Dog walks and dog days in the New Forest

This blog will help you choose where to walk your dog. All walks are about 2 hours and can easily be extended.

There are very few areas in the New Forest that you can’t walk with your dog but there are seasons to avoid ground-nesting birds (mid Feb to mid June).
Also – find out when your dog was last flea/tick treated. Even a tiny drop of the pesticide will kill most water-living in one pond – this has been very very bad recently and our dragon fly population has really suffered. Spot-on treatments are usually 6 week exclusion from dogs swimming. Be really careful about that.

Here is a great page for walking information on the New Forest National Park Authority website.


Our favourite walks…

1. Anytime of year – walk beside the Beaulieu River. From Bucklers Hard to Beaulieu village and back again.

This is a very pretty walk and main flat walk. Protected from wind in winter, leafy and shady in summer. Dogs (that haven’t had spot-on flea/tick treatments) can access the river, and if you start at the Agamemnon boat yard and walk toward Beaulieu, then there are lots of good cafe’s, a great pub and restaurant and a chocolatiere shop in Beaulieu to refuel.


2. Any time of the year – Start from Hatchet Pond, walk along Furzey Lane and into the woods toward Brockenhurst.

The heath here is beautiful. Dogs (check your dogs flea/tick treatment water exclusion time – usually 6-10 weeks) are welcome to swim in Hatchet Pond. Parking is good. You’ll definitely see wild ponies and probably cattle too. The forest area is quiet and the tracks well marked.

Go for lunch at the The Turf Cutters (usually more dogs than people) nearby in East End.

3. Any time of year – Roydon woods and the ancient forest toward Brockenhurst.

In the springtime, go and see the bluebells in Roydon Woods near Brockenhurst. It is owned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and has plenty of good vantage points. There is a lovely clear stream for dogs to swim in at the Roydon woods end. There are MASSES of deer living here, be careful if your dog is a chaser.

4. Any time of year – The coastal path from Milford on Sea and back to Lymington (take in the Hurst Castle Spit for a much longer walk). 

Some 6+ miles of trails, paths, tracks and beaches. Dogs can walk off the lead here through the year. The beaches are sandy at mid-low tide.

There is an excellent cafe at Hurst Castle for lunch, or stop in Keyhaven at The Gun Inn for a drink. Milford on Sea village is full of lovely cafes and a good fish and chip place too.

5. Any time of year – Hurst Castle and the spit. 

We love the 2 mile walk along the shingle spit to Hurst Castle. The sea is wild and fast moving on the western side, but the eastern side is protected by the spit and there is a huge lagoon. Perfect for dogs who love to swim. Walk east into pretty Keyhaven for a pit stop at The Gun (a famous smugglers haunt), or west into Milford on Sea for lunch.

All year – Fritham and Rufus Stone area. 

The walks here are never ending and absolutely beautiful. You’re deep in ancient trees and most of it is unfenced. Be careful to not get lost! Our favourite is the walk from the pub in Fritham (definitely stop here too) and out toward Godshill. The ridge on the hill has superb viewing and it’s less popular than the south of the forest.



sunrise new forest hill view new forest