Love to swing? Then this is a post for you.
Here’s our (not so) secret guide to the best rope swings in the forest. This is a place with plenty of trees, so the options are good. You’ll need to search these swings out. They’re not always easy to find. Sometimes they break or get taken away. Seek and you might find…!
(Don’t forget – All rope swings are dangerous and New Forest Escapes take absolutely no liability whatsoever for any accidents, problems or missing swings that you may experience. If you choose to get on it, then be ready to take the consequences yourself!)
Always check the swing with your weight by hanging on it with your feet just off the ground BEFORE you get on and push off. Go gently with the kids. Make sure the landing looks good.
P.S. Don’t be surprised if there’s no swing when you get there as the disappear and reappear all the time!
1. The one over the big muddy dip. Norleywood swing by the old red telephone box. – SO41 5RU
- A favourite and one that’s stood the test of time. You’ll find this swing just off the road in pretty Norleywood village. Find the red post box, opposite the green (the colour, not indoor veg’ plots) houses and just behind it you’ll see a natural dip in the ground. Sometimes it’s full of water in winter. Push off the bank or tree on the far side. There are often donkeys, ponies and cows here too.
From that swing, head off with the telephone box on your left, toward East End village. Keep going for about a half km. At the little humpback bridge with white railings there is a rope swing on your left.
2. The one over the stream by the humpy bridge. Location – SO41 5RR – on Norleywood Road in the dip, over the stream, before Sheepwash Cottage on the corner.
- This ones for confident swingers. The stream is slight in summer and gets going in winter. Probably not the best idea to go on it in when the stream is really full.
3. Gypsy Wood swings – East End Road – Opposite SO42 7WU. Facing North, the woods are on your left.
This area is v close to Norleywood. 15 mins walk.
This swing is in one in the loveliest stands of oak trees and not far from Beckheath House. Gypsy Wood is a much loved favourite spot for walkers and relaxers. It’s one of those places that feels like all the ley lines come together. This stand of 100 of so oaks, sits on a micro hill beside the road that runs North/South through East End village. To find the trees, locate the East End Arms pub (good food) and head toward East Boldre village stores. When you turn a sharp left by a sunken area that is a pond in winter, you’ll find the trees 200 yards along on your left. In winter it’s a little wet underfoot to get there, in summer it’s rutted from animal use. The swing is on the far side of the trees toward the open heathland. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic. Walk for miles from here. You can see the top of the Isle of Wight hills easily. The swing itself is a rough job. The ground is flat. If the kids are bored send them jumping the fallen oaks like a horse race. Or spotting ponies. You’ll see masses.
4. Ranswood Stream Swings – Park here. SO42 7WB. https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/local/rans-wood-new-forest
Park in the car park at Ranswood and walk down the gravel track until you meet a wooden bridge. Turn right and follow the stream down and you’ll meet a lovely rope swing that goes out over a bend in the stream. It’s fairly shallow water here (not much over the knees in the deep bit when we visited). Further down again you’ll meet a tyre swing over the same stream. Walk back right up another gravel track and you’ll be back at the car. This area is fabulous for walks and if you don’t go right to the first rope swing, carry on over the wooden bridge you’ll go into a particularly lovely and wild area of the forest. Picnic by the first rope swing and the stream – top spot!
5. Under the fir trees. The one by the salt flats just before Needs Ore Point. SO42 7XJ.
Pass the parking for the RSPB bird hides (no noisy families here please) and down towards the yacht club. On the left just after the old fishermen’s cottages you’ll find a group of fir trees and there’s a lovely small swing over a grassy ditch. Perfect for under 6’s.
6. Puttles Bridge Swing near Puttles Bridge Car Park – https://carparkmaps.co.uk/carparks/view/20393
The one in the deepest darkest bit of the forest. Drive up to Rhinefield Walk. Head west out of Brockenhurst on Rhinefield Road. The road bears north. Park in Puttle’s Bridge car park. Walk back over the bridge and turn left along the stream (which will be on your right). Go for 100 yards and you’ll see a swing out over the stream. This is a fun swing for all year around use and since the bank drops steeply into the river gives a good depth change feel. The stream is fun to paddle in for the summer months and it’s a fabulous place to picnic and play hide and seek amongst these amazing and giant trees.
7. The one by the village. In Milford on Sea……
You can park in the small car park opposite the lovely Britannia Thai restaurant (def recommend). From there walk along the main road towards the beach and you will find a tiny bridge, just after you will see the path that leads you down for a lovely walk along the Danestream. There are actually 2 rope swings – the first is just five minutes walk away and is quite high so kids may need a leg up in order to sit on the branch or they can just hang (but its not easy)! The second is past the first, keep on the right hand path and just another minute or so and you find the second. This one is slightly easier and you can put your foot in the rope and stand up.
8. The highest swing we have found so far. Pipers Wait, Nomansland – http://www.ukcarparks.info/pipers-wait-car-park-nomansland
Stop on the way to our houses and visit this wonderful swing. It’s not for small children but brave over 6’s will love it. There is a steep drop off under the swing so you really get some height. Find Pipers Wait car park near Nomansland, Salisbury. Walk directly down the steep hill and keep your eyes open. The swing is on the bank parallel to the road to Nomansland.