This walk starts at the village centre before setting out on a circular walk around the edge of the village. There is a gentle uphill climb along Castle Hill Lane where there are good views across the Avon Valley; the perfect setting for stories about dragons and smugglers. The route passes an ancient hill fort on Castle Hill before descending back to the village and along the edge of the Open Forest. The walks return to the village centre past pretty Forest properties and the Queen's Head pub.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start at The Burley Inn (opposite the village square bus stop) and turn right onto Pound Lane, crossing the road at the Village Hall. Pass New Forest Cider and continue ahead until the pavement ends at a bus stop sign and a bench under a tree. Cross the road carefully to the cycle post (153) opposite and uphill along Castle Hill Lane and cycle track.
(1) Peep over the hedge on your left into the large grassy meadow of Burley Beacon. Follow the track uphill. Just past Black Bush, a grassy meadow on your left, the track dips steeply downhill and then back uphill to Castle Hill. On a clear day, you can enjoy views south west across Cranes Moor to the Avon valley and Purbeck hills beyond. Stop here to explore the ridge and the earthworks of Castle Hill fort.
(2) Follow the track downhill and take the second turning on your right past houses to Burley Street Garage along Randells Lane. Carefully cross the road at this point. Turn right alongside the road to cross over Coach Hill Lane and then turn left onto Forest Road.
(3) Continue along the road past many large properties and over a footbridge at a ford crossing. Now follow the road with the Open Forest to your left.
(4) See if you can spot a low earthen mound about 100 metres from the road to your left. This is a tumulus - a Bronze Age earthen burial chamber. Their presence indicates that people were living in the Forest around 3,500 years ago.
When the road ends, turn right at the road junction onto Chapel Lane and cross a bridge with a red post box over Mill Lawn Brook. Continue straight ahead and over a second bridge and past the site of Burley's first chapel built in 1789, which is now in private ownership. Views of Burley Lawn can be glimpsed between houses on your left.
(5) Turn left into Beechwood Lane, passing traditional Forest properties, and continue ahead uphill. Turn right onto Church Lane and follow the gravel track past more houses and then through a small wood with two low wooden barriers on the track. Ahead is the village church, St John the Baptist, built in 1838. Continue to the end of Church Lane where there are views of Burley Manor. Turn left onto Chapel Lane to return to the village centre via the public car park or stop at the Queen's Head pub for some smuggling nostalgia.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 203ft - The Burley Inn
1 : mi 0.84 - alt. 266ft - Burley Beacon
2 : mi 1.61 - alt. 299ft - Castle Hill
3 : mi 2.06 - alt. 200ft - Forest Road
4 : mi 2.72 - alt. 164ft - Low earthen mound
5 : mi 3.56 - alt. 194ft - Beechwood Lane
D/A : mi 4.23 - alt. 197ft - The Burley Inn
Accessibility: Mostly easy walking on level ground with some gentle gradients. One long but gentle uphill section. Three road crossings and a footbridge.
Local facilities: Burley village parking and public toilets. Newsagent and post office, village stores, New Forest Cider, plenty of pubs, restaurants / tea rooms and cafés, antique and gift shops, cycle hire shop.
There is plenty of natural food for the grazing animals so please don't feed them. It's against the byelaws and human food can harm them. Some hand-fed ponies become aggressive with people who, quite rightly, keep their picnics to themselves.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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