Taking short walks in the New Forest is a rejuvenating experience, seamlessly blending nature and exercise. Whether it’s part of your daily routine or exploring at the weekends, getting your steps in is super important. Not only will it benefit your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing too; plus, walking while surrounded by the stunning nature and wildlife in the New Forest is unmatched.

Follow winding tracks through beautiful woodlands or hike across incredible heathlands, discovering unique flora and free-roaming animals along the way and taking in breathtaking views. You don’t have to walk far to reap the benefits of being in the great outdoors; there’s plenty of excellent short walks to choose from, with over 140 miles worth of walking pathways in the New Forest and a great selection of recommended routes on our website, all of which are interactive and have step-by-step directions pinpointed along the way.

Here’s our top short walks in the New Forest…

  1. Blackwater – Tall Trees Trail

Distance: 1.4 miles (2.3km)
Start: Blackwater car park, Grid ref. SU 268 047
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A circular walk passing by stunning nature, including some of the oldest Douglas fir trees in Britain and two giant redwoods. It’s no wonder why this is such a popular walk in the New Forest!

  1. Bolderwood – Jubilee Grove Trail

Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
Start: Bolderwood car park, Grid ref. SU 243 086
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This quick walk takes you along a path through wonderful ancient woodlands. Stop by at the deer viewing platform along the way, where you may be lucky enough to see some of these majestic animals.

Group walking through heathland during the autumn in the New Forest

  1. Reptile Centre Discovery Trail

Distance: 1.1 miles (1.7km)
Start: New Forest Reptile Centre Car Park, SO43 7NH
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Follow the circular loop, with fun activities to try along the way! Although best enjoyed during the summer, when the Reptile Centre is open, you can also access the route from the opposite end of the loop.

  1. Whitefield Moor : Longer Loop

Distance: 1.6 miles (2.6km)
Start: Whitefield Moor car park, Grid ref SU 274 026
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Soak up stunning scenery with views across grassland and heathland, walk along Ober Water and enjoy a stroll through woodlands. This longer Whitefield Moor loop allows you to see even more beauty than the short loop, but it still isn’t too long!

  1. Rockford Common Walk

Distance: 2.5 miles (4km)
Start: Rockford Common Car Park, BH24 3NF

Explore the north of the New Forest on this lovely circular walk, where you’re very likely to see free roaming animals, such as our famous New Forest ponies (please remember to always keep your distance). This area is rich in wildlife and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Walking dogs on leads by free roaming ponies in the New Forest

  1. Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard Walk

Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
Start: Beaulieu Village Centre, SO42 7YF
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One of the most popular routes for families to get their steps in, explore the wonderful area between Beaulieu and Buckler’s Hard along fields and woodland, passing by Beaulieu River.

  1. Keyhaven Walk

Distance: 1.9 miles (3km)
Start: Keyhaven Car Park, SO41 0TP
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If you need some fresh sea air, the Keyhaven Walk is perfect. Walk along the seawall, spot wildlife at the Marshes and discover the small village of Keyhaven, with it’s pretty harbour.