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New Forest Short Walks - Walks from Lyndhurst

Walk 5
This walk visits the hamlets of Pikes Hill, Emery Down and Swan Green.


The Route
Route map

1. Leave the village centre along Romsey Road – this is the road that enters the village at the traffic lights situated towards the top of the High Street.

Pass King’s Close on the left, and a thatched cottage, also on the left – this was once the site of a turnpike toll gate used by the Salisbury, Landford, Ower and Eling Turnpike Trust.

Pass a road on the left immediately beyond the thatched cottage – Forest Gardens - and after a short distance, follow the footpath to the left besides Gales Green, a small, relatively recently named village green.

2. Join a tarmac road leading to Pikes Hill, and follow it to the left. Ignore the next turn on the left into Calpe Avenue, and pass beside the 17th century Waterloo Arms – the first of our outlying pubs.

Continue straight ahead along this road, across a junction with Pikes Hill Avenue and Broughton Road. Pass on the left the entrance to Northerwood Farm and on the right the entrance to the village allotments. Follow the road as it bends to the left and passes the Fenwick2 Community Health and Well Being Centre and then bends to the right.

Eventually follow the road as it bends sharply to the left at a point where anther road joins from the right. Almost immediately, turn sharp left to follow a gravelled bridleway up a gentle incline beside a cottage called Stable End. (Note: the road straight ahead here, Mill Lane, is narrow, often extremely busy and in places has no footpath. It is not recommended for pedestrian use).

3. Pass a picturesque thatch cottage on the right, and go between two decrepit ‘dragon’s teeth’ placed to prevent access by vehicles. Pass a coppiced and pollarded ash tree on the right, mature ash and oaks on the left, and again on the right, a series of coppiced hazels - all indicate that this is an ancient track-way.

From here, open aspects downhill over the fields to the right can be enjoyed, whilst in the distance beyond, wide expanses of woodland greet the eye. On the left up ahead, Northerwood Inclosure, which was first planted in 1811, borders the path.

Reach the top of the hill and follow the path round to the left. Notice the boundary stone leaning at an improbable angle by the track side on the right. On one side are the initials HCC, whilst on the other side is what appears to be an indecipherable 19th century date.

Emery Down in the grip of winter
Emery Down in the grip of winter

This stone was used to mark the boundary of the Manor of Minstead. It is not marked on modern Ordnance Survey maps, but is shown on some older versions. The initials refer to Henry Combe Compton, Lord of the manor from 1803-1866.

From here, follow the path downhill to Emery Down and Silver Street.

The first cottage, another picturesque thatched building, is fittingly called End Cottage. The names of other properties do justice to the attractiveness of Silver Street, places such as Hare Hatch, Penny Cottage, Clematis Cottage, Wisteria Cottage and Honeysuckle Cottage.

Charcoal Cottage, marked with HV 1869, recalls charcoal burning occupations of previous Silver Street residents, including John Veal who in the 1841 Census was listed as a charcoal burner, aged 50. And nearby, high on the wall of number 15 Silver Street is a stone declaring ‘R. Veal, 1889’.

Pass on the left a set of old stone steps leading to a low, stone surround on the other side of the fence in Northerwood Inclosure, and at the next ‘T’ junction, turn right along the tarmac road.

4. Pass a road joining from the right, and also pass the village church. Beyond, on the left, is the old village school. Notice the absence of the school bell from its tall, brickwork frame below the weather vane – it is actually preserved within the church. Note also to the rear of the side wall an ornate brickwork panel with the intertwined initials AD and the date 1885.

Across the road are the village alms houses. Church, school and almshouses all owe their existence to Admiral Frederick Moore Boultbee, who funded their construction costs - the almshouses are still known as Boultbee Cottage.

Directly ahead on the left is the New Forest Inn, the second of our outlying pubs, whilst a little further on, on the right, is The Old Vicarage, one-time home of an earlier inn, The Running Horse and later the residence of Admiral Boultbee.

Retrace the route back past the New Forest Inn to Silver Street.

5. Continue straight ahead downhill, and pass the cricket pitch and thatched cottages at Swan Green.

6. Turn left to follow the main A35 leading back into Lyndhurst. Here, directly opposite, is The Swan – the last of our outlying inns.

Pass on the right after a short distance the squat form of a single storey lodge associated with the Cuffnells estate. Ignore a road joining from the right, and eventually pass on the right Hill House, a property used as a First World War hospital.

Ignore another road joining from the right alongside Queen’s House, then at the top of the High Street pass the Verderers’ Hall, the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels and the Crown Hotel.

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** New Forest ponies **
New Forest ponies in the road
Ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during the first six months of 2018, 36 animals were killed or injured on Forest roads, compared with 26 in the same period in 2017, a shocking rise of 38%.
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley