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New Forest Short Walks - Walks from Lyndhurst

Walk 3
This walk crosses Lyndhurst’s old Race Ground and skirts the Golf Course.


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 on the left a road immediately beyond the thatched cottage – Forest Gardens - then Gales Green, and eventually a black and white building called Turnpike Cottage – the site of another turnpike toll gate.

Opposite, just beyond the last houses, can be seen the extensive grasslands of Lyndhurst’s old race ground.

Access to the race ground grassland is through a gate a short distance along Racecourse View, which is the road on the right beside the Forest Point Hotel.

Alternative access is available at the far end of the roadside lay-by opposite the Magistrates Court and Police Station.

2. From the Racecourse View gate, go half-left to meet at the end of a drainage channel mid-way over the grassland, the fence bordering the main road. Look out here in May for magnificent displays of yellow iris in the channel, including many white-flowered examples.

A path running alongside the fence leads to the lay-by entrance.

3. From there, walk over the grassland towards a narrow gap in the trees, almost mid-way between the main road and a birch-clad hillock at the base of which is a bench.

Pass through the gap in the trees and skirt the golf course – here, amongst the short grass, can be found patches of heather, cross-leaved heath, tormentil and bog myrtle that betray the open-Forest origins of the course.

4. Reach a strip of primarily alder woodland that has grown up beside a narrow stream, the Beaulieu River whose source is just across the main road, not far from the police station. Turn right to follow the woodland edge.

Many of the alders here show evidence of past coppicing and pollarding, a reminder that alder timber was a valuable resource that was often burnt to produce charcoal for use in the manufacture of gas mask filters.

After a relatively short distance, pass a turning on the left along a gravel track leading into the trees. Immediately after this track, pass a golf course green adjacent to a magnificent clump of ancient, coppiced hollies, with just beyond, an area of heath and rough grassland.

Continue along the edge of the golf course, and pass another turning on the left.

New Forest ponies and golfers make unlikely companions on Lyndhurst golf course
New Forest ponies and golfers make
unlikely companions on Lyndhurst golf course

5. Follow the boundary of the course as it swings round to the right, cross the approach road and continue round as far as the clubhouse.

6. Reach the far end of the clubhouse car park, turn left and enter the adjacent straggle of woodland. Here can be found two parallel earthen banks 15 metres (50 feet), or so, apart, running almost from the A35 Ashurst road to the A337 Cadnam road. It’s tempting to imagine that these once bordered the race course, but sad to say, they're simply spoil heaps thrown up many years ago when the adjacent, now entirely natural-looking, drainage channels were dug out.

Turn right and proceed straight ahead between the two banks until a ‘T’ junction of tracks is reached.
 
7. To return to Racecourse View, turn left, cross an almost adjacent small bridge, and the gate alongside the road will be in sight across the grassland.

To reach the roadside lay-by, turn right at the ‘T’ junction of tracks, and then immediately left to follow woodland edge for a short distance, before crossing the grassland close to the road.

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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