Updated: Feb 7
We have found some fantastic places for new adventures and if you like Pooh Sticks, rope swings, water play and the forest....then trust me, it's probably worth a visit for you too!
1) Ober Water Trail
The Ober Water Trail is made up of 2 trails...the red, a mile and half and the yellow, at just a mile. Both walk through the Woodlands and along the river. There are often rope swings that have been created by other visitors and offer heaps of fun, swinging out over the river. The walkway is a mixture of gravel pathways and grassland on a gentle slope.
Parking spot for this trail can be Puttles Bridge or Whitefield Moor. Whitefield Moor has toilets and is next to a large field, great for picnics and sports.
2) Puttles Bridge
The Sat Nav for Puttles Bridge, directed us to a nearby hotel but continue along the road and you will eventually reach the Puttles Bridge car park.
Puttles Bridge is part of the Ober Water Trail but is on the main stretch, close to the river, bridges and rope swings without the walking of the full trail.
3) Blackwater New Forest
Blackwater offers a few trails, a Tall Trees trail, a sensory trail and a walk close to the river.
Blackwater is located close to the Ober Water Trail and Puttles Bridge. If using the Sat Nav postcode for the hotel, you are likely to pass Blackwater before getting there.
Car parking charges are on a "Donation" basis, and all contributions are put towards keeping the car parks in a good condition. Toilets are are also available at the Blackwater car park.
Bolderwood in the New Forest is a sanctuary for Fallow deer. Venturing around the trail, be sure to be quiet as we were lucky enough to spot the antlers of a couple of deer, grazing in the sun and one settled in the shade of the tree. But they are well camouflaged. The pathway follows, a circular trail heading from the car park and returning you back to this spot. There are 3 circular trails in total at Bolderwood, starting at less than a mile.
Next to the car park is a field suitable for a picnic and ball games. The deers are fed most days at 12:30pm and 2:30pm, which means the deer return to the viewing deck at these times to check if the rangers are there. There were about 50 deer arriving for lunch when we visited and more were still emerging from the forest. It's amazing just how well camouflaged they must have been, earlier in the day Parking, again, on a donation system and toilets are available at the car park. Barbeques to hire at this site.
5) Balmer Lawn, Brockenhurst.
Located next to Balmer Lawn Hotel, this can be used for Sat Nav location. This is a atural area and toilets aren't on site. There isn't a huge amount of parking close by due to the river being very popular with the locals but we were able to park along the road and had an amazing day. The river is various depths here, nothing too deep (this would depend on recent rainfall) Buckets and nets can be fun to catch creatures from the river. Rope swings can usually be found here too. Ponies and cows often cross through the river here and is an amazing sight.
*)The New Forest Review
To some this may seem like an absolute nightmare but to us, this is what adventure is all about!! Were they wet? Yes! Were they muddy? Yes! But were they happy? ABSOLUTELY!! 😀😀 The memories made over mud pies and the friendships built through rope swing teamwork, are the ones that will last a lifetime. The wild ponies trotting through the river is not something we're going to see everyday. The New Forest is always a hit for us, and will continue to be. Disclaimer:
These are natural areas and it is possible that they will change, due to human interference or nature. Take care when participating in any activity. Water play needs to be undertaken with care, always check river depth and the river bed for hidden objects/ pot holes. Water depth and speed will change with rainfall. All these areas have been safe to paddle in when we have attended. Never climb on log piles. Barbeques are not permitted in the New Forest unless at designated hire spots. This is an area of natural beauty, please take care and take all your rubbish home with you!