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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 take absolutely no responsibility for anyone following this walk suggestion, or for using any information whatsoever from the website.

Acres Down is a pretty area of the New Forest, very near to the rural hamlet of Minstead, a charming place with a picture-postcard village green and a great pub, the Trusty Servant.
The Acres Down walk is a short one, around an hour, and takes you through a good mix of forested pine and Ancient and Ornamental Woodland. The lane to Acres Down car park is narrow and has a ford, which can get deep after heavy rain.

Acres Down walk:

Approx location of Acres Down within the New Forest National Park

Car park location: OS ref. SU267098 -- GPS lat/long: 50.886,-1.621
Approximate distance of this walk: 2 1/2 miles
Allow (time): an hour at a relaxed pace
Nearest pub/s: The Trusty Servant in the centre of Minstead village, or the New Forest Inn at Emery Down, a couple of miles to the west. Both excellent pubs!

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.

Acres Down. Walk marked in red

The walk...

Forestry Commission barrier at the start of the walk The start of the walk is obvious from the car park, follow the main Forestry Commission track beyond the barrier.

Fork right here After a quarter of a mile or so, the track winds around an area of grass and immediately afterwards forks. Take the right hand fork, even though the main track carries straight on.

Keep on the main track to the left Follow this track through Highland Water Inclosure. A few hundred metres after taking the right hand fork, the track forks again. This time, keep on the main track to the left.

At the crossroads The track continues up a gentle hill, bears right and then sharp left as it levels out. There's a crossroads at the top, just keep walking straight on. You'll pass by some huge larch trees shortly afterwards, conspicuous by their bright green needles.

Track comes in from the right The track begins a gentle decline and bears round to the left - a track joins in from the right here, and the cleared area on the right gives a good view over Highland Water Inclosure.

Turn left here Continue down until the track you are on bears sharply to the right, at the bottom of the hill. Turn left here, and take the track through the Ancient & Ornamental Woodlands.

Heading back to the car park Stay on this track back to the car park, the distance from the junction where you turned left, to the car park, is just under a mile. You'll recognise the very first right fork that you took, and the track looping around the open area of grass.
For a good New Forest viewpoint, walk up the hill in front of the 2 car parking areas before you leave, and look over the heath of Acres Down and Highland Water Inclosure.