As we are still unable to tour in the caravan I am once again exploring parts of the New Forest I have not previously walked. A feature of this year has been the need to identify walks close to home that avoid contact with others. It has given me an opportunity to seek out a few Ordnance Survey trig points I have not previously bagged.
The starting point for today’s walk is the Abbotts Well Car Park close to the village of Frogham in the New Forest. This location gets its name from the nearby roadside ancient well which apparently dates from 1215. The southern end of the car park has a viewpoint with a toposcope helping to identify points on the horizon.
Leaving the car park I follow a track along the ridge heading west. After passing a cottage on the left I take a path on the left and then after a couple of hundred yards turn left to follow a track downhill across Hyde Common towards a minor road.
I cross the road and take a path running besides a cottage to reach another minor road where I turn left. In a few hundred yards at a T-junction I take a track opposite and go southeasterly to reach access land as the track sweeps to the left I take a path opposite heading up Dorridge Hill.
This path takes me over the top of the hill and then descends to a network of tracks and paths at Brogenslade Bottom. I take a broad, uphill track in a southerly direction to reach Ibsley Common. I have been here on previous occasions and decide to pop across to look at the World War II Direction Finding Station.
Originally the brick walls of this base were protection for a three storey wooden tower that stood within it and housed the High Frequency Direction Finding Station. Known as Huff-Duff, it was part of the network of locations across the Country used to track Allied Aircraft and help them to intercept enemy aircraft. The tower was made of wood to reduce interference and housed the equipment and operators.
From the Huff Duff I return to the track and head in south westerly direction to reach the Ordnance Survey trig pillar at Whitefield Plantation, this is one I have previously bagged.
After the trig I keep heading south west to reach a junction of tracks. I turn to the left and head south easterly towards a footbridge over Dockens Water.
After crossing the stream I head uphill to reach a minor road and cross to follow the footpath uphill and then drop down to cross a stream in Big Whitemoor Bottom.
I now head uphill to Rockford Common where the path heads to the east and then at a junction of tracks I turn right to walk besides a track heading south.
On reaching a road I turn left and walk besides the road to pass the entrance to a car park at Linford Bottom before crossing a stream.
At a road junction I go left, staying with this road as it bends to the south and heads steadily uphill. On reaching a cycle track on the left, opposite the entrance to Broomy Hurst, I leave the road and follow the track over Picket Hill.
There’s a network of paths up here, but I stay with the cycle track to reach the underpass of the A31 at Picket Post. It is now a very hot day and the underpass is obviously a favourite spot for New Forest Ponies seeking some shelter from the sun. The ponies are totally ambivalent of me as I squeeze by them.
On the far side of the tunnel I take a path heading east towards Ridley Wood.
The route descends to cross the attractive Mill Lawn Brook before heading up to reach the edge of Ridley Wood.
After passing through the woods I stay with a track, Sir Dudley’s Ride, named after Sir Dudley Forwood, 3rd Baronet (1912-2001); apparently he was the sole equerry to the Duke of Windsor after his abdication. Following World War II Sir Dudley moved to the New Forest and held a number of roles within the local community.
The route soon heads north besides Berry Wood and then continues on towards Backley Inclosure. On a sunny June day it is very exposed here, there is no cover and the heat is oppressive. The track passes the inclosure and then becomes a fainter route as it descends through Backley Bottom and then heads up to Bratley Wood.
At a track I turn right and then after a few hundred yards turn left to follow a path towards a footbridge over Bratley Water.
After crossing the footbridge I follow a route up to reach a cycle way at a gate into Bolderwood Grounds, here I turn left following the cycle way as it heads steadily uphill towards a car park. I am no fan of cycling, whenever I get on a bike I end up with a bad back. I meet a group of cyclists who are finding it difficult to ride up this track and soon realise I am gaining ground on them, then they suffer the ultimate humiliation of being overtaken by a walker! At which point they decide it is time to stop for a rest.
Nearing a minor road I skirt the busy car park to avoid contact with others and head across to the Canadian Memorial. Apparently it was here that on 14th April 1944 Rev Keith Perdue, Chaplain to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, erected a cross and held services for the servicemen preparing for the Normandy Invasion on 6th June 1944. Sadly many of these men did not survive the invasion and subsequent battles.
Leaving the Memorial I head north besides the road and then very quickly turn right onto a track into Bolderwood. At a fork in the track I go left, leaving the main track to join a grass track heading downhill through the trees and bending to the left to reach the edge of an inclosure where I turn right and cross a footbridge over Long Brook.
I stay with a path close to the border of the inclosure heading towards Stonard Wood. I then follow the path through the woods, still close to the edge of the inclosure to reach the Ordnance Survey trig pillar at Harts Hill, this is the 210th trig I have bagged.
From the trig I head north west on a track to the northern edge of Stonard Wood where I turn left until I reach a path on the right towards Withybed Bottom where I turn and follow the path down towards Long Brook known as Murray’s Passage.
Just after crossing the brook I spot the memorial stone to Admiral Murray who was killed in 1901 whilst out hunting. The track through Withybed Bottom was constructed as a safe passage across the boggy land in memory of Murray.
After ascending the other side of the valley I reach a track close to a pond and turn left to head south easterly to Lucas Castle. After passing over the hill I descend to cross a stream at fords and turn right following a track to a junction of tracks at Fritham Cross Hollies where I turn right heading for the A31 underpass. Emerging on the east side of the A31 I soon take a track to the left and follow this to Slufters Inclosure. In the Inclosure I follow a track to a crossing where I turn left to join a cycle way.
I follow the cycle way through the inclosure to reach a minor road which I cross and continue through more trees. Emerging from the trees I turn left on a track heading towards the A31 and then keep with the track as it sweeps to the right and heads east to reach the trig point on Bratley Plain, my 211st.
Now I stay with the track heading east to reach Roe Inclosure.
In the Inclosure I stay on the track heading east towards Amie’s Corner. On reaching a gate besides Roe Cottage I go through and then turn right to follow a grassy path to reach a minor road where I turn right to follow a path besides the road to reach a car park. Here I cross the road to follow a track through Broomy Walk to head steadily downhill to pass the High Corner Inn.
After passing this pub I continue on a track and on reaching Dockens Water cross on a footbridge.
The route I now take is north east across the common heading steadily uphill to pass Hasley Inclosure.
Then I continue on across Hasley Hole. This area appears to be a meeting spot for ponies.
On reaching a track I go right to head north crossing a footbridge and then going by Ogden’s Farm. Staying with the track until I reach a path below Abbotts Well Car Park where I turn right and make the short ascent to my starting point.
My walk has covered 21.5 miles on a very hot day. It has been interesting exploring these parts of the New Forest. The area of the forest that I have walked around is littered with tracks and paths so if you plan to follow my route I would recommend downloading the GPX file.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL22 New Forest
You can view this 21.5mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here (Subscription to OS Maps Required)
23rd June 2020
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)