Hampshire is the fifth-most populated county in England – yet in spite of its many villages and towns, there is still plenty of countryside to explore.
Set out across this landscape on foot and discover thriving wildlife, verdant woods and beautiful coast with our favourite Hampshire hikes.
Here is our pick of the best walks in Hampshire, including the New Forest and South Downs National Parks.
Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst, Hampshire
This 6.5-mile walk starts at Hollands Wood in Brockenhurst, winding through wildlife-rich forests to Beechen Lane in Lyndhurst. Look out for deer and ponies as you make your way north towards the ‘capital’ of the New Forest.
Spot ponies alongside the path ©Getty
Meon Valley, Hampshire
Discover a landscape shaped by man and nature over 6,000 years on a walk that enters the heart of the South Downs National Park in Hampshire.
The Meon Valley ©Thinkstock
Denny Wood, Hampshire
The New Forest National Park, with its rich mosaic of heathland, oak and beech woodlands, hasn’t changed that much since William and his nobles hunted there over nine centuries ago. Here’s an easy three-mile walk into the glorious and historic New Forest National Park.
A young fallow deer and its father looking into the camera in the forest ©Thorsten Spoerlein
Solent Way, Hampshire
Stroll down the Solent Way and discover another side to the New Forest National Park.
From vast heathland hills and ancient trees, to butterflies, reptiles, wading birds and wild ponies, the national park is a vital refuge for some of Britain’s most precious species.
Here is our guide to the best walks in the New Forest National Park, from food trails and woodland rambles, to the 60-mile Solent Way.
View the best walks in the New Forest National Park
views from the solent way footpath new forest national park lymington-keyhaven nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary hampshire england uk salt marsh marshes ©Getty
St Catherine’s Hill, Hampshire
Walk to the top of the tree-topped beacon of St Catherine’s Hill in historic Winchester with this easy four-mile stroll.
St Catherines Hill ©Getty
Beaulieu Food Trail, Hampshire
Explore the beautiful Hampshire village of Beaulieu before following the Beaulieu River south to the shipbuilding village of Bucklers Hard. The route is 2.2 miles each way, but your day out can be as long or short as you like.
Cistercian monks founded an abbey in 1204, naming it Beau-lieu, meaning beautiful place ©Getty
Avon Valley Path, Hampshire/Wiltshire
The 34-mile Avon Valley Path runs north to south from the Cathedral city of Salisbury along the border of the New Forest National Park to Christchurch on the south coast. Walk a small section of this historic waymarked path, or take on the whole lot over several days.
The town of Fordingbridge sits ten miles south of Salisbury on the Avon Valley Path ©Getty
Comprising undulating chalk downland, dry valleys and huge coastal cliffs, the South Downs National Park is one of Britain’s most precious landscapes.
Take to the trail with our guide to the South Downs best walks and discover 260 square miles of spectacular countryside, interwoven with dozens of thriving towns and villages.
Here is our guide on the best hiking routes in the South Downs National Park.
This circular six mile walk takes in the gently clinking yachts in Hamble-le-Rice marina, the rootling birdlife on the coastal mudflats and a ride across the water in a pretty pink ferry.
Golden Plovers are one of the species that can be spotted on the mudflats by the Hamble river ©Getty