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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.
Slufters Inclosure walk is a nice, short walk that gives you great views of open heathland and forested inclosures managed by the Forestry Commission. It can get very boggy in places outside of the inclosure, so be warned! There's almost always a way round though.
On entering the inclosure, look out for deer hiding in the trees or grazing on the grassy rides. Slufters rarely gets busy, and New Forest wildlife can often be seen on this walk.
NB: due to seemingly endless FC work within Slufters, the photos here might not be an accurate representation of the current state of the walk!
Car park location: OS ref. SU229116 -- GPS lat/long: 50.903,-1.676
Approximate distance of this walk: Two miles.
Allow (time): an hour and a half.
Nearest pub/s: The High Corner Inn & Red Shoot Inn at Linwood and the Royal Oak at Fritham - all within a few miles, by road, from the walk.
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.
Direct vehicle access to the car park has been blocked off, so park at the track entrance but don't block the gate! Better parking is of course available at nearby Cadmans Pool or Ocknell, both a few hundred metres to the north-east of Slufters (back towards Stoney Cross airfield).
Walk down the car park entrance track from the road. Standing in the car park, face east (left) - the main gate into Slufters Inclosure will be on your right. Begin your walk down the grassy slope through the pine trees. The heather expanse of Ocknell Plain is on your left.
Cross over the small Forest stream at the bottom of the dip (bridged with a gravel path) and walk up the other side, sticking to the narrow gravel/sand pony tracks. Warning - can be boggy here!
On reaching the top of the hill, turn right and follow the line of the inclosure fence. You're now up on Ocknell Plain, and there are several narrow pony tracks to walk on. Keep the inclosure on your right. If using a compass, you'll be walking a southerly heading.
After about 1/3 mile, there is a set of old gate posts into the inclosure. Don't go through here, unless you can't wait to get to the pub, but keep walking straight on, still with the inclosure on your right. Keep walking for about the same distance again (1/3 mile approx.) and you'll soon be in view of the busy A31 road, directly ahead of you.
You'll encounter some boggy areas along the way, but soon you'll come to another similar set of gate posts into the inclosure, on the right. Go through these and walk down the short slope (gravel track) to the crossroads at the bottom.
The main Forestry Commission track runs left-right, and you need to go to the right. If using a compass, you'll be walking a northerly heading.
Just keep on this main track and it will take you back to the car park, from inside the inclosure. There are a few crossroads on the way, but you keep walking on the gravel track. You'll see some New Forest Ancient & Ornamental Woodland on your right, containing mostly oak trees, the rest of the inclosure is forested with pine.