Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
Spotting deer in the New Forest isn't always easy, but at Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary there is a purpose built viewing platform overlooking a large meadow area where a herd of fallow deer regularly gather.
Deer viewing at Bolderwood isn't guaranteed but the herd are fed daily by the local New Forest keeper, between the months of April and September, so the deer are more than happy to remain in the main meadow and are very accustomed to human presence.
Several of the animals are white, which is quite an uncommon colour for fallow deer to be. The platform provides an excellent photo opportunity although a zoom or telephoto lens is a very good idea, if you want close-up shots.
The wooden viewing platform is just a short distance from the main Bolderwood car park. Adjacent to the car park is a large flat grassy Forest lawn, perfect for kicking a football around or grouping up for a game of rounders! In fact, Bolderwood is one of the most popular spots in the New Forest for spending a sunny day and the area can become a bit congested during the better weather and holiday times.
While the deer sanctuary is the main attraction at Bolderwood, there are also graded walks and a large picnic area amongst the tall trees, alongside which is a New Forest information cabin (not always open) manned by a Forest Ranger. The picnic area also has decent toilet facilities.
If you don't want to stray too far from your vehicle, it's an ideal place to take a packed lunch and just enjoy the forest atmosphere.
Of course, if you want to see more of Bolderwood the graded walks take you through the surrounding woodland. Each one starts and ends at the picnic area and follow gravel tracks. There are three walks of 1/2 mile, 1 mile and 2 miles and all are very easy going.
Above, signposts mark the start of each graded walk from the main car park
The tracks go through parts of Bolderwood's Ancient and Ornamental Woodland and on a quiet day you may see plenty of wildlife. The trees are some of the tallest in the New Forest, with Douglas Fir and Redwoods present amongst the native beech and oak.
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary location
The deer sanctuary and Arboretum Ornamental Drive at Bolderwood can be reached from three different directions.
The easiest is to take the A35 road from Lyndhurst and turn right at the crossroads approximately 2 miles out of Lyndhurst. Drive through Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive and the main car park will be seen on the right, after a couple of miles.
Approaching from Emery Down is another option, taking the road that starts at The New Forest Inn. Follow this road past Highland Water and the Portuguese Fireplace and the car park will be on the left immediately as the inclosure ends.
Thirdly, Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary can be reached from the Stoney Cross and Linwood direction. From Stoney Cross airfield, turn left at the Milkham Inclosure T-junction and follow the road. After passing under the A31, continue for about half a mile until you see the main car park.
GPS / SatNav information:
Lat/long: 50.877,-1.656. OS grid ref: SU242086