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Important: 3 things to note before you start the walk...
1. This walk suggestion must not be taken as any kind of official New Forest walking guide.
2. Walkers using these pages must be responsible for their own safety and awareness.
3. The owner(s)/author of www.new-forest-national-park.com take absolutely no responsibility for anyone following this walk suggestion, or for using any information whatsoever from the website.
Holm Hill is in the Brockenhurst / Rhinefield area of the New Forest, and this walk takes you over some open heathland before entering a small area of woodland. The going is easy, with a mixture of sandy and gravel surfaces and no inclines to speak of, despite the name!
Car park (Whitefield Moor) location: OS ref. SU275027 -- GPS lat/long: 50.822,-1.612
Approximate distance of this walk: 3 miles
Allow (time): an hour and a half.
Nearest pub/s: Choice of several in nearby Brockenhurst village, or the Rhinefield House Hotel.
Important update: Regrettably the OS map excerpt previously shown for this walk can no longer be used on this website. The walk is do-able without it, by following the directions and photos outlined below, but please take extra care. If you don't feel confident about trying the walk without the map excerpt, please don't!
My apologies for any inconvenience caused by this.
Start the walk from Whitefield Moor car park; walk out of the car park and back to the road.
Directly opposite the car park entrance there is a small sandy track, with a couple of wooden dragon's teeth posts on the roadside. Head on to this track and follow it through the heather.
After a very short distance this small track is crossed by a larger, more defined one running left-right. Turn right on to this bigger track and stay on it across the heathland.
Keep heading in this direction, ignoring any tracks joining yours, until you come to a very noticeable area of wetland, partially enclosed by a fence. Turn right immediately after the 'bridge', onto a narrower gravel track.
Follow this track, it bears left and goes uphill.
At some point up the hill you can look across to see the southern face of the Rhinefield House Hotel, visible through the trees across the heath.
The narrow track continues to climb slightly, and you'll see a small area of woodland at the top of the hill, the track continues along the southern edge of this woodland.
As the trees start to thin out, the track you're on continues westwards, but an even narrower track splits off to the right, going slightly downhill. Take this new track.
After a very short distance you'll come to a definite crossroads, with a larger track running left-right. Turn right here, and continue on this wider track, a mixture of sand and gravel.
Stay on this definite track for a while, you'll pass an isolated clump of pine trees on your right hand side. Keep going!
Shortly after the pine trees the path becomes more solid, and crosses the river over a wooden bridge. This is Ober Water, a typical New Forest stream.
Continue on the path and enter the inclosure ahead, through the 5-bar wooden gate.
Almost immediately after passing through the gate, you'll see a second gate directly ahead of you. Walk towards it, but turn right at the crossroads which are just before this second gate.
Having turned right, stay on this wide Forestry Commission track through Clumber Inclosure. Depending on the state of the trees, you may or may not see the hotel on your left.
Keep on this track until you reach another 5-bar gate; go through this and cross the road, picking up the gravel track directly opposite.
Follow this track for 100m or so, and look out for a small path heading off to the right. It's not always obvious, but it's definitely there. Take it and head down through the woodland. Update: this is now fenced, so continue on the main gravel track until the next right turn!
Due to the above mentioned update, there's no photo but after you've turned right off the main gravel track and walked through the trees, you'll soon pick up the narrow gravel track that returns to the car park to the right.
In no time at all you'll be approaching the Ober Water car park; walk into the car park and head diagonally across to your right.
Look for the very obvious long wooden bridge across Ober Water. Head for that and cross the river.
Follow the well defined gravel track parallel to the road. Stay on this, it will take you directly back to Whitefield Moor car park, and the start of the walk.