FREE Hampshire Pub Walk: Rhinefield (4.5 miles)
Below is a free chapter from Guide to Hampshire & the New Forest Pub Walks. This walk (a 4.5-mile route around Rhinefield) is one of 20 circular routes in the book, covering the county's prettiest countryside and finest pubs.
RHINEFIELD (4½ miles)
This walk starts by the shallow banks of Ober Water, before heading north across a classic New Forest landscape of grassland, heather and gorse, with plenty of opportunities to spot ponies as well as the occasional deer. Return along gravel tracks, before a stretch along a road famous for its towering conifers leads you back to the car park.
- START & PARKING: The Forestry Commission Car Park at Putties Bridge, just off Rhinefield Road. Sat Nav: 5042 7QB. MAP: OS Explorer OL22 New Forest. Grid Ref: SU271029.
- TERRAIN: Level walking and a good option for wet weather as half the walk uses flat gravel paths.
RECOMMENDED PUB: The Huntsman of Brockenhurst, Brockenhurst, S042 7RH.
1. Walk from the far end of the car park, heading away from the road and following the Ober Water Trail through tall trees. Continue along the path with the stream on your right until you come to a second footbridge.
2. Now turn left. following the wide path heading north, passing Aldridge Hill Cottage on your left. Just behind the cottage turn left along a gravel path, cross a small ditch then turn right along a wide grassy path into the moorland, passing a no cycling sign on a post on the right. Walk ahead over this ancient landscape, with heather either side of the path. Cross a footbridge and continue on wide grassy paths between gorse bushes filled with tiny flowers in early summer. Cross another footbridge over Fletchers Water. Walk a short distance to a junction of grassy paths.
3. At the Y-junction, take the option on the right, veering diagonally right on a wide grassy path that narrows to raised gravel between the trees, before leading you to a fence. Turn right and walk with the fence on your left. then at the corner, head off veering diagonally to the left along a narrow grassy path between the heather, heading towards birch trees. Walk through the trees and you will see a footbridge ahead of you leading over Highland Water.
4. Don't go as far as the bridge, instead turn left to follow a wide gravel path, popular with cyclists. Go through a wooden gate and stay on this path as it leads you through Poundhill Enclosure. Pass two cross tracks.
5. At the third cross track, turn left. passing a warning sign for the ford. The path joins a gravel track and you turn left. shortly crossing the ford over a footbridge. The track leads you through Fletchers Hill Enclosure until eventually you come to Rhinefield Road.
6. Turn left and walk roadside, admiring the tall pine trees. Pass Rhinefield House Hotel on your right, then look out for a barrier gate on your left. Go through the gate to follow a sandy track under the shade of the trees. Turn right at a hairpin bend, and walk with a fence on your left. Follow the fence as it turns to the left, then follow the path as it weaves through the trees, with the road on your right, until you see the car park ahead.
PLACES OF INTEREST NEARBY
Blackwater Arboretum is the perfect spot for tree lovers to explore. with a stunning collection of trees from around the world. Head north along Rhinefield Drive to the Blackwater car park.
For car lovers, Beaulieu National Motor Museum has a world famous collection of vehicles, as well as films, memorabilia and motoring related artefacts. Fletcher Endo It is in the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey, and a Rhinefield 4i Fletchers Water short walk along the river takes you to nearby Buckler's Hard, where ships for Nelson's fleet were once built.
This walk features in Guide to Hampshire & the New Forest Pub Walks
- Rory Batho