10 areas of Hampshire woodland to enjoy a walk or cycle
PUBLISHED: 11:54 20 October 2020
Our woodlands are a magical place to visit whatever the season. From the beauty of Micheldever Wood to Upperford Copse, we pay a visit to some of the best
1) 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 and stout footwear is required in wet conditions. The car park is on the opposite side of the lane to a private property.
2) 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 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.
3) 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 a number of themed trails to try at different times of the year.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) Roydon Woods Nature Reserve, SO42 7UF
Based in the New Forest near Brockenhurst and the Lymington River, this ancient woodland is made up of a variety of habitats from grassy meadows to copses of conifer and hazel.
From here you can also walk further on to Setley Plain and Buckland Rings, the site of a former Iron Age hill fort. This is a wonderful spot to take your dog and you can be sure you’ll enjoy this part of the county just as much as your four-legged friend.
10) Lepe Country Park, SO45 1AD
As well as having some stunning areas of woodland, this country park also benefits from having a range of wonderful coastal views to The Solent and further on to the Isle of Wight.
There are many walking trails you can take through the park and at low tide you can stroll right along the water’s edge before heading inland to explore the various copses and patches of woodland.