‘cobwebs in the brain’? We love Hurst Spit (if it’s not too windy).

Pic Lymington Marshes by Steve Elson

Keyhaven coastal path

Keyhaven lagoon with the tide out in winter

View back to Keyhaven from the coastal path

Lymington Marina by Henry Szwinto

Avon Beach in winter, tide out.

Coastal walks for wild kids and dogs:

For a shorter walk with kids and dogs we recommend people walk from Tanners Lane towards Lymington.

This isn’t a long walk. But once you walk away from the (small)  lane parking area you’ll very quickly (in about 100 metres) find yourself with only the views as company. 

There’s a full blog on this walking area (in summer) here. 

(And for a longer walk on never ending beaches, go to Milford on Sea…. Read more here.  )

The coast near Tanners, this is at Pitts Deep Cottage but the coastline here is sandy/silty and pebbly.


Pennington Marshes by Henry Szwinto


Rhine Field walk and the area to the north of Brockenhurst

One of the most lovely areas of the forest…

The trees here are amazing. Huge firs. Lots of dens for kids to run about and find. Streams to jump. 

Get off the beaten track away from children and come here for some ‘forest bathing’ and plug into the strongest vibes for a natural-healing session.

In summer it looks like this…Pic by Brian Terrey.

The firs are evergreen, the leaves smell amazing throughout the year and it’s always a beautiful spot. Pic by Brian Terrey.

Autumn Colours in the New Forest by Henry Szwinto

Deer in the New Forest by Henry Szwinto

New Forest Pony by Henry Szwinto


Pic by NIc Lucas

Pic by Adam Lynk


Bucklers Hard to Beaulieu Village (for hot choc) and back again by the river.

A charming walk. See lots of boats, hear owls at dusk, get to Beaulieu for lunch and hot choc…. And the tiny chocolate shop – perfect. The whole place is slow and pretty. On most days you’ll find donkeys and ponies throughout the village.

Read our Insiders Guide to the Beaulieu River area here. 


Dog Walking in the New Forest

Pennington Marshes

Hatchet Pond

Pic Henry Szwinto