This 17.9 mile (28.8km) circular walk starts from the Pipers Wait car park in the New Forest it goes across the New Forest to reach Abotts Well provideing fine views and then returns via Ibsley Common and Fritham Plain.
17.9 miles (28.8km)
6 -7.5 hours
This walk starts at the Pipers Wait car park in the New Forest just south of Nomansland (Grid Reference: SU249165)
Leaving the car park we cross the road and head west across open ground to Franchises Wood (Grid Reference: SU246165), turn left and follow the fence line.
The route runs along the fence line parallel to the B3078 and then the B3080 and passes Hope Cottage to reach the Ordnance Survey trig pillar at Pound Bottom (Grid Reference: SU219172). From the trig point continue along parallel to the B3080 for another 350 metres before crossing the road (Grid Reference: SU216174) to join a path heading south across Rushy Flat. This path leads to the B3078, Roger Penny Way. After crossing the road (Grid Reference: SU215169) continue south across open ground heading steadily downhill through the edge of Black Gutter Bottom.
The route then climbs to reach a firmer path (Grid Reference: SU216163) turn right and head southwesterly. At a fork in the track (Grid Reference: SU212161) go right and follow a track marked on the map as Leaden Hall for 1.75km. At a junction of paths at Little Cockley Plain (Grid Reference: SU197152) go right and then at the next junction (Grid Reference: SU194153) take a left to head downhill through Great Cockley Plain.
After skirting a copse continue to a brook running through Must Thorns Bottom (Grid Reference: SU189144). In the summer this would not present much of an obstacle, but in the winter it is more challenging to identify a spot to traverse the water.
Now head towards Pitts Wood Inclosure; the route keeps out of the woodland; instead we follow a path around the boundary of the inclosure initially going south before heading east to join another path (Grid Reference: SU195141). Turn right to head south to a cycle path going across Hampton Ridge and turn right (Grid Reference: SU197138).
Stay with this track ignoring paths leading off to the right and left, after 1.25km there is an Ordnance Survey trig point just off the track (Grid Ref: SU185135). Keep on the main cycle way to pass Windmill Hill. At a junction of paths near a minor road go left (Grid Reference: SU178129) and then almost immediately right to follow a path to the viewpoint besides Abbots Well car park (Grid Reference: SU177127). (To visit the Foresters Arms at Frogham continue west down Abotts Well Road for 500 metres)
From the viewpoint continue in a southwesterly direction across Hyde Common and then descend to a minor road, (Grid Reference: SU175123) cross and take a path running besides a cottage to reach another minor road (Grid Reference: SU175122) turn left and then cross a ford. At a T-junction (Grid Reference: SU176121) take a track opposite and go southeasterly to reach access land and then turn left along a driveway and then turn right (Grid Reference: SU179119) and head south skirting Dorridge Hill.
At a network of tracks and paths (Grid Reference: SU180113) go southwesterly towards Ibsley Common forking right at a junction (Grid Reference: SU176104) at a junction of tracks (Grid Reference: SU169100) turn left and then cross to reach the Ordnance Survey trig pillar close to Whitefield Plantation (Grid Reference: SU171098).
From the trig point head in a northeasterly direction. This is another area with a network of paths; we keep to a northeasterly bearing for 1.4km, on reaching a path (Grid Reference: SU184104) turn right and follow the path to cross Dockens Water onto Black Heath (Grid Reference: SU185103).
On reaching a gravel cycle way (Grid Reference: SU187102) turn left and follow it through Black Barrow to Woodford Bottom. Turn left to cross Dockens Water (Grid Reference: SU194111) and head uphill on a path towards the western edge of Hasley Inclosure. At a fork in the path go right (Grid Reference: SU192114) and continue on a path parallel to the southern side of the inclosure.
Join a track near the eastern entrance to the inclosure (Grid Reference: SU199121) and turn right to follow it across Hallickshole Hill. Stay with this track as it forks left (Grid Reference: SU205123) and then rises to reach a gate into Sloden Inclosure (Grid Reference: SU206126).
At a junction in the track turn right, this route weaves its way through the trees to reach a gate leading onto Fritham Plain (Grid Reference: SU217131).
Now follow a clear track northeasterly across Fritham Plain. After passing a parking area (Grid Reference: SU230140) cross a green. To the right is the Royal Oak pub. Cross the minor road (Grid Reference: SU231141) and continue on a track leading through the eastern edge of Howen Bushes.
Emerging from the trees turn to the right and follow a faint path to cross a minor road (Grid Reference: SU243148) then turn left to walk parallel with the road across Longcross Plain to reach the fourth OS trig pillar of the day (Grid Reference: SU244151).
The route is now straightforward, continue parallel to the road, crossing the B3078 and continuing north besides the minor road along the edge of Black Bush Plain to reach our starting point at Pipers Wait car park.
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historical information and points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL22 – New Forest]
© The Walking Moonraker (2020)
All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it. Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.