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New Forest

Acres Down walk

[The walking suggestions in this web site are merely to show you some nice, fairly short walks within the New Forest National Park, so you can enjoy the Forest at its best. The walks have been completed by me, and follow used walking tracks.
Disclaimer: I cannot and do not take responsibility for you getting lost, bogged down, chased by a pony or suffering any other unfortunate incident or accident while using material from my 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

  • Car park location:
    OS ref: SU267098 – GPS lat/long: 50.886,-1.621
  • Approximate distance of Acres Down walk:
    Two and a half 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.

Important update: Regrettably the OS map excerpt previously shown for this walk can no longer be used on this website. The walk is doable 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!

You can buy our offline map by clicking here or the Pocket Guide Image.

I put together a handy downloadable pocket guide ebook containing all of the walks from this website plus many pages of fascinating facts, essential local tips and useful information regarding the New Forest. All of which is available for download in a completely ad free, mobile friendly format. Suitable for use in all smartphones, tablets and kindles etc. Save some ink and the hassle of printing by downloading the New Forest National Park Pocket Guide right here, the only one of it’s kind and found no where else!

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

Acres Down walk Entrance

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.

Acres Down walk Fork

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.

Acres Down walk Highland Water

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.

Acres Down walk Crossroads

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.

Acres Down walk Clearing

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.

Acres Down walk Woodlands

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.

Acres Down walk Exit

Explore Acres Down walk from above, using satellite imagery; get to know the area before you try the walk!