Woodland in Hampshire: 8 of the best places to visit
PUBLISHED: 15:32 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 30 October 2017
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Our woodlands are a magical place to visit whatever the season, but autumn is extra special. From the beauty of Rhinefield to glorious gardens like Exbury, Claire Pitcher pays a visit to some of the best
Micheldever Wood, SO24 9UB
Famed for its stunning bluebell display in spring, this large maturing beech wood has areas of mature conifer. There’s a surfaced trail that goes from the car park into the wood. Stout footwear is required in wet conditions. The car park is on the opposite side of the lane to a private property.
Alice Holt Forest, GU10 4LS
You can walk, cycle, play or have a picnic in these lovely woods. Experience life in the trees with Go Ape, take a relaxing break in the new café and finish your visit with a stroll in one of the more remote parts of the forest. Children can download The Gruffalo Spotter app and follow the interactive trail. They can also enjoy the ‘Timberline’ play trail.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park, PO8 0QE
From the top of Butser Hill, the highest point on the South Downs, down to the visitor centre with its shop and cafe, the park makes for a great day out with its 20 miles of trails. There are 38 species of butterfly and 12 species of wild orchid to spot, plus guided walks all year round, from ‘dawn chorus’ to ‘fungal forays’.
Havant Thicket, PO9 6HE
The lesser-known woodland at Havant Thicket has access to a link path that will take you into neighbouring Staunton Country Park. Choose from a variety of tracks and identify the many types of trees and wildlife, either on foot or by bike.
Creech Wood, PO7 6UB
This wood is mostly made up of conifer, with some areas of old broadleaved trees. The different age structures of these trees provide different habitats for wildlife, including patches of heather. Wide grassy rides provide a network of walks. There are no waymarked walks provided, so new users are advised to take care not to get lost.
West Walk, PO17 6JD
An ideal wood for a complete day out for all the family with walking trails, cycling and picnic spots. At 350 hectares it is the largest remaining fragment of the former Forest of Bere. There are two waymarked walking trails and plenty of natural paths to help you discover West Walk on foot or by bike.
Wood End, PO17 6JZ
Part of the West Walk area of the Forest of Bere, there is a Forest of Bere Trail that starts from Woodend Car Park and takes you over the stream and past the ponds. The natural forest playground is suitable for children of all ages, with a huge oak tree house, wooden playhouses, wigwams, sand pit, climbing wall, bridge and shingle stream. There are several picnic areas with benches.
Upperford Copse, PO17 6JZ
With its mature Beech trees, Upperford Copse is a pleasant woodland walk at any time of the year. Like at Micheldever there are fabulous displays of bluebells in the spring. There is a link from the easy access trail to the old Meon Valley Railway line for the more adventurous who may wish to access the wood from Wickham, or explore further into the Meon Valley.
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