Walk 1612 - Lyndhurst Circular
Walk Route Description
The walk is described from Bolton's Bench car park (entrance at grid ref. SU 3030 0815) on the outskirts of Lyndhurst. The first part, near the road, takes only a few cars but there is a much larger area further up the access road. Whichever section is used start by continuing up the tarmac access road which becomes gravel and bends right to pass between the cemetery, left, and the cricket ground, with a pretty thatched pavilion. You go through a barrier and continue on a more or less straight broad track across the heathland with wide views over White Moor to the left. The firm path becomes sandy. Where it splits take the right hand fork. It is now starting to approach a road but before reaching the road fork left to take one of several paths running through the heather parallel to the road.
After about 700 yards the path goes down into a dip with a crossing path. Turn left here and follow the path down hill. Where it levels off you are walking parallel to Matley Wood about 200 yards to the right. Eventually the path turns towards the wood. Ignore a path going straight on and follow it. Almost immediately after entering the tip of the wood there is a crossing path. Turn left here and soon leave the trees to continue over the heather to a bridge over the Beaulieu River (grid ref SU 3305 0860).
From here go straight on between a copse, left, and two solitary trees. At a crossing path turn left towards green pastures seen beyond the heather. You are aiming for the wooden rails of a bridge which you should soon notice ahead. Do not cross the bridge but on reaching it turn right on the right hand one of two tracks, not the one which goes immediately into woods. Your path starts off over heath. When it does eventually enter open woodland it becomes indistinct. Maintain the previous direction and you should reach a point where it splits into two much clearer paths. Take the left hand option running virtually due N up a ride between the trees. As it approaches the A35 it splits. Again take the left hand option and in 100yards reach a gate (grid ref SU 3250 0970). The sight lines on the A35 are good but you do have to take both carriageways at once so take CARE! crossing.
Once over the A35 go straight on along a wide gravel track through denser woods, until you reach a crossing cycle route. Turn right along this for 100yards but, where the cycle route turns right, go straight on. This straight gravel track goes over a ford (the OS map says footbridge) which is not difficult, having a concrete base, but depending on water depth could result in wet feet. In another 150yards or so another crossing cycle route is reached. Turn left and go with the cycle route through the thick conifers of Busketts Lawn Inclosure until at cross tracks it turns left. Go straight on to a gate.
Now in older traditional woodland, Yew Tree Hill, the track becomes less distinct but follows the wider break between the trees to lead you out of the woods. (At this point the path is no longer shown on the OS map but is not difficult to follow.) Go straight on to a ford across a narrow stream (no need to use the ford - jump over upstream) and then straight on (due W) over the lawn down a funnel between trees. At the end of the funnel swing right to pick up a track on entry into the woods, Little Stubby Hat. This swings further right and comes to a wider track (now again shown on the map). Turn left and wind through the woods to arrive at a bridge.
Cross and go straight on through Furzy Lawn Inclosure (this lawn has been enclosed and planted with trees!). When you reach a crossing cycle route turn left. At a grassy crossing track turn left. Where this wide but rough path divides take the right hand option to a gate and then over a bridge. (This is another area where on the OS map the path is not shown - and with more justification.) From the bridge try to maintain your previous direction - any path is very indistinct - but when you glimpse an open space over on the left it might help to make for it and when you reach the edge turn right and keep going straight down the edge (SE). You will have to re-enter trackless and somewhat boggy open woodland and go further in this direction to reach your next objective which is a crossing track, not all that clear but fairly obvious, where you turn right (SW). If you have got it right you will fairly soon come out at a large open space at a T-junction of tracks (grid ref SU 3040 0985).
There are too many paths crossing this open space. Just turn right on the broad path and keep following the most obvious track as it curves left until you arrive at a five way junction of paths. Here choose the most indistinct, going forward half right. It meets a broader track. Turn left and follow this as it winds through woods to a bridge on the right. Cross this to the old racecourse, now a golf course. Turn left and follow the edge of the golf course round two sides until you get to the drive to the club house. Do not go onto this but turn left and go to the left hand of a large mound and through the underpass (thus avoiding a second crossing of the A35). Once through the underpass climb up the right hand side of the dip and go towards an isolated group of silver birch. Just before reaching these turn right on a cross track. Once past the cemetery turn right again to return to the car park.