The coastal path at Milford.

The main picture for this blog is the coastal path at Milford on Sea from Brian Terrey. It’s as beautiful as his picture. 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.

The coastal path in the National Park.

For a shorter walk with great picnic spot options, we recommend people walk from Tanners Lane towards Lymington. This isn’t a long walk. But once you walk away from the parking area you’ll very quickly (in about 100 metres) find yourself with only the views as company. Take a picnic blanket and a book. There are plenty of places to stop for a snooze and watch the birds go by.

A forest-based option with great coffee or cocktails.

might be to start from The Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst. Walks from here in most directions are lovely and quiet. The trees are so ancient and thick here that there it is rarely windy. So even if it’s raining, you’ll be fairly protected from the wind. In Autumn the leaves can be several feet thick and at dawn or dusk you’re very likely to see deer. Fallow and Red deer live here wild and are used to seeing people. Also watch out for large families of (usually very friendly) domestic pigs. Local small holders, turn them out into the forest to eat the acorns from the massive oaks in this area. This is known locally as ‘pannage’.

Get some big skies and walk the heath.

If you want a more heathy walk with open views then we recommend you walk near Lyndhurst and make a plan to go to Limewood Hotel for lunch. The hotel is well loved by locals and visitors alike and has a consistently good reputation. It’s not cheap but it is worth it for the modern Italian food. Do book. For the wildest walks, try to stay on the same side of the town as the hotel. The town traffic can be busy and the heath and forest on the Hotel side is very lovely.

Come and go to your walk by train.

Wilverley Plain area is beautiful.

How about catching the train to Beaulieu Road Station and walking around there is charming. Rolling heathland in all directions and peace and quiet everywhere.

Love trees? For a really wild take on a walk, delve off track into the heart of the forest. Read more information on our tree walk guide here. 

Thanks to Brian Terrey for the wonderful featured image on this blog.

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